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CARE launches student action movement at Anse Royale secondary school | 17 November 2020

CARE launches student action movement at Anse Royale secondary school

The Campaign for Awareness, Resilience & Education (Care) against substance abuse has launched its student action movement at the Anse Royale secondary school.

The Care Student Action Movement (Casam) was launched by Merida Delcy, special advisor in the Ministry of Education & Human Resource Development, in the presence of Care chairperson Sarah Rene, Care director Noella Gonthier, the school’s Care facilitators, teachers, parents, student members of the Care club among other guests.

Anse Royale secondary is the sixth school where Casam has been launched.

A secondary school representative member of Casam from Pointe Larue, Mont Fleuri, Anse Boileau, Belonie and Anse Royale Care clubs shared their experience to the audience.

Ms Delcy commended Care and all its facilitators in the various primary and secondary schools for their commitment which has resulted in building the resilience of many of our young people to make the right choice when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

“I am particularly pleased with the involvement of secondary schools – head teachers, club facilitators – for their collaboration in the review of the Care clubs into what we are witnessing today. The name of the movement speaks for itself and it implies actions and I am convinced that with the participation of the school and students this will bring about a strong sense of ownership and willingness to make it active and action-oriented,” Ms Delcy pointed out.

Addressing everyone present before the launch, the school’s head teacher, Bergitta Labonte, said the gathering to launch the movement which has brought together a group of different actors is in support of Care’s commitment to continue engaging our students in dialogue, skills development to make them more resilient when faced with situations of substance use.

She noted that for some time now the Anse Royale secondary school has opened its doors to all partners and committed individuals in the community who want to contribute to the development and wellbeing of our students and to share their ideas on how to help the school better address its challenges.

“Since 2018 we’ve had different religious denominations, individuals, government and non-government organisations that have partnered with the school to help it address numerous challenges that it faces,” Ms Labonte pointed out.

She noted that like all secondary schools, Anse Royale has its share of challenges and while there is a lot of talk on the need to improve the education system, we must admit that there are also a lot of external factors that need to be addressed if we want to see the improvement we all want. She therefore stressed that the launch of Casam at the school honours the theme ‘Education is a shared responsibility’.

For her part Mrs Rene retraced the work Care has done in the different schools during its 25 years of existence noting that back then there were only herbal but no hard drugs like today and she recalled that many people then viewed Care’s effort as a waste of time as according to them there were no drugs-related problems in the schools.

“But as our society continues to develop, unfortunately with development came all sorts of problems and substance abuse started eroding the fabric of our families and gradually the hard drugs came in and the impacts were more evident on children whose families were being affected,” she said.

She went on to note that when Care started its awareness and resilience campaign there were no other organisations talking against substance abuse in schools and drug traffickers were already selling their poison in the school compound.

She noted how Care decided to work also with smaller children in primary as the problem there was getting worse as well.

Mrs Rene commended the work Care has done over the years to help and empower many young people and guide them away from substance abuse but she admits that a lot of work still needs to be done to continue helping more young children.

Meanwhile Care, in partnership with secondary schools, has been working on reviewing the Care clubs in secondary schools for over a year now, especially with head teachers, club facilitators and students. The acronym Casam, which was selected by the students themselves, captures the wish of the secondary students to run their movement themselves but of course under the guidance of their teacher facilitators and their head teachers.

The launch ceremony on Friday at the Anse Royale secondary school started with a reflection by the parish priest Father Colin Underwood followed by poems, songs, a display of different key values for resilience, words of inspiration from Casam students as well as a vote of thanks by a student.

The accompanying photos show some highlights of the launch ceremony.


Patrick Joubert

Photo credits: Care



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