A three day meeting of the Caribbean Community Youth Ambassadors began in Paramaribo on Monday June 12th at the Torarica Hotel. The focus of the meeting is to guarantee the sustainability of the CYA program by developing a sound institutional framework. The meeting considered in detail the 2010 report of the Caricom Commission on Youth Development.
During the conference the Caribbean Youth Ambassadors will create a regional online social network which they hope to use to mobilize regional youth. The meeting will also equip CYAS with skills in New Media, marketing, branding and media relations. Suriname’s Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs the Honorable Ismantho Adna opened the meeting by urging youth ambassadors to be the voice of Caribbean youth. He assured the participants that the Government of Suriname, especially the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs “stands ready to implement the outcomes of the meeting and the recommendations in the Paramaribo Declaration”.
Dr. Heather Johnson, Deputy Program Manager, Youth Development, CARICOM Secretariat, said that the CYA need to understand how the program began and to appreciate the lessons learnt. She mentioned the many challenges facing the CYA.
The meeting is supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Youth Innovation (Youth-IN) project - a Caribbean Network for Youth Development Work. Dr. Paula Hildalgo-Sanchis, Project Coordinator told the youth that they were the force for progress.
Raynel Fraser, Suriname’s Youth Ambassador expressed the hope that the meeting would fully realize its goals. He formerly declared that it was time for young people to participate fully in the integration process.