St. Kitts and Nevis’ Hugely Successful PEACE Programme Inspires National Peace Programme Launch in Barbados

Minister of State in the Office of the Attorney-General with a focus on Crime Prevention, Corey Lane, and Timothy McLean, Director of East to West Enterprises and Project Manager for the Elevate the Peace initiative (Photo by Ryan Gilkes)

In 2018, then St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris, serving as Minister of National Security, announced and introduced the groundbreaking Alternative Pathways Programme, also known as the PEACE Programme. This initiative focused on the rehabilitation and upliftment of hundreds of young men and women from lives of violent crime, leading to a dramatic decrease in violent and overall crime by over 50%. The success of the PEACE Programme has now inspired the implementation of a similar initiative in Barbados, recently launched as the National Peace Programme (NPP), and receiving widespread acclaim.

Barbados Minister of State in the Office of the Attorney-General Corey Lane has praised the Elevate the Peace initiative, a key component of the NPP, which aims to address crime at its roots by transforming mindsets and empowering youth with practical skills. Lane emphasized the initiative’s mission, stating, “We have walked the walk because we have taught the talk. That was the talk and this is the walk. This is the action part here.”

The NPP’s approach to crime prevention goes beyond mere rhetoric, aiming for deep and sustainable change. “The National Peace Programme is really about crime prevention at the deepest level,” Lane said. “We have a number of programmes that entertain, deal with the mindset, deal with the brain, and we train to sustain. This programme is really about transferring skills to our communities, ensuring that our young people can take a skill and go on to be empowered in life.”

During a visit to Liquido Bar in Christ Church, where cohorts of the programme were undergoing bartender training, Lane highlighted the importance of providing productive alternatives to foster peace and productivity in society. “When people ask what these programmes have to do with peace, it’s that we want to make sure our people have something productive to do, as opposed to the alternatives,” he explained.

Expressing gratitude for the support received, Lane also acknowledged the contributions of various stakeholders. “I want to thank the Ministry, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Crime Prevention Unit for supporting the programme. I particularly want to thank the Project Unit because, for every innuendo, and every negativity, they launch a programme. So, I say keep it coming,” he said.

The success of the NPP is credited to its participants. “Without them, there’s no programme. The organisers could put together the greatest programme, but the National Peace Programme’s success is due to overwhelming participation and support,” Lane noted.

Timothy McLean, Director of East to West Enterprises and Project Manager for the Elevate the Peace initiative, highlighted the extensive reach of the programme as a reason for its success. “We have 15 other programmes on the way, including one in Barbering at Vanity Fair Saloon and another starting soon in swimming,” he said.

McLean, also a pastor, emphasized the programme’s aim to offer tangible forgiveness and second chances. “Out of this programme and all the programmes that we are hosting, we will select persons and offer them opportunities and placements at places of work. We are looking to empower the lives of young people,” he explained, adding that this holistic approach ensures that participants not only gain skills but also secure employment, contributing positively to society and the economy.

Barbados’ National Peace Programme, inspired by the success of the PEACE Programme in St. Kitts and Nevis, represents a significant step forward in crime prevention and community empowerment. By adopting this innovative approach, Barbados aims to replicate the dramatic reduction in violent crime achieved in St. Kitts and Nevis, fostering a safer and more prosperous society for all.

Leave a comment

Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)