Categorized | National News

GGYA Provides Hope For The Future, Says DGG

The Governor General Youth Award (GGYA) provides a ray of hope for the future, said deputy Governor-General, Dame Marguerite Pindling.

“It is a great source of pride to me that the programme in The Bahamas continues to grow and to offer so many young Bahamians the opportunity to enrich their lives with new dimensions that will have a lasting impact on them and their future,” said the former first lady, during the official opening ceremony for the Caribbean Award Sub-Regional Council (CASC) Adventurous Journey. 

The ceremony was held recently at St John’s College. 

CASC provides an opportunity for the GGYA’s regional counterparts to meet, greet and work together in hopes of obtaining a Gold Award. It’s only the GGYA’s third time hosting the annual event in its 33rd year.

Coincidentally, this year marks the GGYA’s Silver Jubilee in The Bahamas.

The 25-year-old, self-development programme is geared towards young persons, 14 to 25-years-old. Thus far, 8,000 Bahamians have passed through the programme, which requires participants to demonstrate progress in four key areas: physical recreation, community service, skills, and adventurous journey. 

GGYA offers three awards: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Each level requires an increasing commitment of time. 

For 53 youths, this CASC adventurous journey is the final hurdle to cross before receiving Gold. Other persons participating in the hiking event include current Gold Award Holders moving up the ranks to programme leaders.

Dame Marguerite said she is heartened to see young people engaged in such positive activities. Too often young people are prominent in the news today for the wrong reasons, she pointed out.

“We constantly hear about the failing grades in the schools, crime, ‘the Bank Lane shuffle,’ teen pregnancy and the list is sometimes long,” said Dame Marguerite. “Your success in this programme and its contributions around the world continues to demonstrate that young people are embracing the concept that they can shape their own destinies through their involvement in activities they might otherwise never have experienced.”

The fact that many leaders of the youth organisation have come up through the ranks of the programme, bodes well for the GGYA’s future, she noted.

“I can say with a great degree of certainty that I envision the GGYA growing bigger and better and becoming stronger as more of the participants continue to work with the programme, to help those who are coming behind achieve the Bronze, Silver and Gold medals,” said Dame Marguerite.

There’s a total of 110 persons from 11 countries attending this year’s CASC event, code named “Blue Water Run.” Guyana, Cayman, Grenada, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, Barbados, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and Bermuda are all represented.

Also attending this year’s event are three London based officials: secretary general of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International Association, John May; David Clarke, regional director, the Americas for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Int’l and Jenny Jacobs, programme manager for the International Award Foundation.

CASC participants will sail to three islands – Grand Bahama, Abaco and Eleuthera. They will kayak and explore historical sites and caves. The sea route will cover the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. The hiking sections will involve, beach, forest, main and track roads.

Participants will also receive training courses in mass casualty management, water safety and first aid. Representatives from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the AIDS/HIV Secretariat will deliver presentations before the event wraps up on Sunday, August 12.

CASC Chairman John Williams told participants that unlike the movie, Mission Impossible, their mission “will be possible and filled with adventure and discovery.” He encouraged the youths to work together as their hiking expedition groups will be comprised of persons from different countries. 

Secretary General May urged participants to “believe in your ideas, the power of the team, and the power of action.”

The participants are ready to go.

Allison McDonald, a 19 year-old participant from the Cayman Islands is eagerly looking forward to “seeing new things and experiencing the Bahamian culture.”

Meanwhile, both Hannah Schaefer, a 17 year-old participant from Bermuda, and Stephanson Otley, 17, of Trinidad & Tobago want to “get Gold.”

Thanks to a three-year partnership entered into with the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture back in 2010, the GGYA has successfully attracted more participants. The G.O.L.D. Initiative has helped push the GGYA’s registration to just under 2,000 participants. Units are located on nine islands.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook