Full Disclosure
August 17, 2007

A new trend in youth expression

The youth of our nation constitute the largest and ablest sector of our national population. It is therefore clear and without question that any government policy or action which seeks overtly or covertly to isolate or maginalise young people can only retard the development of a nation. Today our nation has in countless ways and through countless young persons and youth organisations exhibited that we will spare no effort in ensuring that the talents of our young people are positively engaged in the process of national development.{{more}}

As an advocate of Youth Empowerment I must take this opportunity to commend Senior Crown Counsel Camillo Gonsalves on his acceptance of the opportunity to represent our country as the next Ambassador to the United Nations. I have worked directly with Brother Camillo for the past two years and I have extreme confidence in his level of expertise. It is indeed a noble task to represent the interest of our people at one of the highest levels in the international environment, and more so, where our region and nation are constantly bombarded by the excesses of globalization and their resultant impact. It was however interesting to listen to the unfolding of the democratic voices of our people arguing both for and against the appointment. With respect to all comments from all quarters, the long and short of the issue is that our nation is expressing greater confidence in our national youth product.

If one is to analyse the ascension of our nation’s youth to positions of great esteem in recent times, it is clear that the approach to entrust confidence in our youth is more than a one off event, instead it is a clear national policy.

During the formative years of my youth, it was repeatedly told to us that, “We are the men and women of tomorrow.” One must admit that we are living in a period of very fast approaching tomorrows. As the new millennium unfolds its numerous challenges, more and more of our youth would have to be drawn to the frontline to face the heat. As we are called to the fore to meet the challenges of new responsibilities as youth we must at all times ensure that our seniors are treated with extreme respect in their bid to nurture our growth, since the process of passing the baton must forever remain seamless.

If one looks at a fallen tree, many times it is difficult to visualise the beautiful furniture that can be made from such. When mention was first made of a need for a mammoth investment in our youth product in the form of an education revolution it was really an attempt to establish a training ground for our nation’s youth to take on the challenges that we face at a much younger age. We are therefore to expect in times to come that more of our youth will be asked to plunge into the deep end of the work pool at younger ages. Simply, it is a product of a revolution in education.

Everyday one hears the talk on the ground; our nation’s youth are leaving for institutions of higher learning in droves. I see a day coming when we will have invested in our youth product so heavily, that we will become a centre for academic learning in the region, a regional satellite shining radiantly from the south. That is a dream we must work extremely hard to realize with the sole intent of lifting national pride. It is only by adopting such an approach through the implementation of policies and programmes geared towards youth development that we can readily utilise the abundant resources of our youth, their energy and that of our people.

There is a definite mass educational plan, both through the formal school system and through out-of-school training programmes which can equip our people with the skills and qualities to enable them to make a greater contribution to the present and future development of this our blessed nation.

If we are to harness the human capital readily available from our youth there must be the appropriate mechanisms in place to ensure that relationships are forged on the basis of principles such as partnership through open communication, trustworthiness, mutual respect, reciprocity, and adult support or facilitation.

Community participation and support are critical to the sustainability and productivity of our youth as we attempt to build the structures which support our body politic. This element increases the motivation of our youth peer educators and parents, as well as the responsiveness to the group of persons that our youth would ultimately have to serve.

May God richly bless the efforts of the youth of our nation, and the persons who have confidence in them.