Define your purpose – PM urges youths at Region Nine Social Cohesion workshop
DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, August 15, 2017
One hundred and twenty-eight participants from 23 villages in the South-Central District of Rupununi are encamped at the St Ignatius Secondary School for an Inter-Village Social Cohesion Exchange programme which is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Social Cohesion.
The one-week programme was launched yesterday with an elaborate opening ceremony featuring Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo who is currently performing the duties of the president. The Prime Minister was also accompanied by Minister of Social Cohesion Dr. George Norton, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, Regional Chairman Brian Allicock, Mayor of Lethem Carlton Beckles and other government and regional officials.
The workshop is the first of its kind and will conclude on August 20. It is aimed at nurturing community relationships among young people and providing them with leadership and other skills. Specific objectives include providing them with information relating to social cohesion, building capacity at the community level for self-growth, developing a cadre of young people who will build cohesive communities and be involved in community projects.
In his feature address, Prime Minister Nagamootoo, reminded the youths of their integral role in developing the nation and urged them to find their purpose in life. The Prime Minister highlighted the importance of socialising despite
differences as he encouraged the youths to “learn from the experiences of others, share your good experiences, avoid the bad ones” adding that “there is an opportunity for you now to define your purpose in life and let these interactions over the next week become valuable tools to guide you in your life.”
The youths were also encouraged to get involved in the modern age of technology and science. “You are brilliant… and you could place yourself in the midst of the revolution for change in Guyana and in the world, so claim your space, you start here with this inter-village movement,” Prime Minister Nagamootoo urged the participants.
Minister Norton in his brief remarks advised the youths to take full advantage of the programme that will empower them, and return to their communities and foster development. He also added that the world today has too much division and conflict but Guyana is the only country that has a mixture of six races without a single war. According to the Minister, social cohesion is the key movement that will propel Guyana forward.
The Minister charged the youths to address social issues such as teenage pregnancy, trafficking in persons and domestic abuse, as they possess ability to do so. “We the older persons have to listen to you the youths, to understand why you do certain things and unless we are prepared to listen to you to get your ideas and to listen to your principles, we are not going to solve this problem,” Dr. Norton said.
“Through this programme the youths will be better positioned to develop themselves personally, as well as to contribute towards the development of all the communities that are here today. There is no doubt that the future of our country lies in the hands of the youths,” Minister Norton highlighted.
Chairman Allicock and Mayor Beckles both commended the Ministry for rolling out the programme in the largest region in the country. They urged the youths to make every second count and underscored their responsibility to go back to their communities and share what they have learnt.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite