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OCES Pursues Youth Agenda

Some participants at the meeting.

By Kingsley Emmanuel

Some participants at the meeting.
Some participants at the meeting.

EXCELLENT and workable. Thatโ€™s how the Director General of the OECS Commission, Dr. Didacus Jules has described ideas which came out of an Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Youth Strategy Focus Group Meeting, held at the National Skills Development Centre (NSDC) in Vieux-Fort on Sunday, for youth in the south.

The aim of the meeting was to develop a youth strategy for the OECS.

According to Dr. Jules, the ideas will be used to make recommendations to governments and shape initiatives to correspond to the aspirations of the youth, their interests and needs.

โ€œEvery youth policy that has been done in the past has largely been done by old people sitting and deciding what the youth needs to have. We are taking a bottom top approach by meeting with the young people to find out what are their aspirations,โ€ Dr. Jules told The VOICE.

He said the OECS commission is undertaking a series of consultation with young people across all the OECs member states, starting in St. Lucia.

The OECS director general used statistics to educate participants about the state of the youth today in the OECS, identifying some of the major problems with youth at risk.
He also quoted statistics from various OECS countries to show the sad state of the unemployment rate among the youth in those countries.

He told the participants that despite the negative comments that are being made about them, there are huge opportunities for them. He said they had potential and they needed to create the avenues to explore such potential.

In their presentations, the participants who demonstrated a keen interest in the activity, stressed the need for stronger legislation to protect young people, the need to adequately utilize local expertise in the development process of the region, the need to utilize local produce in our marketing drive and the importance of making adequate use of the technology available to them,, among others.

โ€œThese are ideas we did not come here withโ€ฆ,โ€ Dr. Jules said, in commending the youth for some of their novel suggestion.

He added that some of these ideas do not need millions of dollars to execute.

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