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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Jamaica gives birth to Caribbean Youth Summit Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Jae, United Kingdom Sep 14, 2007
Freedom of Expression , Global Citizenship   Short Stories


August 22 – 26, 2006 gave birth to the first Caribbean Youth Summit (CYS) dubbed “Treasures of the Caribbean: Transforming Self & Society” which was held at Franciscan Ministries Convent at the Immaculate Conception High School. The CYS represents a forum through which Caribbean youths from: Jamaica, Dominica, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, British Virgin Islands & Virgin Gourda, Guyana, and Antigua exchanged ideas and shared experiences on issues relating to education, culture, spirituality and values, environmental degradation, crime and violence and HIV/AIDS.

The Honourable Vince Henderson, Minister of Youth from Dominica, opened the Summit on The 22nd of August with a keynote address. Presentations and discussions were facilitated Prof. Anthony Harriot, Father Orville Shields, Tamoy Singh, Patrice Lawrence, Jaevion Nelson, Nicholet Brown, Jackie Chen, Judith Wilson, Dr. Elizabeth Ward, Lisa Lake, Michelle de Pass, Prof. Barry Chevannes, Orville Taylor, Mr. Sydney Bartley and Dr. Kingsley ‘Ragashanti’ Stweart. These discussions led to the creation of a charter (i.e. The CYS Charter) to be distributed to Heads of Government and Ministers in the respective countries that were represented.

The CYS Association, Jamaica has thus far handed over the charter to Prof. The Honourable Kenneth Hall – Governor General, who has also agreed to be patron of the Association, The Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller – Prime Minister of Jamaica, Mr. Bruce Golding – Leader of the Opposition, Aloun Assamba – Minister of Tourism and Mr. Anthony Hylton – Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade.

The Association has also held several meetings in preparation to be fully educated advocates for issues affecting Jamaican Youths such as crime and violence, the justice system, education, youth representation, and the psychological effects of bleaching. Plans are underway by a member from the Muslim Community and Medical Sciences student at The UWI to host forums targeted to affected youths who are engaged in this practice. On the 14th of April 2007 a site visit was made to the Manning Boys’ Home in St. Elizabeth. The CYS hopes to launch projects at this site to assist these young people in several areas.

The CYS Association, Antigua has being one of the most successful of all countries that were in attendance at the inaugural summit. To date the charter has been handed over to Prime Minister who is very enthusiastic about the work being done by these young persons who attended the Summit. They have been on several radio and television programmes sensitising about the work of the Summit and were even called to host their own radio programme for a short time. Plans are under way to host an Antiguan Youth Summit in August of this year, in which the Jamaican Chapter of the CYS will be in attendance.

This is a demonstration of the importance we have placed on preserving the treasures of the Caribbean by first transforming ourselves in an effort to develop our societies. Thereby realizing the potential we as young people possess to network so as to be able to impact the lives of other Caribbean young people so as to inspire, inform and involve them in the activities of the CYS and the hundreds of other organisations that exist in the region.

The 2nd Caribbean Youth Summit will be held in Trinidad in 2009.



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