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The blink I bmobile Foundation conducts Life Skills camp for Easter Vacation

Caption: Campers proudly display their Certificates of Graduation for the blink I bmobile Foundation’s Easter Vacation Life Skills Camp

For four days in April, more than 50 adolescents from Children’s Homes across the country benefitted from lessons on character-building, social and dining etiquette and decision-making as part of the blink | bmobile Foundation’s Easter Vacation Life Skills Camp.

The objective of the blink | bmobile Foundation is to contribute to the positive development of the Nation’s youth by committing to projects which foster the advancement of youngsters in the areas of education, sports, culture and health.  The company believes that equipping our young people with knowledge and the confidence to handle themselves in challenging situations will help to prepare them properly for the world of opportunity that awaits them.

Helping the youngsters enhance their social abilities for adaptive and positive behavior would in turn enable them as individuals to deal effectively with demands and challenges of everyday life, this being critical to their success. The Life Skills camp was aimed at doing this.

Sash Consultancy facilitated the sessions, held from April 8 to 11 at TSTT’s Chaguaramas Training Facility. The participants were put into groups where they were encouraged to work together and explore topics such as good manners, making right decisions and having respect for each other and for their elders.

Shyness prevailed on the first day, as the group of teenagers got to know each other and familiarized themselves with their facilitators. By the second day, however, they emerged more confident—eagerly volunteering to participate in group activities and with some even playing key roles at their graduation ceremony.

On each day of the camp, participants heard celebrity guests tell their own stories of inspiration. There was attorney Vera Bhajan, who overcame major odds being born without arms; radio personality and soca singer JW, who beat his personal challenges to excels in all his endeavors; and television producer  and host Marcia Henville, who told the group about growing up with a single mother and using education to get out of poverty.

Participant Keyshawn Wilson, a 13-year-old, said he enjoyed learning lessons about good character at the camp. Crystal Charles, 15, said the camp allowed her to meet new people, and that she loved the dining experience. Giselle Hernandez, 16, like Williams, enjoyed meeting new people, and described the four days as fun.

Much like the children who attended the camp, Rosemary Mc Lean, Juvenile Officer II at St Dominic’s Children’s Home, said she wished the camp didn’t have to come to an end; “The children will miss this as it has all been very interesting, even for me.”

The adolescents chosen to be a part of the Life Skills program from St Dominic’s, Mc Lean said, will not only get an opportunity to use their new skills at dinner and special events hosted by the Home, they will also be called upon to ‘teach what they have learnt to the young ones’.

At the graduation ceremony held on Thursday 11, the young men and women were awarded certificates of participation which they proudly showed off. TSTT’s Head of Public Relations and External Affairs Mrs. Camille Salandy, addressing the participants told them that “Success is not only determined by education but by raw talent. You just have to figure out what that is, make use of it and share it with someone.”

Guest performer Shurwayne Winchester showed his star wattage at the graduation ceremony when he got the full attention of the bunch by encouraging them to utilize ‘all they have learned at the camp and be proud of what they accomplished during the camp’. Shurwayne, who is always willing to give of his time in order to add value to goodwill efforts, also encouraged the life-skill graduates to use what they learnt as he invited them onto the stage to perform with him.

The group of youngsters got the opportunity to dine with each other and practise their etiquette over a five-course meal following the ceremony. The blink | bmobile Foundation congratulates the graduates of the Easter Vacation Life Skills Camp. Their willingness and enthusiasm to learn confirms to the Foundation that the efforts to help develop the Nation’s youth are making a positive impact.

The future of these young people will not lack success— once they continue to approach it with the dedication and commitment they have had bestirred in them and have displayed.