ST. MAARTEN / UNITED KINGDOM:--- 9 May 2018 - Since its establishment in 2014, K1 Britannia Foundation has worked with and to support vulnerable youth on the island. Hurricane Irma brought a lot of challenges to the island, one of them being high unemployment. This means that K1’s target group of youth has become much more vulnerable.
K1 is creating training programs in partnership with other organizations on the island to give teenagers the opportunity to get jobs in the boat building and construction fields, which are two very relevant job markets during these upcoming years of rebuilding.
One of the long-term goals of K1 is to create training opportunities abroad for vulnerable youth on the island who do not have the opportunity to benefit from such training on their own.
The belief is that having the chance to study/work abroad for a period of time, broaden one's horizon, vision, possibilities, opportunities and life goals. It gives them a chance to be exposed to an environment that is new and different where no one has any preconceived ideas or has put them in any kind of box. The world becomes a blank canvas for them to create their own imprint on.
One of the foundation’s pilot programs is a 47-week complete boat building apprenticeship program at IBTC Lowestoft in the United Kingdom in collaboration with the K1 Britannia Trust, sister charity of the foundation.
Eighteen-year-old King is one of the recipients who has been given the opportunity to complete this course which besides boatbuilding skills will also additionally cover other relevant skills to gain employment in the marine industry.
“We are very proud of King and with our experience working with him over the last two years, we felt he was the best candidate for this program and also someone who has worked in the maritime industry in St. Maarten and has a desire to continue to do so. This is both an incredible opportunity for this youth as well as the island as King will return with specialized skills that are not currently taught in St. Maarten” said K1 co-founder Priya Thirumur.
The hope is to expand this program further and to be able to send youth abroad, near or far for similar apprenticeships.
“We are very thankful to those who have helped make King's journey so far, one of them being the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta who helped to pay the initial part of King's school fees” added K1 Project Manager Iris Hakkens.
The K1 Second Chance Program gives over 30 vulnerable youth on the island educational and job training opportunities as well as mentors and workshops to guide them to become productive members of society.
The journey has just begun for King, who needs the support of individuals and the business community to help him complete his certification.
Monthly updates on King's progress will be posted on K1 Britannia Foundation’s Facebook and Instagram pages.