Eight Trainees To Take Part In Redemption Farm

July 12, 2019 | 3 Comments

The Gang Violence Reduction Team continues its work with the Redemption Farm, Minister of National Security Wayne Caines said, adding that 8 trainees will be participating in the programme, and the fields earmarked for use have been properly plowed and cleared.

In providing an update in House of Assembly today [July 12] on the work of the Gang Violence Reduction Team and the teams’ initiatives, the Minister said, “The Gang Violence Reduction Team continues its work with the much anticipated Redemption Farm.

“There will be 8 trainees who will be participating in the programme. To date, the contracts for all the young men have been drafted and signed and the programme has commenced in its therapeutic form.

“Redemption Farm has been supported by way of volunteer service through the donation of the use of tractors and other machinery has been instrumental in clearing the land.

“I am happy to report that the Redemption Farm is fit for purpose and the fields earmarked for use have been properly plowed and cleared. Currently, there are watermelons and cantaloupes, squash and pumpkin vines that have been planted. These plants are similar species better known as Cucurbita Pepo which allows the plants to cross-pollinate if they are in close proximity.

“While there has been much emphasis placed on the physical farm itself, it must be stated that the concept for Redemption Farm is greater than just the physical milieu. Rather it is an environment that cultivates our young mens’ minds, souls and spirits.

“The farm will provide the tools that will allow these men to be trained in life skills, business etiquette, managing and marketing which will undoubtedly prepare them to be successful in any future business endeavors.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to provide this Honourable House with an update on the important work of the Ministry of National Security’s Gang Violence Reduction Team, and the teams’ initiatives that will run throughout the summer.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members will recall that the Gang Violence Reduction Team has been charged with the strategic development of prevention and intervention programmes that target our at-risk population. These programmes include: the Primary Prevention Initiative along with outreach work at the middle and high school levels; a summer work placement programme; the Redemption Farm; a Restorative Justice Programme; support of a summer missions trip; and continued outreach and prevention in the community.

Mr. Speaker, at the commencement of the school summer holidays the Gang Violence Reduction Team began a new Summer Work Placement & a Mentoring Initiative. The Summer Work Placement and Mentoring Initiative is a job placement program that has selected and employed 15 targeted at-risk young people. These young people have been chosen from the Gang Violence Reduction Team’s high school intervention programmes, case management services, or targeted students in alternative education programs.

Mr. Speaker, the program provides the 15 students a six week paid work experience within local companies. The students are provided mentoring support to ensure their success in the workplace. The program was created to address the void in professional development opportunities for young people who have participated in anti-social behavior and have subsequently been labelled as troubled teens. The on the job work experience along with the mentorship and coaching is intended to offer a satisfying and meaningful work experience, whilst building the skills and knowledge needed to transition to sustainable, long term employment.

Mr. Speaker, the Gang Violence Reduction Team believes that young people are seeking positive attention, approval and guidance from caring adults. By positively engaging a young person throughout the summer, mentors and employers can help change the young person’s perception of what is possible and change the trajectory of their lives.

Mr. Speaker, the Summer Work Placement and Mentoring Initiative has four program goals.

  • The first is to provide youth with satisfying, meaningful, structured work placement and training experience with coaching and mentoring support.
  • Secondly, the programme seeks to increase youths’ understanding of how their personal beliefs, especially attitudes toward authority, may create problems in the workplace.
  • Third, the programme will strive to improve interpersonal skills such as anger management, expressing concerns, communication skills, emotional intelligence and problem solving to improve work readiness.
  • The final goal is to build positive and meaningful relationships with the business community which encourages the business community to hire at risk young people outside of a structured program.

Mr. Speaker, the programme has identified 15 community business partners who will provide a meaningful work experience for a young person in the program. Each company has identified a Business Champion who will be the main internal advocate and mentor for the young person during their 6 week work placement.
Each of the students participating in the Work Placement and Mentoring Initiative have sucessfully participated in job readiness workshop and a Student Orientation; a Parent Meeting with Summer Work Placement and Mentoring Initiative Coordinator; interviews with identified business partners; and job training on site at their various work placements

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that 13 of the 15 young people have successfully completed their first two weeks of the SWMPI. From the weekly evaluations, it is very clear that these young people are excelling taking advantage of this opportunity.

Mr. Speaker, the Gang Violence Reduction Team continues its work with the much anticipated Redemption Farm. There will be 8 trainees who will be participating in the programme. To date, the contracts for all the young men have been drafted and signed and the programme has commenced in its therapeutic form.

Mr. Speaker, Redemption Farm has been supported by way of volunteer service through the donation of the use of tractors and other machinery has been instrumental in clearing the land. I am happy to report that the Redemption Farm is fit for purpose and that the fields that the fields earmarked for use have been properly plowed and cleared. Currently, there are watermelons and cantaloupes, squash and pumpkin vines that have been planted. These plants are similar species better known as Cucurbita Pepo which allows the plants to cross-pollinate if they are in close proximity.

Mr. Speaker, while there has been much emphasis placed on the physical farm itself, it must be stated that the concept for Redemption Farm is greater than just the physical milieu. Rather it is an environment that cultivates our young mens’ minds, souls and spirits. The farm will provide the tools that will allow these men to be trained in life skills, business etiquette, managing and marketing which will undoubtedly prepare them to be successful in any future business endeavors.

Mr. Speaker, a new initiative of the GVRT is the Restorative Justice Programme. Restorative Justice is an innovative concept widely used by many of the world’s leading jurisdictions such as the United States, Canada, U.K and Australia. Restorative Justice deals with individuals who have committed a crime. The aim is to repair the trauma and harm caused by that crime. Restorative Justice emphasizes accountability, making amends, and if the victims are interested, facilitating meetings between victims, offenders, and other affected persons. When victims, offenders and community members meet to decide how harm can be repaired, the results can be transformational.

Mr. Speaker, to date there have been at least 53 restorative justice sessions, involving approximately 70 individuals. If the success of the trial programme continues, it is likely to be fully implemented and undergirded with legislation.

Mr. Speaker, the Gang Violence Reduction Team, Youth Outreach and Prevention Manager has partnered with Bermuda Overseas Mission this summer to provide an opportunity for 3 at- risk young people involved in our High School Initiatives to participate in this year’s Mission Trip to Malawi, Africa. The Bermuda Overseas Mission group has provided the people of Bermuda an opportunity to make a difference in our world by addressing global issues through building homes, schools and shelters in countries where a critical need exists. The travelling group, comprised of 30 locals, is departing today on a 17 day trip to build 6 houses in two villages in Malawi, Africa. I would like to wish them safe travels on this journey. I know it will be an opportunity that will shift the mindset, broaden the world view, and change the lives of the three young men in our programme.

Mr. Speaker, during the summer holiday the Gang Violence Reduction Team will continue to provide services to our existing clients and any new young people that come on our radar over the summer. The summer break will provide the Youth Outreach Prevention Manager with and opportunity to evaluate the Primary School Prevention Initiative Pilot Program and Both High School Intervention Pilot programmes. Any necessary strategic changes to the curriculum and overall structure will be made to ensure we are providing the best service to our young people These programs will be relaunched within the upcoming school year. The GVRT will continue to provide oversight and support of the Gang Resistance Education and Training [G.R.E.A.T.] programme, Incident Management Support, Case Management Services, Street Level Outreach, the Redemption Farm and the Restorative Justice Programme.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the team for their work and the programmes and initiatives that they have implemented.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (3)

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  1. road rash says:

    did arbitrade donate to this as it promised?

  2. Onion Peels says:

    No mention of the chickens?

    Where’s the Pasta’s special chickens that lay three eggs a day? I thought the farm was going to pay for itself by selling lots of cheap eggs?

    Looks like the only eggs we are going to see are the ones on Caine’s and Pasta Bean’s faces.

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