The time has come for adults to listen to young people, take them seriously and give them an opportunity to participate in creating the world which they are going to inherit soon.
This view was expressed today by Consultant to the National Youth Policy, Dr. Ivan Henry, during a site visit at Sheraton Mall Car Park, where the National Youth Forum will be launched on Sunday, June 20.
Dr. Henry is hopeful that one of the positive outcomes of the National Youth Forum would be the establishment of a National Youth Parliament. "We are hoping that a body that is highly representative of young people will emerge from this National Youth Forum and address the issues that affect young people in a serious way and make a number of presentations to the decision-makers of this society at all levels, even … Parliament," he said.
According to him, a steering committee should be set up at the first business meeting after the launch and a series of workshops would be held, so young people could provide information for the National Youth Policy.
Dr. Henry continued: "They are going to be looking at a variety of issues such as unemployment, homelessness, the relevance of the education they are receiving, what kind of new economy and society we ought to be creating in this country."
The consultant noted that information was being gathered since last September, to write this country’s National Youth Policy. He stressed that the Forum was a platform for young people to express their views on issues and "a vital tool for the fleshing out" of the national youth policy.
He insisted that the Forum would be a permanent feature of youth development in this country, where young people would meet regularly to look at issues and share their ideas with the decision-makers of this country.
??"Working Together to Honour and Empower Youth" is the theme of the launch, which will showcase talented young Barbadians, including the band, Strategy. The programme for the launch will run from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. and the public is invited to firstname.lastname@example.org