THE EDITOR, Sir:
Regrettably, I have to comment on another senseless murder, that of one of our past students of the Boys' Town Youth Development Programme. Candice Johnson, who was pregnant, was murdered along with her friend on Sunday, ending a long period of hopelessness.
The first entry in the programme's progress journal (October 2009-March 2010) states: "She lost her beloved father in a shoot-out with the police and has been searching ever since for a male figure. She, however, seems to be going about the matter in a disoriented manner and allegedly involves herself in several failed relationships.
"Candice wants to be a practical nurse, does classwork … attends school irregularly … usually a likeable person. She needs counselling and [should] be part of the Mentorship Programme. Candice stopped a number of times and was allowed back in the programme as we were aware of her emotional situation.
"She received a lot of individual counselling sessions from the coordinator, Mr Trevor Spence, but was overwhelmed by external factors. She lost a baby at 17 years; and with her asthmatic condition became a drifter from one inner-city community to another."
The above assessment of Candice seems very analytical as throughout her two-year stay in the programme, she was involved in a quest for security and no longer pursued education, which would help to liberate her mind.
At Boys' Town, we are trying our best with little or no resources and could do more for the 60 students who attend the at-risk programme.