The historic Inaugural National Youth Conference came to close this evening leaving young people clamoring for more. Hundreds of young people from across Guyana, over the past three days, engaged in meaningful dialogue and made recommendations regarding issues affecting them.
Tianna Blount expressed gratitude to the youth department for providing a platform where young people could share ideas and express opinions. Blount stated that “it is a wonderful initiative and I must say I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this conference. We are cognizant that the relevant authorities have more demanding tasks at hand that need to be dealt with; however, to organize such a conference demonstrates that they have our interest at heart and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of it.”
Kadi-Ann Rowe said the conference was more than what she bargained for and is hopeful that the ideas and recommendations put forward by the young participants are carefully considered and action is taken Additionally, Rowe said as a result of the conference, she is now equipped with the tools necessary to lead.
She explained that “young people want to be involved but in order to be a part of something; to really hold a position in governance, there needs to be capable and we need to build that capacity to function in positions when we are placed there.”
One young man, Noah Rajak said that it was refreshing being able to network and discuss topical issues with young people from every region. Rajak noted that he was particularly intrigued by the plenary session on youth health and well-being. “As someone who would have studied Natural Sciences and is planning on heading into the life sciences field, I found it of the utmost importance that everyone takes good health and their well-being into their own hands,” he stated.
Director of Youth, Melissa Carmichael-Haynes hailed the conference a success noting that the “objectives of the conference were achieved” based on the response from the young people. The goals outlined focused on networking, closing cultural gaps, building a cohesive youth body and providing young people with a safe space for meaningful discussions.
The Youth Director further added that “the recommendation is for us to present a paper to our subject minister and to the relevant agencies, based on the topics that were discussed. This is to push for action from the agencies so that we can provide feedback to the young people.”
Youths who could not attend the conference, have been assured by the Youth Director that the department will continue to have similar activities to give young people a voice.
The Inaugural National Youth Conference was held under the theme “Youth Perspective for Empowerment and Development for a Better Guyana”.