Hon Hamilton tells STEP workers: Government is playing its role in resolving conflicts

Basseterre, St. KittsApril 23, 2019 (S.T.E.P.) — Community enhancement workers on the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) have been told that conflicts lead to social degradation and while the government is doing its part in resolving the conflicts, conflict resolution starts with the individuals.

The Hon Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Agriculture, et al, and Area Parliament Representative for St. Christopher Eight, made the remarks on Thursday April 18 at a Soft Skills training session on Conflict Management that was held at the St. Peter’s Community Centre for the STEP community enhancement workers from the Stapleton, St. Peter’s, New Road, and Dorset areas.

“This session that we are having is part of government’s role and responsibility to help to do away with, and to use incidents of conflict to help to edify you to raise the bar so that we can have less and less conflicts,” said the Hon Hamilton who added that conflicts lead to social degradation, and was one of the reasons that people join gangs.

The Soft Skills training sessions on Conflict Management are being facilitated by Dr Neals Chitan, an International Social Skills Consultant and Crime Reduction Specialist, and President of Motiv-8 For Change International. The sessions of Conflict Management have now been held for all the STEP Community Enhancement Groups on St. Kitts.

“Conflict resolution starts with you, and how you deal with it – how we all deal with it,” advised the Hon Hamilton. “We must understand that it starts with us and not the government.”

The Minister told the STEP community enhancement workers that while the government could do what it can, including spending money, “if you do not have certain values in you, there is going to be a lot of conflict. In order to resolve conflicts we must at least embrace that spirit which communes with God.”

Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister with direct responsibility for the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP), Mr Osbert DeSuza, reiterated that the STEP and the government in general is making attempts to deliver Soft Skills training on Conflict Management so as to raise the bar with the STEP workers.

“That is something that we at the STEP think it is absolutely necessary for the efficient running of the programme,” said Mr DeSuza. “When there are conflicts, productivity goes down, and we do not want that. We want people on the STEP to be in a position to be productive.”

He ended his remarks by telling the STEP community enhancement workers: “Don’t just learn, but put what you learn into practice.”

While delivering remarks at the opening ceremony, Mr Emile Greene, Acting Director of the STEP noted: “STEP is in the process of organising a number of Soft Skills training workshops for you – a number of Soft Skills training workshops have been arranged. This one is Conflict Management and you have others including Money Management, Civic Responsibility, one that deals with Gender Issues mainly of female relationships and others.”

Added Mr Greene: “You may ask: why is it important to you? It is simple: You are here this morning being given the opportunity to learn skills that can assist you, not just on the job, but in your homes, in your community, in church and of course when you go out to work. Soft Skills is something that every single person should have.”

The opening ceremony was chaired by the STEP Field Coordinator Mr William Phillips. In attendance included the STEP Accountant Mr Clive Nias; the STEP Senior Field Officer Mr Jason McKoy; the STEP Field Supervisors Mr Spencer MacLean, Mr Arthur Richards, Mr Kennedy Collins, and Ms Mildred Tyrell; and Motiv-8 For Change International Administrative Assistant Mrs Patsy Chitan.

The Soft Skills training session at the St. Peter’s Community Centre was the last in the series ‘Conflict Management’. According to Permanent Secretary Mr Osbert DeSuza, there will be a two weeks’ break before the Soft Skills training sessions resume with the series ‘Civic Responsibilities’. The first in the new series will be held at the St. Paul’s Community Centre.

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