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Youth officers’ benefit from Substance Abuse training

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Twenty-five youth officers and youth auxiliaries are now better equipped to educate young Tobagonians on the perils of substance abuse. They attended Programme Intervention Training from March 11th-13th at the Shaw Park Recreation Ground Conference Room. This training is part of the Division of Sport and Youth Affairs’ continued strategy to enhance youth education and intervention in Tobago.

The three-day activity updated participants on the tools available to educate and inform young Tobagonians on substance abuse, and on the relevant laws in the Child Protection Act. The session was facilitated by the manager of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programme (ADAPP), Mrs Billie Sterling-Lewis. They were also advised on popular new drugs such as the Zess Pill, and the risks they involve, along with preventative measures.

WPC Esmeralda Corbin Clarke covered the Child Protection Act of 2012 and explained how this Act can impact youth officers. Her session detailed how the laws are to be used to protect a child, and avenues to seek help for children when needed. This means youth officers are now more equipped to work with children/youth that may have gone through traumatic experiences.

Speyside/Betsey’s Hope District youth auxiliary Keishon Robley said he is grateful for the knowledge gained at the sessions. “I am so happy that we got the opportunity to conduct this training because I learnt new ways of approaching youth within my district,” he said.

The sessions featured students from the University of the Southern Caribbean, who are fulfilling their 3-week practicum at the Department. Stakeholders present also included representatives of the Citizen Security Programme who will assist the Department in its upcoming youth projects.

The Division of Sport and Youth Affairs remains committed to the building the capacity of officers in the service of the developing youth across Tobago.