The University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus (UWI FIC) has announced that it has established a social outreach programme that will target the Grays-Green community and inmates within the penal system.
The university says this move forms part of its plan to have a greater impact on the communities neighbouring the campus.
Principal of UWI FIC, Professor Densil Williams, said the committee who will administer the initiative will aim to help the Grays Green Community address some of its social issues.
“The committee is on the cusp of engaging in some social issues in Antigua and Barbuda, and the Grays Farm area will serve as a sort of laboratory for us to carry out some of these activities.
“We are now finalising details to partner with the government on how we can assist in dealing with the issue of ‘street people’ in a more sustainable way,” he remarked.
As a first step, the university’s team will collect information to determine the cause of the “street people” problem, where these homeless or inadequately sheltered people come from and what led them to take to wandering the streets.
UWI FIC will use this data to design intervention programmes that will address the issue, in partnership with the Antigua and Barbuda Institute for Continuing Education (ABICE) to help this vulnerable section of society to become more self-sufficient.
Additionally, the UWI FIC has announced a programme which will target inmates in the prison system that will equip them with the skills needed to reintegrate into society as productive members of the community once they have served their time.
“We have also developed at Five Islands what we call the Life-long Learning Unit. These are short courses that may be pursued on a short-term basis in subjects such as accounting, services management or financial management.
“Interestingly, we are also entering into a partnership with the prison where we are training inmates in entrepreneurship so that when they leave, they can start a business et cetera,” Professor Williams noted.