National Youth Week 2018 was launched today at the D’Urban Park, Georgetown with Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. George Norton touting the skills of Guyanese youth.
Observed under the theme: “Empowering young people to foster Youth and Community development through innovation,” the week seeks to inculcate values of civic engagement and leadership in youth, preparing them to contribute meaningfully to society.
While addressing a mammoth crowd of youth, the Minister posited, “Youth are Guyana’s greatest asset and added, “The achievement of every person adds to the growth of the entire nation.”
More than acknowledging that all youth have the potential to contribute to national development, the Minister also highlighted that young people have already proven their “worth”.
“In our nation, we have young people making strides in every facet of our society and we ought to celebrate them,” he said.
The Minister singled out a few remarkable young people making a name for themselves while adding to the overall development of the nation. Local fashion designer Randy Madray was one such person Minister Norton identified for “blazing the trails” in fashion and design.
Cognizant of this, he pledged support for young people all across the country, particularly through the creation of activities such as the Youth Week which provides a channel for young people to establish contacts, create networks and work together to build a better Guyana.
Adding to Minister Norton’s address was Director of Youth, Melissa Carmichael who noted that, “One cannot mistake the importance of Youth work, hence all should get involved and do their parts ensuring that Guyana’s youth are adequately equipped to not only be the leaders of tomorrow but be the agents of change and development partners of the present.”
She stressed how critical it is to promote youth involvement and provide means for them to share their experiences so that investments can be made into their education and development.
According to her, this will have a ripple effect where the young people will be able to adapt, thrive and generally contribute to Guyana’s development.
Advocating on behalf of young people was youth advocate, Chelsie France, who noted that community development is vital for young people to thrive.
According to her, community development by way of access to health, education and a good life sustainable for all, can be achieved through President Granger’s ‘Green State’ initiative.
France said, “I believe that as young people, our task is major [sic] in community development. Though innovation we will be able to build strong, cohesive and sustainable communities that will be enhanced in gnerations.”
The week of activities will continue on Monday with a Youth Forum to discuss policies and youth issues in Region 10; there will be a Career Knowledge Fair at the Mahaicony Technical Institute on May 22 in Region Five; the Youth Business Summit will be held at the Pegasus Hotel on May 24 and 25; and finally, an Exhibition and Display will be held on May 27 in Region Three.
The National Youth Week was reintroduced in 2017 after several years and was hailed as a resounding success, benefiting hundreds of communities by enacting a youth-focused approach to development.