By Makeida Antonio
Department of Youth Affairs staff and invited guests turned out for the official launch of the 2021 National Youth Policy at Jasmine Court yesterday.
Dean of the National Youth Ambassador Corps, Julien Kentish, told Observer that the next step will be the development of an action plan following the framework outlined by the policy.
“One of the most important things is that it gives a guideline as to any strategic planning because you know we love to plan, but then it gives a guideline as to the implementation.
“The minister himself said that he is waiting for the action plan and I am very happy that the guidelines that were given have a way of producing an action plan,” he said.
According to Kentish, his aim is to assist colleagues to implement the policy within the community, schools and other areas of society.
Members of the National Youth Council, the umbrella body of youth groups in the country, were also present at the launch.
President of the National Youth Council, Guishonne Powell, expressed gratitude at the level of youth involvement in creating the final document.
“I’ve been in several consultations and I can say the youth were well represented. NGOs, CMOs, the majority of the youth organisations were a part of the consultations, so I can say that I am satisfied with the representation of youth in the policy,” Powell said.
The National Youth Policy covers nine themes including mental health.
September happens to be Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Powell encouraged other youth leaders to reach out to the Ministry of Social Transformation to gather tools necessary for peer support.