The 42 young people who participated in this year’s Youth In Parliament in July made history when they presented a full report of recommendations from their session to Minister of Youth, Dr. Daniel Johnson.
The 151-page report was presented to the minister on Friday.
Director of Youth, K. Darron Turnquest told The Bahama Journal that this is the first time any group has gone further to put together a report and give to the respective minister.
“This was their idea,” he said.
“Ministry officials had nothing to do with this except help them edit the report, but it was mostly done by them. Many nights they were at the ministry putting together the report and were adamant on getting it done before the new school year rolled around and I’m hoping this trend continues.”
One of the suggestions included in the report is the implementation and enactment of a National Youth Policy for The Bahamas.
“That The Bahamas must recognise young people as its greatest human asset and engage them in meaningful ways, at all levels of the decision-making process and protect their contributions through the implementation of legislation for a National Youth Commission, National Youth Development Trust, and a National Centre for Youth Development,” the report noted.
“We need to establish an asset-based approach to youth development in our country where its key pillar is youth development. An approach that allows for a country to build on the
capacity of young people and youth service agencies to overcome poverty, unemployment, and other ills; act upon The Commonwealth plan of action for youth empowerment which means goal is to make The Commonwealth a better place by engaging young people in eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing a global and national partnership for development.”
The group also recommended that the government enhance a National Youth Corp, focusing on the following areas the environment, agriculture, tourism, and development because it is imperative that opportunities be entrusted to the youth within a structured and strategically focused corps that will facilitate civic involvement, career training and advancement.
“We also need to encourage young people to explore the plethora of opportunities that we have in this country to make a difference and be the solution to many of our problems in the following areas marine conservation, the hunger crisis, tourism,” the report noted.
“A national youth fund that would incorporate every child’s trust fund also needs to be implemented and we need to get young people more involved in constructive activities such as 300 connect, Youth in Parliament, Rangers, Cadets, etc. That way we can create opportunities for at risk youth to participate in development.”
The group also called for enhanced funding and opportunities for the creation of new industries, an increase in social development of youth on the Family Islands, launching a peer-enhancement programme among other things.