The programme is being sponsored by Cable & Wireless Seychelles Ltd for a period of three years. This partnership was made official through the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) at the National Youth Centre, English River.
The agreement was signed by CWS chief executive Charles Hammond, youth principal secretary Alain Volcère and SNYC chief executive Vicky van der Westhuizen.
Cable & Wireless Seychelles Ltd has pledged a total of R900,000 to this programme – R300,000 each year over three years.
The main objectives of the programme are as follows:
• Provide a service as the first point of contact for youths needing to discuss problems and find solutions.
• Provide help through guidance on a range of youth related problems.
• Refer youths to more specialised services if there is a need.
The provision of such a service acknowledges the fact that our youths need help to cope with the complexities of life in order to develop into socially strong and resilient individuals.
In order to gauge its viability, a small survey was undertaken involving the youths themselves and potential coaches. Results show that 77.5% of youths would discuss certain problems such as relationship, family problems, sexuality, morality, substance abuse and educational issues with an older person. At the same time the potential coaches felt that they could communicate effectively with the younger generation and help them as part of their contribution to youth development and well-being.
The programme will offer a guidance service with a difference. Youths needing the service will be able to contact mature and experienced retired persons with strong educational and social backgrounds e.g. (retired head teachers, teachers, nurses, social workers etc.) who will listen to their concerns and offer guidance.
The service will provide an opportunity for verbal interaction between the coach and the youths with the sole aim of helping them deal with a specific problem which could be physical, personal, emotional or social. The coach will help the youths in decision-making and problem-solving.
The service will be run as a telephone service, where young people may call in with their concerns and a coach will help to the best of his/her ability and refer on as need be. Coaches will be provided with training to detect issues that require additional responses from other appropriate services. If the need arises, the coach may refer the youth to other specialists. The referral services may include social workers, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, religious leaders, teachers, the police and others.
The service providers have been named ‘coaches’ because they will not be qualified/certified counselling and guidance officers.
Should you require any further information about the programme, please do not hesitate to contact 4325661.