Youth Innovation launched – to foster innovative minds

GUYANA, GINA, Monday, May 22, 2017

The Youth Innovation Project of Guyana’ (YIPoG) will afford youths the opportunity to solve problems within their communities by designing, developing and producing innovative ideas. This will be facilitated using Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Anthropology, Archeology, Arts, Architecture, Mathematics and Spirituality (STEAMS).

Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry (centre), Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan (right) and Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma viewing some of the booths at the launch of the project

The project under the purview of the Ministry of Education’s Department of Culture Youth and Sport, was today, launched under the theme, “Aspire, Inspire to Reach” at the Umana Yana, Kingston, and coincides with Youth Week. The project is funded by the Government of Guyana to the value of $50M, and targets youths between the ages of 16 and 35 years in all 10 Regions.

The project is a collaborative effort among ministries, regional, international and corporate agencies. Other partnerships and supporting organisations include the Youth Entrepreneurship and Skills Training Programme (YEST), Volunteerism Support Platform (VSP) and the President’s Youth Award Republic of Guyana (PYARG).

Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry said YIPoG is the flagship programme for the department of youth, adding that it is the first of its kind to be introduced in Guyana. The Minister noted that to be innovative requires youths to be willing to devote themselves fully and unreservedly to making their ideas a reality.

Minister Henry pointed out that Guyana needs its young people to showcase their inherent creativity. The Minister explained that, “youths

Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry

are certainly the backbone of every nation, they can change the future of the society through innovation, professionalism and creativity, but they must be guided, they must be empowered and they must be given a platform.”

The Minister pledged to create an enabling environment which allows for open and free competition and for innovation to bloom. The government, according to the Minister, will continue to work and collaborate with both local and international agencies and organisations, to provide young people with the opportunities and support needed to equip them for life in the twenty first century.

“We believe that this project when implemented will help every Guyanese to realise their full potential as long as they are fully committed… the Government of Guyana will spare no pain in ensuring that our youths are educated and trained,” the Minister stated.

In attendance of the launch were Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, who is performing the functions of president, Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma, Director of Culture, Melissa Carmichael-Haynes, Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson, Director of Sports, Christopher Jones, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Guyana and Suriname, Sylvie Fouet and other government and non-governmental officials.

Other platform for youths

In addition to the launch of the project, Minister Henry also announced that the Ministry will also look at launching its youth desk. The desk, the Minister said, will seek to provide information on all government programmes that are available for our young people in the year 2017.”

Minister Henry noted that the programmes are cross-cutting and involve several Ministries which include the Ministries of Social Protection, and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs among others government agencies.

Aside from the youth desk, Minister Henry explained that next year, the Ministry of Education’s Department of Youth will be implementing its youth corps. This is another bold step, the Minister said, that recognises the importance of youths. The Minister explained that, “our future is tied to their development and (youths) are an essential ingredient for economic, political and social stability.”

Youth Week

Additionally, during this week, the youths will be given the opportunity to showcase their talents, share their experiences, discuss their problems and be informed about opportunities and services available to them for their development.

Some of the students and stakeholders gathered at the launch of the youth innovation project

According to the Minister, Youth Week will not only serve to showcase what youths can do, but also what they are doing. Minister Henry urged youths to take full advantage of Youth Week and use it, “to understand the true value of education” adding that, “it is only through real education that you will be able to read, write, think, understand, analyse and discuss issues that affect this country.”

The activities for Youth Week from Tuesday, May 23, 2017 include Suicide Awareness Workshops at Bladen Hall Secondary School, Region Four and at Number 50 Village, and the launch of Youth Friendly Space, Region Six. On Wednesday May 24, youths will be welcomed at D’Urban Park for a Career and Training exercise and on Thursday, May 25, there will be a youth symposium at the Guyana Police Force’s Training Centre on Camp Road.



By: Isaiah Braithwaite