Youth Policy Consultation Move Into Parishes Next Week‏

Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 09, 2016 (SKNIS): Consultations on the Draft Federal Youth Policy for St. Kitts and Nevis are ongoing and will soon be coming to a community near you.

 The process to engage with youth and other stakeholders is an important part of the process to validate and update, where necessary, the contents of the draft document dated July 2013. A number of volunteers, including members of the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors Core Group, have collected some opinions already from young people, and the youth expert, Dwynette Eversley, has met with others, including residents at the New Horizons Juvenile Rehabilitation Center.

 “We also are going, from next week, into parishes to stand on the block and meet young people where they are and ask them about things that are affecting them,” Ms. Eversley said, on Wednesday’s (November 09) edition of the radio and television programme “Working for You.”

 Policy issues such as unemployment, education, and health will be covered. The young men and women will be asked “do they feel safe? Do they feel happy? What is their vision of an ideal young person in St. Kitts and Nevis?”

 Additionally, professional enumerators will canvass communities throughout St. Kitts and Nevis to record feedback that will be used to reshape the youth development document to be used by public and private sector agencies to streamline services and address the needs of young people.

 However, cooperation is key. Youth are encouraged to share openly and honestly in the various engagement sessions. Ms. Eversley said it is part of the region’s culture to keep children and adolescents silent, generally ignoring their opinions.

 “Caribbean people listening everywhere, encourage your children to speak out. They are not being rude when they articulate concerns, they are not being imaginative when they say things that bother them,” she stated. “There are issues that young people need to articulate and [you] should give them the space and the confidence to articulate those things.”

 For additional information on the consultations, visit the Department of Youth Empowerment on Church Street or telephone 467-1393

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