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National Youth Parliament launched


NATASHA BECKLES, [email protected]

National Youth Parliament launched

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IT IS UP to the youth of Barbados to ensure the newest National Youth Parliament remains alive.
Minister of Youth Stephen Lashley, speaking today at the launch of the latest incarnation of the entity in the East Wing of Parliament, said disinterest had allowed the previous ones to die out and this would be unacceptable this time around.
“There have been attempts in the past to establish and sustain a national youth parliament but they all failed mainly due to lack of participation and involvement of the youth. Let us not make those same mistakes.
“It will not be successful unless the youth themselves participate and support its work. Often times there is initial enthusiasm only to be followed by inactivity and disinterest. My challenge therefore this morning is to the youth of Barbados to support an institution that they have asked for. I will be closely monitoring the development of this National Youth Parliament particularly as far as participation is concerned. We simply cannot be talking about improving our social, political and economic circumstances and young people opt out of the very process that is critical for the sustained development of our country,” he said.
President of the Youth Development Council, Cherisse Francis, said the idea for a nationally sanctioned youth Parliament came about after the launch of the youth development policy in 2011.
“We’ve had youth Parliaments before but this idea was a mandate of the national youth development policy. The idea was to provide a training ground and educational tool for young people to get exposed to Parliamentary procedure and to understand their civic duties and what goes on in Parliament.
“Under the policy there is the youth Parliament sub-committee and we were charged with providing the structure for the youth Parliament. We did extensive research across the region and internationally, looking at the Nevis, United Kingdom and Suriname Parliaments while still crafting something Barbadian in nature,” she said.
Chairman of the youth Parliament sub-committee, Melissa Savoury-Gittens said they had learnt from the failures of the past but was certain of success this time as they had the full support of Government, including the Opposition. (CA)

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