Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Youth forum ‘here to stay’


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THE NATIONAL YOUTH FORUM will not be a “one-off event”.It will be a permanent, national institution which will convene in various parts of Barbados to discuss youth issues and to make recommendations to the Government with respect to the policies that impact on youth.This was pointed out by Minister of Youth, Family and Sports Stephen Lashley, as he delivered the feature address at the launch of the National Youth Forum at the Wildey Gymnasium last Sunday. The minister, who announced the initiative in April when Barbados hosted the Commonwealth Youth Ministers, said he had been “truly amazed and touched by the spontaneity and deliberate manner in which hundreds of young people demonstrated their willingness to be part of this historic initiative.While the minister assured the youth that their recommendations would seriously be considered by “Government in keeping with our quest to empower our youth”, he stated that the first order of business for the forum was to review and draft the national youth policy.“Young people themselves will be responsible for the writing of the national youth forum constitution with the guidance from the Ministry of Youth, Family and Sports. I do hope that the National Youth Forum will be seen as a key component of transporting our economy by means of innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said.“It is clear to me that as we move forward towards achieving our goal of becoming a developed country that we cannot do so without the active involvement of our youth.“Our country stands at the crossroads with the choice of moving forward based on a new approach to productivity and with youth at the forefront, or we can continue old and outdated habits that will retard our growth potential and deaccelerate the pace of our development as a people,” he said.Meanwhile, chairman of the forum, Dr Ivan Henry, said: “The national youth forum will be a powerful tool of our youth. It will honour young people by recognising that they bring new ideas, creativity and energy to the table. It will empower young men and women by giving them more opportunities for education and training.” (AH)


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