Youths push greater involvement in politics and community works

─ ‘Youths have the ears of the Coalition Government’ – Dir. of Youth assures

─ Youths gather for dialogue at ProGuyana Forum

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The importance of youth civic engagement in politics was underscored when hundreds of youths from across the country gathered at the Theatre Guild, Saturday last, for the ProGuyana Forum. Organiser, Denis Glasgow noted that the voices of youth will be heard through intensified involvement in socio-political and community activities.

“We need to redefine, recharge and represent the way we raise our children and young people, we need to empower them to become critical thinkers and encourage them to start questioning things; systems,” Glasgow explained.

Glasgow said that youth representation matters hence, there is the need for young people to mobilize and strategize so that their voices can be heard.

He also called for young people to recognize the power to make a difference in their lives, be united for this cause and have constructive dialogue. It was highlighted that there is need for inclusivity and the change of attitude toward young people going forward.

Director of Youth, Melissa Carmichael-Haynes, who attended the forum, assured the youth leaders that they have the ears of the Coalition Government.

She noted that the youths are catered for in the ‘Good life’ policy of the Government.

The Youth Director told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the forum, “speaks volume to the work that we [government] have been doing and it also tells us where we need to increase our work and what we need to strengthen and what we need to take away from our programmes so that young people can further benefit”.

She reiterated that with the help of the ministry, topics discussed can be addressed.

“We can definitely look at advocating for relevant documents to be put in place because sitting in the audience, young people were able to hold the government accountable, being able to hold the relevant policymakers accountable for the things that they promised,” she added.

Derwayne Wills, Interim Chairman of Guyana National Youth Council told DPI that he is happy to see the amount of support shown in the forum as it is needed for moving forward.

“It is great to see young people getting involved in initiatives such as these and finding ways to amplify their voices. These discussions are important but what will really be the test for the work that has been done is how young people materialise what was said at these events,” he noted.

Arian Dahlia Richmond, a participant, said that the forum is an avenue for moving forward as young people fight for their right to be heard and to benefit from all opportunities available.

“The conversation has been very inciteful because we have people from different policy-making areas in Guyana and I believe that we have a strong path forward and we need to stand steadfast with this movement. Now is the time to do. We are doing… the revolution is now,” she added.

The ProGuyana Youth Forum undertaken by Dennis Glasgow, Eden Corbin and Vishal Joseph brought more than 100 youth participants together to discuss the way forward as young adults and to foster a new era of civic and political involvement of Guyanese youths. It is set to continue across the country with hopes of highlighting major areas of concern to be addressed by the government.

By Neola Damon.

Images by Akeem Thomas.

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