|These youth from Sineku, Dominica, are involved in a Youth Empowerment program that gives them the opportunity to build leadership skills and participate in educational sessions.|
Situated on the southern end of the Carib Reservation, Sineku was one of the most disadvantaged communities in Dominica. Sineku was known as a community of chaos with a host of societal problems such as illiteracy, teen pregnancy, violence, substance abuse and a school dropout rate that was on the rise.
Now the statistics tell a different story about this community. For the past 24 months, no teen pregnancies were reported in the community. The incredible turnaround is due in part to the Youth Empowerment program, an affiliate of the Castle Bruce Child Development program funded by CCF. The program has focused on Sineku’s youth, educating them and giving them the skills necessary to become contributing community members.
The programs that were put in place provide Sineku’s young people with information relating to good leadership, citizenship, education and conflict management. Educational sessions for youth include juvenile violence and delinquency, drug and substance abuse, teen pregnancy and the dangers of promiscuous behaviors.
The Castle Bruce Child Development program has accomplished a great deal in the community. Youth have helped reopen an area library and established an annual summer reading, writing and storytelling program. Parents in the community are trained on basic health skills so they can visit other families and provide them with health information and recommendations on needed follow-ups.
Because of CCF’s presence in the community, Sineku’s youth are now motivated and enthusiastic about school and are gaining academic success. These youth today are more confident, not afraid to work toward their dreams and are raising the standard for their community.