This year Alpha is partnering with SERVOL, a Trinidad & Tobago headquartered service organisation engaged in community-based holistic efforts to develop the education, vocational and economic capacity of parents and youth. SERVOL integrates employment training, enterprise development, and individual and community empowerment initiatives in disadvantaged urban and rural communities. Activities include counseling, teaching, and leadership/life skills programs. Since 1974 SERVOL’s school in Trinidad & Tobago has been catering to children who did not progress in the mainstream education system for various reasons. Many SERVOL students successfully graduated from education and vocational programs after attending SERVOL.
At Alpha, professional development training has been provided to staff and is now being integrated into the curriculum. Self empowerment and parental involvement are central to SERVOL and also Alpha’s approach to learning and development. The strategy is one Alpha administration and the Sisters of Mercy who operate the school hope will better prepare students and staff to work together toward the same goals–which is the development of students, families and the community at large.
The development foundations learned through SERVOL are designed to assist young people from underprivileged backgrounds who are having difficulty reaching their educational or employment goals. The program emphasises the building of self-esteem, the acquisition of coping skills, and the development of at least functional literacy. Sessions that focus on self-understanding, self-direction, and self-esteem are also emphasised. After preparation and training the program also takes into consideration the transition from school to work–staying close to the work world by keeping in touch with employers and their needs.