Stimulating the minds and hearts of our teenagers by Michelle Cave


SI Jamestown blog

Stimulating the minds and hearts of our teenagers is work we must engage in, says President of Soroptimist International of Jamestown, Michelle Cave.

It’s not enough to expect children to figure out their talents on their own, putting forward options for them to choose from is within our grasp, so as far as possible, we can provide these for our young people so they may become productive contributing citizens – happy in the parts they are playing in their nation building.

Every July a new crop of very vulnerable young people having no outlet of migration, education or jobs that past generations had, fall barren to the wayside awaiting a future at the mercy of the unsavory. Soroptimists of Jamestown had to look at the larger social and economic environment to see that this sector urgently has to be tended to – they have to be given the opportunity to give vent to their brilliance, creativity and need to change their world to better suit themselves.

President Michelle Cave said that in their research, Soroptimist of Jamestown found that young women and men coming out of school every year are too prey to violence, abuse and drugs – without tools to counter, our national investments into our young people fall on rocky ground. When you think about it, we feed, clothe and school our young people free for fifteen years at least, then tell them, go make a living. In our projects we are interested in giving social and economic tools to these large groups of people leaving school every year.

We have to help them deal with conflict and challenges. We have to encourage our young people to be active participants – responsible- in transforming the adverse conditions that plague them.

This has been the impetus behind everything the Soroptimists of Jamestown has done this year. We thank The Maria Holder Memorial Trust for contributing so ably to this our first foray into the training of young adults in the art of crafting wood.

Mr Onkphra Wells, master sculptor, of Bajan Artforms, an extraordinary human being – has taken these 20 young people between the ages of 15 and 21 – showing them how the wood responds to their designs; he is training them in more than just wood carving, he is honing them into adults who care about themselves, the world they are in.

I think sometimes we adults forget how fascinated we were with creating, when we were younger, the joy that I see in the eyes of these teenagers as they sit concentrating on their task, would behoove most.

In conceiving this project, we looked at building skills that were missing or on the downward trend – we are training some wonderfully, talented artists here and we thank the Maria Holder Memorial Trust for heeding our call to finance this 3 month project.

We are excited about the process but equally excited to see what these young people create as trained artists and business people.

Michelle Cave, President of Soroptimist International of Jamestown.