'Empower, encourage educate' - Duckenfield Youth Club on a mission
The Duckenfield Youth Club (DYC) in St Thomas is on a mission to motivate and empower those in its environs, one community at a time.
The group began as a police youth club in 2013 but, through a democratic process, was later transformed into a community-run organisation.
"Our aim is to empower, encourage, and educate our youth in and around our community through socialisation and we also aim at helping our elderly through physical and emotional support," said Roncrea Marriott, president of the DYC.
"We also hope to maintain and create a peaceful environment for our children, youth, and elderly through education, empowerment, and socialisation," he said of the 21-member group.
According to the chair, the DYC offers various programmes including care packages and interaction day for elders, parenting and educational seminars, voluntary services at basic and primary schools, and other labour projects at homes for the elderly.
The club also hosts various competitions to foster togetherness such as netball and football games, teen pageants, and Grade Six Achievement Test Quiz for grades five and six students.
Among the communities served are Duckenfield, Hampton Court, Dalvey, Golden Grove, and Amity Hall.
... Joining club among best decisions for youth
Testifying of ways in which the Duckenfield Youth Club (DYC) helped him was 23-year-old Javaan Francis, who told Rural Xpress that becoming a part of the club was one of the best decisions he has ever made.
"I was trapped in a place where I felt as if anger was my only friend. All I could think of was to let others feel the darkness and pain that I felt. I had an insatiable desire to hurt others mainly because of the hardship I experienced growing up.
I confined myself within my own world, being territorial and guarding my emotions with a psychological barrier," he said.
The young man revealed that he was full of resentment, self-hate, and hatred for others, but things began changing when he was introduced to the DYC.
According to him: "At first, I felt nothing but by continuous visitations, I learnt that I am not alone. I started to learn that love was free. The unity that they shared started to become a part of me. I began to become tolerant of others and open to my situation. Through the youth club, I learned to accept others and be accepted by others. I learned what love really means and I am no longer short tempered and full of self-hatred.
"I am not perfect, but being a part of the youth club has helped me to accept myself in all forms. I am now a better person, in regards to dealing with others and understanding what it feels like to be a part of a family."