Interim Steering Committee Members, Rhea Mapp??and Chetwyn Ryce??at the??second business meeting to the National Youth Forum, held last Saturday at the Barbados Community College.

The need for increased political participation of the youth was one of the topics that generated much discussion at the second business meeting of the National Youth Forum (NYF), held last weekend.

Leading the call was Interim Steering Committee Member of the NYF, Chetwyn Ryce, who highlighted the need for young people to be educated about politics and its process.?? He stated that "unbiased information" should be made available through the social networks to which young people gravitate.??

Mr. Ryce, one of the 15 ISC members who were installed by Youth Minister, Stephen Lashley, at the Barbados Community College, also noted that the NYF needed to help to change the image persons have about politics, particularly young people.

??"There is this impression that it [politics] is undermining and dirty.?? We are trying to change that perception… We are going after them [the youth].?? We are not going to be cooped up in an office, we are going out there to speak to these young people because, in my opinion, only our generation can reach our generation … We have to go after them.?? It will not be easy and will not bring quick results but …we will see results," he said.

The NYF participants called for the involvement of young people at constituency council meetings; for politicians to be accessible to the youth and for the NYF, once fully operational, to establish a parliament to shadow members of the House of Parliament.

Other topics discussed were: unemployment, education, the family, core values, lifestyle diseases, housing, gangs and the environment.?? lbayley@barbados.gov.bb??????????????

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