Yesterday we held our regular weekly kids clubs, and the youth club afterwards, and it was one of those more challenging days.
The groups are still forming, getting used to a new mix of personalities in each group after the summer break, and remembering what behaviour is ‘normal’ at club and what behaviour is not.
Schools have also been closed this week because of the hurricane, which narrowly missed Jamaica, which meant that there are less positive structures in the children’s lives than normal … which in turn affects their behaviour. So we had many distractions, altercations, discipline issues etc. etc. to deal with.
After the youth club, which had similar issues, I had a moment of feeling; “what are we doing this for?!”
We then sat down as a leadership team to review the programme, and I was struck by the fact that all nine leaders (other than myself) had been young people in our programmes themselves. They too had moments of testing the boundaries, yet are now patiently and lovingly responding to children who do the same to them.
As we were leaving the community at almost 9pm there was a dance party in the street. Children as young as 4 were there, completely unsupervised, gyrating away to very explicit music.
What are we doing this for? To offer a much needed alternative to the next generation of children in these communities.