Observation: Antiguan Young Men Roaming The Streets Abandoned



There are several young men new to the streets, lost, or abandoned, maybe both. Doesn’t anyone in the Happiness Ministry or the Social Services Ministry see them or want to help them.

It really does not matter whether you want to or not you are bound by your Ministry’s portfolio to reach out and help them.

One by one the new ones are moving slowly into madness, clearly sleeping in abandoned places, they roam the streets, corners of their mouths white, and unwashed; does anyone in the Government see them.

The young people want more out of life and are dropping out again, they do not see the point of living on the edge of life for all of their life and reaching nowhere, not even guaranteed to receiving any benefits from the years of grunt work.

When they are forced to witness other young people growing in their country while they are not, disillusionment sets in and they withdraw from society, some in a slow fall while staying on the job, if they have one, going nowhere; and others, drop out into the streets becoming homeless.

With ‘weed’ so easily available to anyone with a few dollars, many young people who have no base, unlike the Rastafari community, smoke on an empty stomach, fall asleep and have hallucinations instead of peaceful reasoning and good dreams. These negative states of being soon lead to an unsound mind, as exhibited by many of these youth roaming the streets, as we watch them deteriorate.

During the open fora prior to the enactment of the Cannabis legislation, concern for this very state was tabled, alerting the forum to the need for rehabilitation centers, where this fallout from mis-use of cannabis could be professionally attended.

It was even raised in the form of a fee from each licensee to cover this casualty of the Cannabis trade.

In their haste to effect the Cannabis legislation in order to hold meetings with the overseas Cannabis groups of investors, the Government who for the most part are old and unfamiliar with ‘weed,’ left the door wide open for the enslavement systems of the past to come to the fore.

Instead of using the systems set in place in the last days of colonial control, where the old leaders established Peasant Development (PDO) which bought product from the farmers who were given plots of land to farm independently.

The Government of today has even more agencies to make the development of a Cannabis trade even more efficient. CMC could be the agency which grades the Cannabis, thereby allowing independent Antiguan farmers who chose to excel by offering the high grade product to get paid accordingly. Instead, unlike past development of the farmers, today’s owners, some of them absentee, have our people on their farms, labourers by the sweat  of their brow, planting ‘Weed’ for a new Massa.

The Ministry of Health, which has been the big sponsor of ‘Medical Cannabis,’ needs to huddle with Social Services and the Ministry of Happiness and resolve this matter of struggling youth yesterday. This is no time to revert to the days when our young men lived on High Street begging for their next crack fix, asking people to kick them and pay them! Get Corporative Cannabis Farms for Youth and allow the young men to industrialize themselves, by monetizing what is now their habit.

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  1. Heartbreaking! These are the young men that Gaston Browne and the ABLP should be reaching out to and trying to get them on some sort of job training schemes or educational programmes.

    I feel it for these guys, when all they want is a better life and a chance to move up on the ladder of life in Antigua.

    Small entrepreneurs like me can only do so much, but the ABLP can offer so much more.

    I’m sure that building contractors require labour around the country to put some hard earned money in their pockets.

    Not ideal, but I’m just throwing work ideas out there to encourage our Prime Minister to do something.

    Again, a Heartbreaking state of affairs!

    • @ Brixtonian: What are u doing to play yr part as an Antiguan….. Where is yr civic pride? Where is yr Samaritan attributes. Everything cannot be on the Gov’t shoulders. We, as residents and citizens also have a responsibility to make a meaningful contribution towards the development of our country.

      • @ Bluddy Bloke, I’ve constantly put my money where my mouth is, and I’m proud to say that over the last 3-4 years I have given work to the SKILLED; SEMI-SKILLED AND THE LABOURER.

        Can you say the same boss?

  2. One secret to a successful business is to offer a service people actually need.
    Businesses young people could start include:
    1) Indoor markets in villages (fresh produce, smoothies, pastries)
    2) Fresh fruit and veg smoothie shops
    3) Village bakeries
    4) Village soup shop
    5) Village ice cream shop
    6) Village Children’s clothing shop
    7) Village school stationery supplies store
    8) Village barbershop
    9) Village hair salon
    10) Village natural hair salon
    11) Affordable small modern rental apartments for locals who are not ready to buy a house yet
    12) Small village plaza with small stores for rental
    12) Village gym
    13) Village amateur sports club – pay to become a member and to use the facilities
    14) Village hiking club
    15) Village sewing lessons
    16) Village crafts lessons
    17) Village woodworking lessons
    18) Village organic health food shop
    19) City art gallery – pay to enter and look at local art displays
    20) Local theatre company
    21) Bowling alley
    22) Sports bar – show pay per view sports (not a place to get drunk)
    23) Online island crafts business
    24) Online handmade island style clothing store
    25) Online local painting store
    26) Local modest clothing store
    27) Bags and accessories store
    28) Local pineapple processing business (make jams, juices, baked goods etc.)
    29) Affordable car leasing business
    30) Village car wash
    31) Local book publishing business (find persons to write about local history, plants etc )
    For any business, just write up a business plan using an online template, team up with some friends or create a sole proprietorship business, borrow a few dollars from a bank and get started.
    No need to walk around hopeless or commit crimes or rely on ganga.
    You’re welcome for the free ideas. Yo can send me $1 as a finder’s fee after you start making the big bucks.

      • Capital – that’s what banks are for. If they have a good plan and commitment to working hard, they can find a lender.
        Supporting and encouraging the youth to try a thing might prevent increasing numbers from despair and homelessness. Also, more businesses being started by other young people means more job openings for those homeless ones.

  3. This “observation” on the absurd. The government choosing to decriminalize marijuana is given as a reason for more young men “dropping out”. The writer should have actually taken some time to engage the brain before putting words on paper. Decriminalization of marijuana is FOR ADULTS so that they do not have a criminal record for a little bush. Parents need to take responsibility for raising their CHILDREN and ensuring their value system is is so robust that they make sound decisions.

    Too many times, people ask, “What is the government doing?” The better question is, “What is their FAMILY doing?” The government has its part to play, but the family has a bigger role to play. In a real way, observations like these come from a particular place and are only written to support a narrow political agenda.

    Writer, you fool no one. Your yellow and blue are peeping out from below your black petticoat.

    • @ Wash an’ Basin

      The writer is downright correct, if the shoe was on the other foot you wouldn’t see it that way.

      As long as its ABLP doing it it is alright, if its someone else doing it is is wrong.


    • Wash ‘an Basin: you are absolutely correct. Government should be the last resort for support and rehabilitating these kids.

      Family first, the Church second and government as a last resort.

  4. On the flip side… How is government responsible for all of them… No self worth on their part? A lot of them nah want none work fu do and they want money, so they take to the streets to beg… We need to be responsible… Everything cannot be the government whether you’re red, orange, green or blue… It’s so tiring…

  5. Judging from the picture, these seems the be the usual old people and vagrants that gather around the market each day. But I guess we can call them grey young people. And even though they were there for many years, let’s say it is because of Gaston Browne and the ABLP government policy. It is the silly season. Why not pin it on this government?

  6. From some of the comments on this thread, the government doesn’t need to get involved whatsoever.

    If that is the case, then these uncaring commentators must then accept the flip-side of not trying to help these young men, and realise that the crime rate in Antigua will continue to rise unabated.

    I despair for my beloved country at times like this …

  7. While I feel saddened by the number of our young men who are roaming the streets, begging, rummaging through garbage bins and being a nuisance in some instances, I believe a lot of them are to be blamed for their situation.
    Some of them choose not to work, but to walk around and beg because people sympathize with them and help them. And some of them have the temerity to get verbally aggressive with you if you don’t give them when they beg. And one time I overheard one of them asked a man for $2. The man said to him, “I can give you $40 if you can come with me and remove some trash by my yard.” The young man replied, ” Tarl, me cyant do that.”
    I keep hearing people complaining that the young men and them can’t get jobs in Antigua that’s why they are on the streets. That’s BS, Every day jobs available are published online. These young men needs to change their mindset and get with the program. Ebryting aru want government to do. Government mussee bring aru into this world.

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