Launched in 2019, the YMCA Prevent and Protect initiative is aimed at lowering instances of child abuse and neglect in the Cayman Islands by empowering youth and adults with knowledge, tools, and safe spaces to share and grow.
This process begins with ensuring that all youth are safe within YMCA programmes. The YMCA of the Cayman Islands follows stringent child protection policies and procedures throughout all youth settings. We encourage parents and guardians to ask important questions when signing their child/ren up to any programme .
During YMCA programmes, youth develop important communication skills through numerous social and emotional learning programmes and workshops. Social and emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Learning these skills at a young age is linked to lowered bullying, drug use, teen pregnancies, school dropout and violence(ref).
Island wide, youth aged five to nine years old in the Extended After-School programme have had the opportunity to go through the Zippy’s Friends and Apple’s Friends emotional literacy programme. The programme, which is provided by the Alex Panton Foundation, covers the modules feelings, communication, friendship, conflict, change and loss, and moving forward To learn more about this programme in the Cayman Islands please click here (https://alexpantonfoundation.ky/zippy/).
Below are some easy reference questions and answers for YMCA youth programmes.