Trinidad & Tobago is all too familiar with violence. Every month it seems we hear of yet another brutal killing. While extreme acts of violence receive the most media attention, many more victims suffer quiet acts: slap in the face, degrading words, or controlling finances. Violence pervades every aspect of a person's life, limiting our country's growth. In 2005, the cost of sexual and domestic violence in T&T was $488 million TTD. For the future of Trinidad and Tobago, we need to MAKE IT STOP.
Our Youth Empowerment Program tackles violence at the root cause: our society's acceptance. This 12 week program is the first of its kind in Trinidad, and provide young people with the the tools to develop healthy relationships, address conflict productively, and envision brighter futures for themselves. Through concerts, spoken word performances, interactive workshops, and rallies, teens gain confidence and awareness that violence is not acceptable.
When young people have the tools and skills to recognize and stop violence in their own lives, they stop the cycle of violence. When Shannon has her first boyfriend, she will no longer see "love taps" (or slaps) as a sign of affection. When Keith has a family of his own, he won't tolerate the abusive "discipline" of his children. Violence in a society is a huge challenge to tackle, so beginning with youth sets in motion a ripple of change for generations.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).