Phase two of the Government of Grenada’s revamped Imani programme, exposing a second batch of one thousand plus young Grenadians to life skills training and preparation for the world of work, commenced last Friday with a special enrollment ceremony at the Grenada Trade Centre in St George.
The New Imani Programme, which has been dubbed the gateway to confronting Grenada’s rising unemployment situation, brought together young people throughout Grenada to the Trade Center where the intricacies of the programme were unfolded to participants, Government, officials and members of the diplomatic community.
Participants will, in the first instance, be exposed to three months life skills training, followed by two years on-the-job training, apprenticeship and permanent placement. Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Sports and Ecclesiastical Affairs - Sen. Sheldon Scott urged participants to use the opportunity wisely. The senator encouraged them to think outside the box and strive to reach their true potential by getting their minds in the right places, giving of the best so that it would make sense being a part of the programme.
Coordinator of the programme - Kevin Andall said the new Imani is a challenge, but one that’s worth the while, since it’s a commitment that would be remembered for an entire lifetime. Andall reiterated that the Imani programme was designed to address one of Grenada’s biggest problems, that of unemployment among youths.
Since its inception, he said, it has identified certain key factors, among them offering skills to young people for the job market. According to him, the new Imani programme will provide young people with the personal development skills, technical and vocational skills including the opportunity to gain experience. Outlining aspects of the programme, Andall said the self-development aspect of the programme is mandatory, and will run for three months, where participants will be required to attend classroom sessions on personal development training two hours every day for five days. Participant will also be engaged in Direct Skills, Apprenticeship, Community Development and Small business training.
Minister for Youth, Sports and Ecclesiastics Affairs - Hon. Emmalin Pierre, described the new Imani programme as a vehicle that can take persons to their destination, and be the tool to build that solid foundation for a brighter and a more successful future. The Minister reminded the participants that they are the carpenters of their lives and therefore they need to build lives that would reflect good values. “I therefore challenge you”, the Minister said, “to build wisely; build thinking that you will have to one day live in them”. The Minister went on to say that her Government sees the new Imani as an investment in youth, since it speaks to both present and future development on the economy.
Participants were also encouraged to set themselves high ethical standards and to consider the social impact of all of their actions and that on the natural environment, and how negatively or positively it can affect others.
Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Keith Mitchell also made brief remarks and commended the participants for embarking on a path that can change their lives. Mitchell said, having seen the situation left by the past administration, his Government had no choice but to take the young people on board and offer them some glimmer of hope. The Prime Minister commended Minister Pierre for the level of commitment and dedication to young people in getting the programme up and running. PM Mitchell said the new Imani Programme should not be just about getting a stipend, but self development and the ability to gain a skill and knowledge that will empower them for future successes.
Meanwhile, one member of the business community - Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China - Her Excellency Mme Ou Boqian, was present and applauded the Government’s move to implement such a programme. He also made a donation of a quantity of sporting items to the programme, and gave her commitment to assist with improving the conditions at the Grenada Youth Centre.