Safeguarding young children from the dangers of drug and substance abuse is the main objective of a partnership between RUBIS and the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA), which recently received a contribution of $4000 towards its Project SOFT Youth Camp.
Project SOFT (Safeguarding Our Future Today) seeks to increase the protective factors of 11-year-old students transitioning from primary school to secondary school, in order to prevent or delay the onset of substance use or abuse. The goal of the annual camp is to assist children and their families in making a smooth transition into secondary school, by discussing the associated challenges and reinforcing traditional values and life-skills.
Forty children, who started secondary school in September 2022, benefitted from this year’s project SOFT Camp which was held from November 3rd to 6th at the Eastern Caribbean Bible Camp, Ruby, St. Philip. Minister of Home Affairs and Information, Wilfred Abrahams spoke to the students at the opening ceremony and encouraged them to make good choices, respect themselves and focus on school.
Amina Green, Retail Accounts Executive, said the company’s support for Project SOFT Camp, spearheaded by the NCSA, was a key focus of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandate in the area of youth and community development. “Our commitment of safeguarding children, who we see as the future of communities, is a key aspect of RUBIS’ CSR program and Project SOFT fits well within this objective. We always say that our children are the future and so safeguarding the future must begin with protecting these little ones who are among our most vulnerable,” Green said.
Makeada Bourne, Substance Abuse Prevention Officer (NCSA) expressed her gratitude to RUBIS noting: “Research conducted by the NCSA revealed that both males and females are using alcohol and other drugs. It is well known that early exposure to drug use is associated with poor outcomes including poor school performance, involvement in crime, and future drug dependence. As such, the NCSA is grateful for our partnership with RUBIS which helped to make Project SOFT 2022 a reality. On behalf of the Board of Directors, Management and staff, I extend a heartfelt thank you.”