“Walk away!” That is the advice from Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, to the 41 students attending this year’s Project S.O.F.T (Safeguarding Our Future Today) Camp.
The Minister visited the students at the campsite at The Eastern Caribbean Bible Camp, Ruby, St. Philip this week, and said he was extremely pleased, not just with the number of participants, but by the programme which is in its 18th year and run by the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA).
He encouraged the organisers to continue the programme, which is designed to prepare children and their families for entry into secondary school. In his talk with the children, he encouraged them to make the right choices.
“You all need to start taking charge of your lives from now; the decisions that you make now can affect what you do going forward,” he beseeched, as he asked them where they see themselves in the next 10 years.
He informed them that they would all have responsible choices to make, referring to the plans by some to be doctors, paediatricians, professional footballers, among other careers.
“Every time somebody comes to you with some kind of foolishness, you can say no because if I do that I will not be able to become a footballer.
“Your counsellors and your teachers will tell you not to call anyone an idiot or don’t call anybody a fool, but anybody who tries to get you to take illegal drugs is an idiot …. Anybody who tries to get you to disrespect your parents is a fool,” he declared.
Minister Abrahams reminded them to make the right choices, among them walking away from anyone who wants to introduce them to drugs or to get into trouble, such as fights, since this is the only way that they would achieve their goals.
He told them not to use the words idiot and fool casually, but to use it if someone tries to get them to disrespect their parents or teachers, or tries to get them to do something that they know is illegal.
The camp, which began on Monday, culminates today, Friday, August 28. It was held under the theme Better Knowledge For Better Care.