Engagement of youths in community development essential

DPI, Guyana, Friday, November 15, 2019

Youths in Catherine, Mahaicony, Region 5 have been urged to work towards developing mutually beneficial relationships with both the leaders in their communities and with the government institutions that can help them develop the competence and the skills they need to flourish in life.

“Don’t sit and wait for someone to throw money in your laps. It isn’t going to happen. This government has provided an enabling environment; you need to make full use of the many opportunities which are now available,” Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Hon. Annette Ferguson charged the young people of Catherine.

The youths were part of the audience at a well-attended community meeting held on Thursday evening.

The minister also challenged the adult leaders in the NDC to be creative in determining the types of programmes which can help the youths and vulnerable persons in their communities, overcome the adversities of their circumstances.

“I have always said, being an NDC councillor is not only about making recommendations for roads and bridges and street lights. It is also about coming up with programmes for the development of young men and women; programmes that provide opportunities for them to enhance their knowledge, interests, skills, and abilities and their circumstances in life.”

Minister Fergusons’ comments were made, as the need for better communication and interaction between youths and their community leaders was highlighted. She stressed that the relationship between leaders and youths in a community can be mutually beneficial and lead to a better community on the whole.

“There are government agencies established to also help them. There is the Board of Industrial Training with its training programmes aimed at qualifying young people to be employable or even start their own businesses. Then, there are the many initiatives of Director of Sport, Mr. Christopher Jones… Get organised; form a group, if you want to know about oil and gas, be proactive. You have an Internet Hub in this building. Google the Energy Department; send an email to Head of Department Dr. Mark Bynoe, inviting him to your community to give you information that can help you determine how you can fit in. I am sure he will respond positively,” she said.

In her charge to them, Minister Ferguson concluded by saying, “the government has done much to establish an enabling environment for youth development. It is up to you the leaders and young people to seize the opportunities available to overcome any adversities you may be facing.”

Also, during the community engagement, residents raised individual causes of concern ranging from the need for housing; potable water supply, and sports equipment. Minister Ferguson took notes and assured that she will forward the information to all the relevant agencies concerned for appropriate action.