Youth leadership forum promises solutions

 

The dynamic youths leading Guidelight Productions came onto the local scene with a bang in February when they broke up a car overlaid with hurtful messages in Battlefield Park. Their next project is no less ambitious: more than 120 youths meeting today at the newly christened Gateway Youth Center. This youth talk shop, according to organizer Andrew Munnings, will be the seed to the future success of Belize’s youth.

 

 

Andrew Munnings – Organizer, Youth Leadership Forumvlcsnap-2015-06-01-11h35m53s51

” In February, I went to Panama to represent Belize in the fourth annual Young Leaders Forum. That was a head up to the seventh Summit of the Americas. In that Forum, we had young people from across the Western Hemisphere  come together and we had ten topics to present on and create a youth declaration. The problem I had with that was cooperation between countries. How do I appreciate cooperation with another country if I don’t even know what my own country wants? So when I came back home, I got the Idea to say, it’s time for us as youths to be given the question, ‘What do we want as young people?’. What you see here today is the Belize Young Leaders Forum where we bring young leaders from across the districts of Belize, to not only complain about the challenges affecting  youth development in Belize but also create solutions to those issues affecting youth development. “

Among the topics to be spoken about are migration, jobs, crime, citizen participation, and education. The format of the event will get youths talking directly to each other and to adults serving as moderators who are already in positions of leadership, including Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, PUP representative Dolores Balderamos Garcia and Minister of State for Youth and Sports Herman Longsworth, who said his appearance today is an indication of the Ministry’s commitment to Belizean youth.  The Minister also called for greater youth participation in politics while sounding a warning about motivation to participate.

vlcsnap-2015-06-01-11h53m00s64Herman Longsworth  – Minister of State for Youth and Sports

“I am confident that there are not enough youths interested in politics. That is why I said what I said this morning. I don’t believe that politics ought  to be this nasty dirty game that everybody should shy away from. How are we to develop leaders if we don’t get our young people to be involved in politics. We must do it, however, I believe that our young people need to be properly prepared so that they are not being used by political parties for their own gain as oppose to furthering the agendas of the young people through politics. “

 

 The proposals coming out of today’s event will be collated and presented and there will be a follow-up conference in November to check progress.

“I am confident that there are not enough youths interested in politics. That is why I said what I said this morning. I don’t believe that politics ought  to be this nasty dirty game that everybody should shy away from. How are we to develop leaders if we don’t get our young people to be involved in politics. We must do it, however, I believe that our young people need to be properly prepared so that they are not being used by political parties for their own gain as oppose to furthering the agendas of the young people through politics. “

 

 The proposals coming out of today’s event will be collated and presented and there will be a follow-up conference in November to check progress.

About the Author