Youths with disabilities meet to find solutions to challenges they face
Youths in Guyana living with disabilities are participating in an inaugural conference to discuss the problems they face and brainstorm appropriate solutions to bridge any gaps, a move that Prime Minister Brigadier (retd) Mark Philips says is important.
The National Youth with Disabilities Conference 2022 was launched on Friday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown. This is in observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, and is part of the USAID funded Youth Advocacy, Leadership, Linkages in Elections and Society (Youth ALLIES) programme.
During the opening ceremony, the Programme Manager at the Guyana Council of Organsisation for Persons with Disabilities, Ganesh Singh, said this significant launch marks the first of many conferences that will ensure that young persons with disabilities are able to voice their concerns and strategise solutions to create better opportunities for them to live their lives and contribute to society.
The Prime Minister, during his feature remarks, said these discussions are important and must be had by the youths so they can make decisions about their future.
“Today our youth with disabilities meet to discuss issues affecting their community; these youth must be provided a space to share their ideas so that they can be heard and (these ideas) be implemented. We wish to see every Guyanese rise and shine.
“We [the government] believes that our youths with disabilities can, and must, make a more meaningful contribution to national development and so we are prepared to work with these young people,” the Prime Minister said.
Also in attendance were the US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah Ann Lynch, the High Commissioner of India to Guyana KJ Srinivasa and Meredith Applegate, the country Director from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), which supports the right to participate in free and fair elections.
The US Ambassador said the conference is a step in the right direction to ensure people with disabilities in Guyana are afforded equal opportunities.
“When people with disabilities are afforded equal access to exercise their rights and realize their aspirations, all of society benefits from their potential, talent, and productivity,” the US Ambassador said.
Over the course of two days, the youths participating will discuss topics such as voting rights for persons living with disabilities, leadership roles and civic life, laws that protect persons living with disabilities from discrimination of all forms. They will also make recommendations that address areas within the Guyana Disability Act, 2010 that need to be developed.