This program is organised by The Rotary Club of St. Kitts to establish the training and certification of selected young men in the use of SCUBA equipment, resulting in them obtaining an internationally-issued and recognized Scuba Certification Card (“C-Card”).
The idea is to train three “at risk” youth and one Coast Guard member in each 4-person training group. This will benefit the Coast Guard Service by increasing their present grossly inadequate number of certified scuba divers, while at the same time fostering close interaction between an arm of the security forces and young men at risk of becoming involved in criminal activity. Scuba training should appeal to young men, and its only requirements are an ability to swim and to read.
Scuba certification has a large and varied number of benefits in that it:
1. is an economically marketable skill in both the Tourism and Fishery industries;
2. fosters environmental awareness;
3. builds self-confidence;
4. inculcates co-operation through its requirement of the “buddy system” for mutual safety;
5. is an activity that obliges persons to be calm and disciplined in that it cannot be done in speed and requires step-by-step donning and checking of equipment; and
6. is fun!
A scuba certification course can be completed in about 48 hours of instruction and includes a mandatory minimum of two actual dives. All of this can be spread out over a number of days or weeks to allow the material to be easily and properly covered and absorbed. Literature is provided through local instructors from international certification organizations (eg. PADI).
Three local diving instructors who have their own commercial dive operations have indicated their willingness to volunteer their services in order to implement the project.