Participants at the??three-day 2009 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) workshop??listen attentively during the ceremony at Kensington Oval.

A timely reminder has gone out to the youth across the region to be cognisant of their duty to future generations.

It was given by the Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, last Friday, as she addressed delegates and participants at the official closing ceremony of a three-day 2009 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) workshop at Kensington Oval.

Dr. Byer Suckoo noted that each generation paved the way for the other one after it, "and just as I am mindful that my decisions and actions affect you, you now have a responsibility to the children, the ones behind you, to illuminate the way… You are old enough to think about those younger than yourselves now," she implored the young adults.

The Youth and Family Minister told them that Government would continue to be attentive to the important concerns of the day, including climate change, HIV/AIDS, CSME, and human rights.?? These and other topical issues, she stated, "affect not only the current working generation, but will also impact their livelihoods and those of future generations.

"You have a role to play in the progress of society and I cannot express enough the need to capitalise on that… These are issues that affect you … Be aware of them, be informed, and be a voice.?? ??The future is in your hands.?? Do not wait for others to chart the way for you.?? You have a voice.?? You have ideas that will bring about change and that can be used to change your world and even to influence policy in your respective countries," she remarked.

Over 200 delegates, including some 50 regional representatives, participated in the workshop, held under the theme "The Future is in your Hands".?? Awards for outstanding performance during the short course were presented to Shanivia Lynvell from Suriname; Giselle Holder and Makasi Paul of Trinidad and Tobago; and St. Lucian, Rawle Joseph.

RYLA 2009 was organised by the Rotary Club of Barbados, Rotary West and Rotary South.?? RYLA is Rotary’s leadership training programme for young people.?? It emphasises leadership, citizenship, and personal growth.??

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