BACK2LIFE was launched in July, 2012 as the major project of the Rotary Club of Kingston. It is an ambitious programme that involves the delivery of a specially designed programme of one on one mentoring, group mentoring and life skills training. Developed by Lorna Phillips for the BACK2LIFE Foundation, the programme is presently offered at the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre located at Tredagor Park, St. Catherine and approximately 25-30 boys benefit at any one time from the regular bi-weekly visits of a cadre of trained mentors.
The BACK2LIFE Foundation is a registered charity with His Excellency the Governor General as its patron. The Foundation’s purpose is to raise awareness of the issues adversely affecting adolescent boys, not just at the Centre, but nationally, train mentors, raise and manage funds from sponsors, and encourage the implementation of the programmes by other organizations with populations of “at risk” male youth e.g., juvenile centres, children’s homes and schools, across the island – where not only rehabilitation, but prevention is a legitimate goal.
The programme designed to be culturally and socially appropriate, facilitates the growth of mentees and mentors using the latest techniques in coaching, group dynamics and neuro linguistics programming.
The methodology adopted by the project is as a response to the following findings:
- One of the factors that increases a young person’s likelihood of engaging in at-risk behavior is the feeling of a lack of connectedness (to school, parents and society in general)
- Jamaican youth begin to engage in violent behavior at an early age (10-15 years old), which is deemed to be influenced by the levels of exposure to violence both at home and school
- The lives of many at-risk young men are shaped in part by the absence of active male parenting and positive male role models.
Mentorship along with life skills development achieved by life skills training are recognized as two of the best approaches that can positively influence the attitudes and behaviours of at-risk youth.
Community engagement is an undeniably critical part of ensuring that Back2Life Foundation continues to succeed. Whether you’re a public official, teacher, doctor, lawyer or business man, we need your help and involvement.