THE VALLEY, Anguilla, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Cardigan Connor says he is pleased with the many avenues provided for the civic engagement of our youth leaders.
“ Much more can be done; but opportunities like what you are having here this week, speak to the fact that national leaders, and policymakers recognize your valuable input in national development, in advocacy and in leading change,” Connor told delegates attending the Caribbean Regional Youth Council Business Meeting taking place here this week..
Delivering the feature address, Connor told the youth leaders, “your mandate is important, your mandate is monstrous, but more importantly, you are powerful, and you are influential, and you are chosen to lead, and you should do so with determination!”
He added, ”this week’s workshop is just one of the opportunities you will build on to direct change; and to direct change with the support, input and benefit of your fellow youth colleagues. You are being seen as autonomous, non-partisan organizations which should focus on being the voice of youth, which should focus on promoting youth empowerment and on advocating on behalf of youth; as such, it is imperative that you develop the skills needed and that your governing bodies are well defined to adequately contribute to, and lead change. Without the requisite capacity and resources, you will be limited…and/ or unable to ensure your organizations participle in and influence change. “
He told delegates that “well defined, structured and informed Youth Councils will be the mechanism that enables you and your youth colleagues to gain critical skills, to effectively streamline youth participation and to purposefully lend your voices to decision making processes that affect you. This week you will focus on building and strengthening these critical components which will be the foundation for the sustainability of your Councils.”
He noted that many Youth Councils have not grown; some have failed to adjust to the countless complexities and issues affecting youth participation; many have been unable to develop the technical capacity to remain effective and efficient; and some have even received less and less support from their members, stakeholders and partners over the years.