Young people are now ‘on-call’ with a weed whacker at the ready to clean resident’s yards island-wide and earn some money, thanks to a primary school teacher who pumped his own money into a neighbourhood project.
Nathaniel Boyce, a Physical Education Teacher at Luther Thorne Memorial Primary School, is the founder of the Youth on Call Weed Wacker Project.
He has armed a team of four youngsters with a string trimmer, shears, a tank of gas, garbage bags, t-shirts – and business cards – for the combined cost of $1,200.
The teacher said after realising people in his community were in need of jobs, he decided to see how he could assist.
He told Barbados TODAY: “I lived in the community, I would have gone to school with some of the fellows and a lot of the guys I know would have come from varying backgrounds but they would not have had the support that I had growing up and they would have made bad choices.”
Boyce tried his hand at elective politics, eventually losing the Labour Party’s primary in the St Michael South constituency in a landslide by eventual winner and incumbent Kirk Humphrey. But despite the defeat, members of the community continue to call on him for assistance, he said.
“The fellows came and asked me if I could get some work for them and I told them that I could do better than that I can provide some equipment, a smaller project and I empower you whereby I give you a head start.
“Some fellows said they were interested. I have been creating some business cards for them, so it looks a bit more professional. I have also given them some shirts with the logo as well so that when they go around they know that we mean business.
“I try and encourage them that when they go on the job, they are representing the programme and themselves.”
So far, there are four participants in his Youth on Call Weed Wacker Project who range from ages 27 to 35, he said.
Two participants, Rohan Walcott and Terroni Jordan, told Barbados TODAY the programme is needed in Brittons Hill.
“I think the programme is a good thing because they are a lot of young persons outside that really need a job. It is benefitting us because we have households and children and other things to do besides sit down on a block.”
Jordan told Barbados TODAY he hopes the initiative will help to deter members of the youth from going on the block.
“It will benefit me and the rest of youths that out there looking for something. Hopefully, everything will come through and it would get certain people from off the block. I hoping everything works out with this little project.”
Boyce said the members of the group were going into various communities around the island and were scheduled to head into Westmoreland, St James. (LG)