The rain was deafening as it lashed the roof of Challenging Heights Community Shelter. Perched on a hill that rises out of the Atlantic Ocean, the shelter bears the full force of wet season tropical storms. A group of young adults were gathered. Adorned in their best clothes, they presented meticulously despite the mud that now engulfed the town. As abruptly as it began the rain ended and the Challenging Heights chorography troupe began preforming a traditional Effutu dance. The ocean was now perfectly still, a mirror that masked the fury that was. The calm was appreciated by the group of young adults. It was an opportunity to reflect on their hard work and bright future that lay ahead.
The group of young adults is the latest to graduate from the Challenging Heights Remedial School to Restore Hope Program. The graduates had spent the last three months gaining information, communication and technology skills (ICT), as well as undergoing business and leadership training. The Remedial School to Restore Hope is one of Challenging Heights’ longest running projects. It provides young adults with opportunities to further their education and careers, whereas financial disadvantage would usually prohibit such opportunities. Past programs have focused on bridging the gap between schooling and further study.
Consistent throughout the different curriculums that are run through this program is empowerment. The remedial program insists to these young adults to have confidence within them. To use the words of Gandhi, the students are fostered to “be the change (they) wish to see in the world.”
Through this program, the philosophical is matched with the practical. For many in this latest group of graduates, the remedial program provided their first opportunity to use a computer. With expert tuition, the 30 capacity Ruth Messengers ICT centre was utilized. Students began with basic introduction to computer hardware and finished with an advanced knowledge of the workings of a range of software. Once trained in the World Wide Web, the program provided the students the opportunity to access the internet. For these young adults such connections do really amplify their opportunities.
I congratulate the graduates and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.