St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN); As officials finalize the draft youth policy paper after a national consultation held Tuesday at the Marriott, a question is being asked about the number of young people even aware of the project.
Tuesday's (Mar 28) National Consultation on the Youth Policy Draft Paper, that included school children and representatives from the private and public sectors, was described as the last of the drafting process before the Policy is taken to parliament for debate.
WINN FM invited comments from young people attending the National Consultation:
“We were discussing the final consultation of the youth policy, and she’s like, ‘How come I haven’t heard about this youth policy am I not a part of the youth?’ So what awareness or how they go about making the general public aware of what’s happening, because yes, it is a youth policy, and yes, you have older adults that might be interested in pushing policy forward, but awareness wise there are a lot of people who still don’t know about this youth policy. So is there actually some mechanism to put in place to really find ways to sensitize young people. Talk about social media and what power it holds. They could promote certain things and make things aware by using Facebook, Instagram ads to get to people.”
“If I wanted to start a car rental, what is the process or procedure to go about doing it the right way, having a business license and then whatever little things that would help me to get the license, I don’t even know how to do it. More assets to encouraging, guiding somebody like me who just freshly wants to start something. Ways of going about it, people who I talk to, advisors, just different things like that. I just want to know how I go about it. Then other young people will say, ‘Look at this young man who just came out of school and got his own business.”
“My issue is that I know they might have companies or facilities that might want to help small businesses but there are instances where these same institutions might want to have certain control over what you do or how you do it and that might limit you in a sense that you might have an idea and your idea might be deterred.”
The Federal Youth Policy 2017-2022 aims to address the empowerment of youth through a number of initiatives including education and life-long learning, sustainable development and economic participation.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Youth Shawn Richards, speaking at the national Consultation, acknowledged that young people and their concerns must be included in policy making.
“There are distinctive gaps in what we wish for our youth and the mechanisms which we put in place to enable those wishes. That is why the policy is so important; because just as public buildings cannot be constructed without a ramp for the disabled, public and developmental policy should not be constructed without consideration for youth issues.”