Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 03, 2022 (SKNIS): Across the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, young men and women are now realizing their full potential thanks, in part, to the successes of the Alternative Lifestyle Pathway Programme (ALPP).

During the March 01, 2022 edition of ‘Leadership Matters’, Coordinator of the ALPP Major Kayode Sutton highlighted some of the successes this innovative programme has had on the lives of at-risk individuals and the respective communities.

“I would like to remind the public that the ALPP started on 13 March, 2019. It has been in place for only three years to date and has gone through a number of developmental cycles as it evolved. In the initial stages we tried to keep the groups gainfully occupied ensuring that they became aware to alternatives to violence and the way that society functions. They were further exposed to personal financial management as they learned the value of opening and operating personal accounts. They learned the value of work and received wages for work done at the market value. They were encouraged to make project proposals and where these were feasible, encouraged to seek loans and pursue their legitimate ambitions,” Major Sutton said, while noting that communities previously traumatized by gang and gang-induced violence are living in peace and harmony.

The ‘Peace Programme’, as many refer to it as, is just one of the many creative initiatives developed by the government to address the culture of gang violence and homicides inherited from the previous administration.

Major Sutton indicated that based on what he has seen from the participants and the significant reduction in gang related activities in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Alternative Lifestyle Pathway Programme is paying dividends.

“This programme provides a platform or an opportunity to do something different and if we did not take it then we were going to have to deal with bodies on the street… So, I have to say yes, the programme has been successful in my opinion. We live in a tranquil environment and the participants are engaged in life skills training which is going to help them to establish legitimate, life-long businesses or endeavors and we see a number of those already happening. I am quite hopeful that by the time we complete [the life skills training], we are going to have a lot more certified persons in different skill areas that have benefitted from the programme,” said Major Sutton.

The Life Skills Training and Exposure Programme, under the Peace Programme, was launched on January 18, 2022. This training seeks to expose the participants to important soft and hard skills training that can help shape them into positive and productive members of society.

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