Youth Speak Out!

The Youth Speak Out is one of the highlights in C.A.R.E.’s annual calendar. It is, in essence, a public speaking competition, and a chance for our trainees to debate about issues of concern for young people in St Lucia today. This competition draws on the skills practiced in our daily Rap sessions, and is founded in the belief that the ability to speak confidently in public is an important skill for these young people as they prepare to enter the workplace.

This year’s Speak Out took place in the Odsan Centre on the 27th February 2009. Our trainees had put a great deal of work into preparing their speeches (with the help of instructors in many cases) and tried to put their nerves to one side as they stepped up to the podium. Trainees from all five centres had come to see the Speak Out, and friendly inter-centre rivalry ensured loud cheers and applause for the trainees from their supporters!

The choice of topic was a matter for the trainees themselves to decide on, and many of the ten speakers chose topics that they felt passionately about, or had a personal meaning for them. Topics ranged from serious issues such as prostitution and condom distribution to more light-hearted topics such as the power of the tongue, and gossip. Although girls are out-numbered by boys in C.A.R.E. it was wonderful to see them throwing themselves into the spirit of this competition, with eight out of the ten speakers being girls!

The talent and energy on display at this year’s competition was second to none, and the judges (Dr Mason, Ms Skellie, Mr Meroe and Mrs Ellis) had a difficult task to decide on the winner! In the end, Timika Marshall came in first place, followed in second place by Eastel Desir and Lotoya Alfred, and in third place by Cherisse Taylor. A special Director’s Award was presented to *** from the Soufriere centre.

By Kate Brand

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Sports Day Photo

Sports Day

Sports Day is an annual event in the C.A.R.E. calendar, and one that is greatly anticipated by both trainees and staff. It provides a chance for trainees from the five centres to come together and showcase their sporting talents. Since C.A.R.E. is dedicated to the holistic development of our trainees, we believe that sporting talent as well as a healthy active lifestyle should be encouraged and nurtured.

Sports Day in 2009 takes place in Mindoo Phillip Park, and begins with a parade of trainees and instructors from the five centres, an introductory prayer and the singing of our national anthem. From there, the supporters withdraw to the stands and the athletics events begin, with races from 100m to 5000m for boys and girls. The spirit of comraderie and friendly competition that characterises C.A.R.E.’s Sports Day is truly a joy to behold, with winners and losers of races being cheered on their return to the stands!

Good-humoured rivalry reaches a fever pitch as the cheerleaders take to the field. Boys and girls from Odsan and Anse La Raye have worked hard on routines for many weeks, and all of the preparation has lead up to their performance at Sports Day: the stakes are high! Leg-kicks, pirhouettes, trainees raised on each other’s shoulders, cartwheels and tumbles are all set to rhythmic tunes keeping the cheerleaders in time! Exhausted and exhilarated, the dancers return to the stands to rapturous applause: all of the hard work has paid off!

At the close of the day, trainees are presented with gold, silver and bronze medals. While the Odsan centre won the most gold medals, the Anse La Raye centre were declared the overall winners! The winners are congratulated, and the day has come to an end. All that remains is to head for home, tired but happy, and look forward to next year’s Sports Day!

By Kate Brand

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