Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Preserve the positive part of LifeSport

 The structure that was LifeSport has been broken down and members of the public are clamouring for the pieces to be thrown away. But let us not be too hasty.

I know of many billion-dollar corporations that never invented anything, but made it their business to improve on the inventions of others.

Using this model while picking through the ruins that was LifeSport, let us look for the pieces we can use to improve this programme.

While I hold no brief for the architect of this programme, one must admit the programme, most importantly, was able to capture thousands of at-risk youths who might have fallen through the cracks, only to emerge with a gun in hand.

At present, we are busy pointing fingers and calling for heads to roll, but let us not forget the good that might have come from the programme, if it was properly organised and managed. I believe it is time we put structures in place to address the youths who did not make it successfully through the traditional educational system. We spend billions and boast of how many preschool centres are built and are being successfully operated, but little is done to solve the problem of the post-school indigent.

Maybe we need not only preschool but post-school centres using the model of LifeSport to capture these at-risk youths and help them to develop positive attitudes and behaviours.

I, personally, have taken the time to work with some of these youths in Malabar and the problem is not that they do not want to change; their problem is they do not know how to proceed to make that change.

Let us spend some time and put the necessary resources and expertise together to pay attention to these young people who are crying out for guidance. Let us build some post-school centres. Let us start in the so-called hotspots and correct the failures and build on the successes before expanding nationwide.

Time is running out and while many seek to destroy the forest let us not forget the forest is made up of many valuable trees.

Hugh Gabriel