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Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 20, 2019 (SKNIS): The impact of the Explorers Youth Groups on communities, schools, families, and its membership, will be the subject of a study to determine the effectiveness of the programme in promoting positive change.

Osmond Petty, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, indicated that the St. Kitts and Nevis Government, working with Northeastern University in Boston, will undertake a research plan that will study trends in critical areas.

“We suggest that members of the Explorers are going to behave better,” Mr. Petty stated. “They are going to have better academics. They are going to change the communities in which they live by mingling with others, and other children are going to look at them and emulate them. These are things we expect and therefore we are setting up a research plan to look to see whether this is, in fact, so over time.”

The Explorers Group caters to children between the ages of 3 to 19 years. The programme is a key component of the Ministry of National Security’s Crime Reduction and Prevention Strategy, as it is designed to promote positive experiences, and highlights alternative pathways for youth.

There are currently nine Explorers Youth Clubs in St. Kitts. They are based in the Molineux-Phillips’ (Mol-Phil), Shadwell, Cayon, St. Peter’s, Newtown, Old Road, Trinity, Lodge, and St. Paul’s communities. The Mol-Phil Club was the first to be established in July 2017.

“Mol-Phil is the oldest and we will start from there, but every Club that we form will be part of this research pre-post. What happened before Explorers, what happened while [a member of] Explorers, and what happened after, and analyze the trends,” the permanent secretary said.

Northeastern University’s website notes that research at the institution “focuses on uncovering solutions to global challenges in health, security, and sustainability. It adds: “Our experience-driven approach – one built on close collaboration with industry, government, and academia – shapes the questions we ask and generates novel ways of thinking.”

 The research is expected to run for two to three years in the first instance.

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