The inauguration of this country’s National Youth Forum (NYF) yesterday has been described by Youth Minister, Stephen Lashley, as more than a "one-off event".

He told those present at the Wildey Gymnasium and others watching the live telecast, that the Forum would be a permanent national institution which would convene in various parts of the island, at fixed times, to discuss youth issues.

In outlining the next step, Minister Lashley observed that "the first order of business for the National Youth Forum will be to make recommendations and to review the draft National Youth Policy.?? All recommendations from the National Youth Forum will be considered for incorporation into the National Youth Policy.?? Once the consultation process is completed, I expect to take the policy to Cabinet before the end of this year and then to Parliament."

According to him, the Forum would partner with Government to ensure a continuous focus on the youth, and would act as a "collaborative platform" to strengthen the capacity of the various youth organisations.??????

"At all general meetings, opportunities will be created to showcase the various talents of young people in Barbados…?? Young people themselves will be responsible for the writing of the NYF constitution with guidance provided by the Ministry of Youth, Family and Sports," he noted.??

Also speaking at last evening’s launch was the Deputy President of the Senate, Kerry-Ann Ifill, who asserted that for too long others had been speaking for the youth.?? "Others have been making our decisions.?? Others have been telling us what we ought to do, when we ought to do it, and in which way we have to get it done.?? This is our chance to take our place, to demand our rights – to stand up and say no longer will we have others do what we know we can do better," she implored.??

The launch saw several young performers, including former Junior Calypso Monarch, Sir Ruel; vocalists, Cherish Breedy and Mahalia of the band Nexcyx; spoken word artist, Adrian Greene; dramatist, Shakila Maynard; dance group, Xtra Hype; and the bands Strategy and Krosfyah.

??Minister Lashley presented a number of youth leaders with scrolls indicating their intention to be among the first participants of the Forum.

Pin It on Pinterest