Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Part 2: Facilitation

The role of a youth developer can be vague and misunderstood. I am constantly being referred to as a teacher here in St. Lucia, which I have never known myself to be, officially. However, the more and more I think about it, the more I consider myself to be one. I am a teacher. But then again, most people are! My goal is to find a way to reach the "unattached" youth of St. Lucia. In this, I am referring to the youth that are not affiliated with any organization, after school programme, sports team, or whatnot. In St. Lucia, there are many youth that are unattached. (SIDENOTE: Youth in St. Lucia is ages 12-35). There are many reasons for this, but the key is to finding a way to motivate or spark the interest of these youth. This is not going to be an easy task. Just like in the states, there are youth that are just happy being where they are in life and do not need to be affiliated. Then there are also the youth that are not educated about their opportunities and also those that are educated but not sure how to go about it. The playing field is varied and immense. If anyone has any ideas for me on how to reach these youth in my process of facilitating, please do not hesitate to make suggestions! Being a Peace Corps Volunteer, I will be working at aiming for these youth in the fields of language arts, mathematics, sporting, arts and crafts, and etc.

For now, I have an extremely broad range of interest for the type of project that I will have after training, but hopefully in the next 4 weeks I will have a better idea of what to narrow it down to. Right now, I am hearing interest in beginning an after school programme at the school I am interning at. The programme may focus on increasing access to after school homework help and assistance in general studies. However, I hope to incorporate arts and crafts/games/sporting/IT/various other activities into the mix. However, in the art of "facilitating", there needs to be a discussion about this first with the other teachers and principal to see if this would be a prominent interest/need within not only the school but also the community. So we will see what happens here. If it is, then to get others' inputs and ideas will be the next step. Facilitating is the main process of the Peace Corps mission... Though an idea may be brought up by me, it is in working with the community, that succussful, sustainable programmes will come through. I am interested in seeing what ideas the other teachers have, or if they want to discard this idea all together. Either way, I am anxious to begin finding out what the community really needs.

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