Youth REAP benefits of a second chance
What if every individual had one shot in life and failing meant they reached the end of their road? If that were the case, many of the successes witnessed today would have only been figments of our imagination.
The non-profit organisation, Young Women and Men of Purpose (YWOP/YMOP), through an initiative called REAP (Realise, Embrace Achieve your Purpose), has given several youth the opportunity to do right by themselves and their families.
The first phase of REAP focused on capacity building of youth at-risk in the parish of Manchester and was funded by the Commonwealth Council and CUSO International. It was executed over an eight-month period in 2016.
The second stage of REAP, dubbed REAP II, was launched recently and has experienced an increase in participants by over 100 per cent.
"We have moved from 15 participants last year to 40 this year, including individuals from neighbouring parishes. The Canada Fund for Local Initiative saw this worthy of being funded and we will be facilitating courses in basic math, English, communication skills and computing," said founder of YWOP/YMOP and project manager of REAP, Lanisia Rhoden.
Programme begins January 2018
The programme is expected to begin in January 2018 and last for five weeks, with classes convening at the Ridgemount United Cyber Center and the Manchester Youth Information Centre.
President of YWOP/YMOP, Terry Ann Clachar Weir disclosed that more than 5,000 students have benefited from the organisation's outreach programmes and they intend to increase the numbers significantly.
Among those most pleased for the opportunity are 'REAPers' who are well on their way to realising their dreams.
Khimoni Archibald, 21, saw an ad on social media and decided to make a move for better: "I want to become a pathologist and I see it necessary to make these small steps toward my dream," she said.
Simona Shields, 20, shared her sentiments of perserving above all else: "I want to do the math and English and learn computing skills. I am looking forward to January. I have completed studies in practical nursing and I hope to move to becoming a registered nurse and, hopefully, in the long term I want to own my nursing home." She added: "I will be travelling from May Pen to Mandeville to do these classes. I encourage everyone to go for their dreams, you may never know what opportunity awaits you."