October 21, 2005
NYC’s message

by Michael Johnson – President

Fellow Youths and other Vincentians. As President of the National Youth Council, I bring you greetings from my executive and its affiliates.

As we celebrate 26 years of political Independence, I want you to keep at the back of your head what independence means to you and in so doing, demonstrate your crystallized understanding of such.

It is important that we reflect on the past, present and make the critical and logical decisions needed to take you into the future. The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘One people one vision, celebrating 26 years as a nation’ is indeed a timely one.{{more}}

As a people we cannot dismiss all the past suffering and relinquish or reduce the asset base we have worked so hard to achieve. Our socialization must embrace a high degree of moderation, so as to ensure that we stay clear of the boundaries of social ills that befall us as young people from time to time.

Many of the issues that affect young people are multifaceted. No single service can deal with them alone. They require a co-ordinated response based on an audit of existing services, partnership between voluntary organizations, with business and industry, and with different parts of the private sector. This may require some redistribution of consolidation of existing programmes and budgets. Not least, services need to be shaped by the views of young people themselves and by their direct involvement in delivering services to their peers. We need to provide youth friendly communities.

As we celebrate 26 years as a nation, we should not ignore the many challenges that we face each day; I speak of issues concerning crime and violence especially among our young people. The NYC has been and continues to be vocal on this issue and appeal to our young people to stop the violence now and engage yourself in meaningful activities which would elevate your lives. We need to be our brother’s keeper in these terrible times.

The issue of HIV/AIDS is also of great concern. Statistics show that there are 38 new cases for the first 6 months of this year of HIV, with 22 of those 38 being full blown AIDS. The concern is that if we are not mindful we can loose our most important resource, which is our youthful population. NYC will continue with its education drive programmes as we seek for a more collective approach to help curb this epidemic.

I therefore urge all of us as young people to stick to our formidable task with vigilance, pride and common sense.

May God richly bless us as we reflect on our nation’s rich history and strive to build on what we have for the future of our generation.

Thank you.