Transforming the lives of at-risk youth in Saint Lucia through music

Fifty at-risk youth in Saint Lucia are one step closer to achieving their goal of becoming trained musicians and well-rounded men and women. They are participants in a 12-month programme, Sound Waves Training – Transforming Youth at Risk through Music. It uses music education to transform the outlook of unemployed and underemployed youth in Saint Lucia. The programme is being supported by the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).

At the end of 2016, participants completed two Life Skills courses, which are part of the Sound Waves curriculum. The courses, administered by the National Skills Development Centre in Saint Lucia, included subjects such as Stress Management, Team Work, Critical Thinking, Work Ethic and Conflict Resolution.

The programme targets at-risk youth, ages 17 to 35 and provides them with training in a number of skills, with an emphasis on music performance and production. Upon successfully completing the programme, participants will have gained Level 1 and 2 certification in music and complementary skills through the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) system.

Participants had the opportunity to practice being interviewed for a job using the tips they had received. Photo credit: www.cdfstlucia.org

“The Sound Waves programme taps the power of music to make a difference in the lives of young men and women in Saint Lucia. CDB, through BNTF, is pleased to provide an opportunity for youth from some of the country’s most vulnerable communities to engage in decent and productive work,” said George Yearwood, Portfolio Manager, BNTF (Ag.), CDB.

The programme, which broke for the Christmas holiday, recommences on February 1, 2017 at the Saint Lucia School of Music, where students will be tutored in Music Theory, Music Performance Levels 1 & 2 and Recording Engineering.

CDB, through BNTF, has provided USD380,000 in funding for the youth empowerment project. The Government of Saint Lucia contributed USD20,000 and the local community, USD25,000.

Sound Waves – Transforming Youth at Risk through Music is being implemented by the Cultural Development Foundation with support from the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund, the Department of Local Government, Culture and the Creative Industries as well as the Saint Lucia School of Music.