The Board of Directors of Teen Challenge Barbados has agreed to suspend the on-residence aspect of the Teen Challenge drug rehabilitation programme in order to facilitate major infrastructural changes.

Teen Challenge has been operating continuously in Barbados since 1996 and during this time has counseled over 600 men, plus scores of family members of men who have fallen to the scourge of drugs and alcohol abuse. They have been able to do so with the support of churches, organizations, companies and individuals. Teen Challenge is appealing for continued support in order to re-instate the on-residence programme, which has been temporarily suspended until January 31st, 2013.

Since 1998, Teen Challenge has been operating from a facility located at the old Mapps College property in Sandford, St. Philip. The main two-storey building which houses the student dormitory and administrative offices, was built in the 1940’s of rubble stone, with a first floor constructed of timber. As with buildings of this nature, maintenance is required constantly and the dorm section suffers from a badly deteriorated, termite-eaten floor and structural cracks in the walls.

Chairman, Andy Downes, explains: “It is therefore partly for this reason that we have decided to suspend the on-residence programme to allow our staff to focus on fund-raising efforts. This will enable us to finish our new office and dorm block that is presently approximately 80% complete. We have been provided an estimate of $90,000 from a well established construction firm, which has offered to assist by contributing their labour and expertise at cost.”

Mr. Downes says that Teen Challenge has met and overcome many challenges with God’s help and the support of caring individual and organizations and is thankful for this support. However, continued support is critical to the continuation of the drub rehabilitation programme.

Anyone wishing to contribute to this worthwhile cause may contact acting Executive Director of Teen Challenge Barbados, Wayne Gibbons at 826-4323 or Program Director, Dean Squires at 822-3222 or via email at teenchallengebarbados@gmail.com

He says, “In addition to seeking the necessary funds for this project, we also need to continue our fund-raising efforts for the operation of the facility, since we will need to make it ready for the students in the next four months. This includes replacing beds, linens, furniture, kitchen utensils and major appliances such as freezers, refrigerators, washing machines and stoves. To this end, we ask for your continued support, both monetary and in kind.

“We are very excited about the completion of this project which will allow us to expand the number of students that can be accommodated in the programme,” Mr. Downes adds, “while providing a facility that is both fit for purpose and aesthetically pleasing.”

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