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One mentor says it takes the whole community to keep young people on the right track, a goal he says is getting harder to achieve.
Lincoln Robertson is a volunteer with the boys to men programme, And he says there are many reasons young people lead a life of crime, and believes it all starts at home.
Cayman 27’s Philipp Richter has more.

“There is nothing we can do about it, we can only do our best,” said Boys To Men Volunteer, Lincoln Robertson.

Some youth in Cayman have a reputation for bad behavior, but boys to men volunteer Lincoln Robertson says they’re often just a product of their environment.

“Your father in prison, your mother is away, your grandmother, your grandmother don’t have no time because she has to go hunting for the money fi put food on the table, it’s an issue,” said Mr. Robertson.

Parental neglect, intentional or not, can force  young people to take their survival into their own hands.

“Imagine your child leave home, you don’t check if the child eat breakfast, you don’t check if the child has lunch money, you don’t care, so if you don’t care, the child maybe has to go pon the road, sell drugs, hustle money to go school,” said Mr. Robertson.

With a lack of supervision, teens may feel they can do whatever they want, whenever they want.

“No parents ask where they is , them na know where they is, some mother is without a father because the mother has to work all two jobs, there is no father to over govern them,” said Boys To Men Volunteer, Lincoln Robertson.

Disenfranchised youth may start to gravitate toward one another, and start to form real gangs.

Mr. Robertson continued, “time gone, we have a set of youth last year, some of them couldn’t stay in george town, as the school is over they have to rush to west bay because it’s a gang ting going on.”

Regardless of their action, Mr Lincoln believes most are good deep inside.

“The guys are ok, but the discipline and manners with them, is not there, that has nothing to do with the teacher, that has nothing to do with the ministers, that has to do with the parents from home,” said Mr. Robertson.

He hopes more care at home will mean less crime in the streets.
Mr. Robertson says the boys to men group can break this cycle by teaching positive social skills such as good manners…respect and self-esteem at John Gray High-school.

About the author

Philipp Richter

Philipp Richter

Philipp Richter was born in Austria and moved to the Cayman Islands at the age of three. Throughout his life, he has always enjoyed documenting his surroundings with cameras. Studying television broadcasting and communications, he now can show the reality of life in Grand Cayman to the public.

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