April 3, 2008
The month of April has been designated youth month on Nevis and Minister of Youth Development, the Hon. Hensley Daniel issued a call to help young people to turn away from crime, violence, and drug abuse. The minister made the call while he delivered a televised address on Tuesday, April 1st to officially launch activities to celebrate youth month 2008.
He said these social-ills had a negative impact on the young and collectively Nevisians must move to reduce these incidences and noted that Youth Month afforded the opportunity to call into question, or reflect on what had been done to promote and sustain youth development.
“I want to use the occasion of Youth Month to enlist the support of the family, the school, the church and the community in helping to sustain the Judeo-Christian values on which our society is founded. The values are coming under threat ““ the values of discipline, hard-work and honesty. I call upon the adults in the society to hold on to these values so that today’s young can lead by example.
“The adults must help to harness the energies of the young and channel them into productive pursuits. We have to maintain our moral and ethical standards to serve as a frame of reference for our young people. The advancement of Nevis depends less on its ability to provide economic benefits and more on its moral and spiritual values,” he said.
He said the theme “Youth Creating a Safe Environment Through Informed and Healthy Choices” suggested the need to create safe environment for the advancement of the young. The minister also pointed out that his task was to expand the range of opportunities and create an enabling environment to foster the development of the young.
The Minister said since coming to office in 2006, the Joseph Parry Administration had introduced a number of programmes and policies to demonstrate his government’s commitment to the young people of Nevis.
He made reference to the words of Thomas Paine’s noteable quote that “˜youth is the seed time of good habits’ while he underscored the progress of a country could be no greater the progress of the young having considered their vigor and vitality.
He further called on the community to respond appropriately to the challenges and opportunities of the young and to use the month’s celebration to focus on play.
“I want today’s young to play more. Play is vital throughout the life course. For youth play reflects impulse, diversion and preparation for adult roles. Play enhances social relations and child’s character and personality. It fosters co-operation, understanding and social bonding.
“The spirit of fairness is engendered by play. It promotes happiness and builds a positive self concept. It helps to rid the mind of negative thoughts and provides a useful outlet for aggression. Play engenders love, as people play together they develop a deep feeling of love for each other. Play is a medium for establishing and sustaining social relationships. It facilitates social adjustment,” the Minister said.
The youth minister urged everyone in particular the youth to participate in the activities which celebrate the achievements and development of youth on the island.
Meantime, Youth development Officer Miss Claudia Walwyn outlined the activities scheduled for the month long celebration. The events listed were the launch of an inter-schools chess tournament at the St. Thomas’ Primary School on April 8. A graduation celebration of a newly formed girls group called Pearl, on April 10 at the Oualie Beach Resort.
The annual Easter camp would be convened at the St. Thomas Primary School from April 14 ““ 18, and a voice training workshop for the Nevis boys’ choir from April 21 ““ 24. A youth celebration rally in Charlestown would activate the Peer Unit of the Department of Youth on April 25. The month long celebration would culminate with a Bikes not Bombs of Nevis bike rally on April 26.