Caribbean Youth Day 2013

2013-09-30
America/Jamaica

Caribbean Youth Day 2013 will be commemorated on September 30, 2013 under the theme: "Creativity, Passion and Participation: Youth leading a Stronger Caribbean". The idea of designating a day for Caribbean Youth came about when the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 34/151 designated 1985 as International Youth Year (IYY). The theme selected at the time was Participation, Development and Peace, which is still applicable and relevant today.

Since 1985 Caribbean Youth Day has been observed annually on 30th September. To date individual Caribbean countries have organized a range of activities to mark the occasion and promote their youth. These range from cultural activities to food fairs to mock parliamentary debates to youth award ceremonies. Additionally, CYP Caribbean Centre and the Department of Youth have organized independent activities at the regional and national levels to observe the day.

September 30 provides an opportunity to celebrate and highlight the achievements of our young men and women and to reinforce the contributions and roles of youth for the continued and sustainable development of our countries, even

Kaskie Miguel (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and Ryan Small (Jamaica) have provided the following rationale for the theme:

Creativity
We chose creativity as we have to be creative and innovative in addressing youth issues. A creative mind enables youth to find innovative strategies, tools and methods for the ever so changing environment. The dynamics of our world has change and we must be creative to move forward. As we are one global village we must be creative in the manner in which we empower youth as we will be working with different cultures. Our creativity allows us to develop and share best practices and ideas with each other. More so, our creativity is what allows us to adapt these best practices to fit our specific countries and groups.

As a Caribbean Youth, we strongly believe that we must start to think outside the box especially with the economic environment in which we find ourselves. Creativity would be what determines our survival towards being entrepreneurs in an environment where our youth are struggling for quality jobs. Societies are changing therefore we must be creative in the way we adapt to these changes for our development and well being. As leaders we must not let social ills dictate the changes in our society. Instead we must be creative and introduce the changes we wish to see. Young people are talented, equipped to be a powerful source of innovation and they are natural agents of change.

Passion

Passion If you are passionate about something it is easier for youth to pass on that love for it to another person. Passionate youth pass on passion for youth work to other youth and has a greater impact than someone that has no passion for what they doing. Passion allows you to see opportunities and find ways to conquer situations. When you’re passionate about your work, others see that passion and are drawn to it. This allows you to develop a network with people who believe in you and are willing to advocate for youth development.
Without passion that intense desire for youth development, youth will give up at the first sign of hardship. 

Passion gives you the drive to go on. You will not quit but continue to purse your goals which would eventually be beneficial to other youth. When you are passionate about youth development, you would never be content to merely sit on boards and just be quiet on issues. You would always be eager to learn more to develop better strategies and programmes to serve youth. You will always be eager to perfect your skills and create more productive programmes. You would have a thirst for knowledge so passion pushes you to learn more.

When you are passionate about your work it makes it fun. You get to do what you love doing so there is always a reward for you. Ideas and dreams change from time to time but once passion reminds you become successful in what you set out to do. Thus, passion is the beginning of success. Every successful person in life began by pursing a passion.

Participation
Youth are the leaders of our future and they must actively participate in what governs them. It does not matter how many programs we put into place or “opportunities” that we open for youths if we do not have their full participation in the development and planning of these programs, they will not be successful. To know the full impact of issues on the lives of youth, they must be fully engage in decision making at all level, planning, designing and implementing programmes and projects gear towards their development. Youth participation allows their creativity and passion to come into play in successfully address youth issues and development. Young people need a chance to develop. They also need the opportunity to have their voices heard and to be included in the decision making processes. It is only by working in true partnership with young people, by listening to their opinions and concerns that we can ensure that services meet their needs and that society can benefit from their contributions. Hence, youth participation is critical to our development as a nation and as a region. Youth participation, passion and creativity are very important because we are the future, we have ideas and we need to participate and shape the future we want. We believe that in the Commonwealth and the Caribbean to an extent, there is an increased awareness in allowing youth to fully participate in decision making and policy development. Our leaders are becoming better and better at consulting with us to fully recognize our needs in this constant changing world. Creativity, passion and participation together are the development of a strong leader. With changing environment our youth must lead the way in Caribbean development. Therefore, we must make sure our youth are enabled and prepared to lead the Caribbean. When you are passionate about something, you become innovate and creative which is a must for our future leaders; our youth. The Caribbean future is in the hearts, minds and palms of our youth.
Youth Leading A Stronger Caribbean
Despite the common perception of youth as an “at-risk” category, prone to delinquency and deviance, and generally perceived as a burden and cost to Caribbean states, Caribbean youth have been making significant contributions to the development of the region. However, unbeatably the struggles and challenges of our contemporary Caribbean can only be solved by us youth through the utilization of their creative skills, talent and knowledge of ICT.

Building a stronger Caribbean requires – Creativity, Passion and Participation
It is the recognition of this contribution that has given credence to the 2013 theme for Caribbean Youth Day.