As a measure to help alleviate youth-related issues, including
criminal activities, Kelvin “Shugy” Simon is proposing a mentorship
programme for St. Mary’s South.
Simon, the United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate for that
constituency, says the increase in crime is a very worrying trend,
since young people are expected to be tomorrow’s leaders.
If this Government were serious about nation building and taking
Antigua and Barbuda forward, then it would be focusing on the
youth, Simon says.
For example, he says, mechanisms should be put in place to make
young people understand their part in building the society and
assume their civic responsibility.
The youth cannot continue to run around believing there are no
consequences, whatsoever, for doing what they like. But this is
being allowed to happen now, he says, because there are no entities
or programmes to offer them mentorship or positive guidance.
Simon says the Ministry responsible for Youth Affairs has failed to
put safeguards in place, and many young people are nearing that
very dangerous point of no return. Accordingly, the issues that affect
them need to be seriously and hastily addressed.
The former MP says there is a need for proper and positive
grassroot programmes that highlight sports and other fundamental
life skills, such as discipline and manners.
However, the Browne Administration seems not to be interested in
doing anything, or even looking, in this direction, he laments.
Simon says this Administration is creating a society in which
everyone does as they please, and this will eventually spin out of
control. The evidence is seen in what is now taking place with the
high rate of crime, including violent incidents.
If this spiral continues, the society will become harder to control,
Simon warns. Thus, he is appealing to the Browne Administration to
put systems in place for the younger generation so they can become
Simon says we have to prepare the youth, from now, to take over
leadership of the country, since many current leaders will be exiting
the scene in the not too distant future.
In the meantime, he says, there is a lot to be done to ensure they
stay the course and remain on a crime-free and straight path.