May 29, 2015
PM outlines seven-point plan for youth

A seven-point Agenda for Youth Empowerment (AYE) was on Sunday, rolled out by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

The seven policy goals were outlined as Gonsalves spoke to a large contingent of young people at the Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) Youth Arm Convention on Sunday, May 24,{{more}} held under the theme: “Empowering our youth,” at the Thomas Saunders Secondary School on May 24.

Gonsalves told young party supporters that the first limb of the plan is geared towards economic empowerment, which he said will facilitate the building of youth entrepreneurship. He noted that across the country, many young people are involved in businesses. He stated that those who are involved in farming will receive money from the Farmers Support Company. Those outside of agriculture, he said, would receive assistance in the form of seed money totalling $300,000, which he will make available so that they could start their own businesses.

The second element of AYE will focus on educational empowerment, which Gonsalves said seeks to continue to provide quality education and training to aid the development and abilities of all children, adolescents and youths, so as to enhance the quality of their lives, livelihood and opportunities for further upliftment.

For the third goal, “AYE will also provide protection, safety and security for young people to enable the creation of protective environments to foster resilience and ensure adolescent and youth safety and security.”

AYE will also focus on health, well-being and housing, to improve the health and holistic well-being of adolescents and youth and to ensure quality housing at affordable prices.

The fifth policy goal, Gonsalves said, will focus on culture, identity and citizenship.

“It is geared towards enhancing the development and appreciation of a Vincentian and Caribbean civilization, identity and commitment in the quest of an alive nationhood for our country and a mature regional integration.”

The plan also involves a policy and institutional framework, which he said he would support the effective implementation of the national, regional and global policies for youth development.

The seventh policy goal under the AYE will be geared towards leadership, participation, inclusiveness and governance.

“Each of those words is pregnant with meaning. And these, as we have been demonstrating, are to ensure and enhance youth participation at all relevant and appropriate levels of decision making, programme implementation and oversight. And that is why this party is attracting so many young people and involving them in governance of St Vin­cent and the Grena­dines,” Gonsalves said. (KW)