For now they have remained under the radar, but you can bet once they have completed the process of being registered, the Big Brothers and Sisters of St Lucia will undoubtedly become a household name.
Big Brothers and Sisters consist of individuals from various backgrounds and social status—attorneys, judges, media personnel, sportsmen, policemen, teachers and the list goes on.
President of the Big Brothers and Sisters, Janice Hector who works in the criminal justice department, pointed that because the group has not been formally registered they have a low profile, however, people are getting to know about them through word of mouth.
Recently this group of some 33 do-gooders, organized a sports meet on the Gros Islet Playing Field for individuals at the Boys Training Centre (BTC) in Massade, where they continue to maintain a close relationship. In fact, this event marked their yearend activity for the BTC.
Proceedings got underway with a march pass from the BTC to the Gros Islet Playing Field. It was a fun filled day, which the boys and volunteers totally enjoyed. The day’s activities included the lime and spoon race, three legged race, sack race, bead and thread race, tug of war, 100 metre relay and obstacle course.
There were four teams competing in these events with the Blue Team under the direction of STAR reporter Alisha Ally coming out on top. The Red team placed second followed by the White Team then the Yellow Team.
Hector said: “The intent of the sports meet is to enhance our socialization skills, help us mesh and bond with the boys so we have a better relationship with them.”
For Hector it’s the first time being at the forefront of an association and she’s enjoying the experience.
“I enjoy being around young people and my colleagues who are part of this group,” she said. “I see this as a learning experience and a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community.”
Hector is counting on others doing the same.
“I would like to encourage individuals who feel they have a contribution to make especially when it comes to our young men,” she said. “We concentrate mainly on them because we realize young men are coming to the criminal justice system so we are trying to rescue them before things get out of hand.”
Manager of the BTC, Leonard Terrance, feels the sports day achieved its objective in getting the youngsters to interact in an activity be it sports or any social engagement.
“Anything that engages the boys in a very sportsman like manner and gives them that time out with each other and persons who really care and want to assist in any way possible is greatly appreciated,” he said.
How important is it for the boys to have this kind of interaction on a frequent basis?
He replied: “If we want to look at the rehabilitation of the boys it takes into consideration even recreational activities. It’s important in the sense that the boys don’t feel they are being locked up in a prison like system. They go out and enjoy themselves with some prominent persons in the community and feel part and parcel of the community and not just locked up as outcasts or ‘throw away’ kids.”