pinelands presentation maria holder trust

Michael Russell (fourth right), trustee of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust presents the cheque to Sophia Greaves, CEO of Pinelands Creative Workshop as some course participants and their tutor look on. (GP)

New youth programme from Pinelands

Taken from the Nation Newspaper 02 March 2018

The Maria Holder Memorial Trust is investing in transforming the youth of Barbados through an initiative by the Pinelands Creative Workshop (PCW) called Youth Beyond Expectations – Cultural Development Programme.

The programme targets vulnerable youth and young adults using the gateway development concept as a pathway to their personal growth, poverty reduction and social inclusion. This will be done through training and structured developmental objectives geared towards providing participants with academic support using traditional methods and ICT to enhance their performance in school. Participants will also be trained in social skills geared at building confidence; resolving conflict; anger management, communication and team building skills; career and life coaching; leadership and critical thinking skills.

The scope of the programme is varied and wide-ranging. It spans the Arts, Capacity Building and Personal and Career Development. Participants will be exposed to various aspects of the Arts – Afro-Caribbean dance forms, technical theatre, vocal development, drumming, keyboards, guitars and various string and wind instruments. In addition to artistic development, the capacity building covers collaborations with the Royal Barbados Police Force, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council, Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute (SJPI) and the use of private Professionals to conduct the training. It will also build the capacity of the existing five in-house choreographers/trainers to work specifically with children to support enhanced programme design.

Michael Russell, Trustee of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust, in making the cheque presentation to Sophia Greaves, CEO of Pinelands Creative Workshop, praised PCW on their sterling work in the community and congratulated them on reaching their 40th anniversary this year.

Russell also lauded PCW on this second phase of the programme: “Using the creative arts as a vehicle to expose these youth to various opportunities is an excellent approach. As a lover of music myself, learning the guitar provided me with a greater appreciation for the role of the arts in personal development. The founders and other trustees are also passionate about music and therefore are delighted to provide support for the second round of this programme to help youth develop not only a greater appreciation for the arts and improve their technical competencies but also to improve their performance.”

The Trust funded the pilot of the programme for one year, which was very successful and had a positive impact on over four hundred (400) participants. It was based on the success of the pilot that the Trust is providing support for an additional two years. This support will provide an opportunity for Pinelands Creative Workshop to work towards further enhancement of their programmes in order to develop another cohort of over 800 young people by the end of the project.

In accepting the donation, Sophia Greaves of Pinelands expressed her gratitude to The Maria Holder Memorial Trust and said: “This programme like all the others, build into the Youth Beyond Expectations – Cultural Development Programme funded by The Maria Holder Memorial Trust and focuses on institutional strengthening and capacity building.”

The presentation was witnessed by the second cohort of 12 students who will be pursuing training in the Entertainment & Event Technology – Level 1 course, which is an approved National Vocational Qualification developed by the TVET Council.  This course will be delivered by Springfield Training.

It is expected that this training will develop a pool of resource people who can then pursue careers in many of the aspects of the cultural industries that require these skills, primarily in the area of entertainment. This is also an invaluable opportunity for youth to redirect their attention from criminal or non-productive activities to more productive activities utilising their skills to generate income for themselves and their family.