Nevis Minister of Youth – Hon. Hensley Daniel
May 01, 2008
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) funded Youth Path groups in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, collaborated for the second time in 2008 to observe their individual projects. This took place recently, when the Saint Kitts chapter visited their counterparts on Nevis at the historic Heritage Village at Fothergills Estate, where the Youth Path on Nevis held a ceremony to highlight and showcase their project.
Minister of Youth and Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Hensley Daniel who attended the ceremony, impressed on the youths to recognise the link between heritage and tourism. Mr. Daniel also encouraged them to take their heritage seriously and to use it for added economic value, through the tourism industry.
He enlightened the youths about their African heritage. They were also informed of the European influence in the nation, which afforded them to have African and European ideas help carve a niche in tourism.
“In reading about Youth Path, I’ve noticed that it is for youth poverty alleviation through tourism. It is a strategic effort to ensure that we continue to derive economic benefits from tourism. I want to associate myself as you would well imagine with the alleviation of poverty,” he said.
The Youth Minister implored them to read about their heritage to become more informed about it and to dismiss the perception of the Black Society not being avid readers. They were told they inherited a reading heritage and should take advantage of the opportunities the programme provided.
Mr. Daniel further implored the youths to emulate the moral characteristics that sustained the society for the past century.
He also told the young men and women that the Federation’s last study on poverty published in 2001, indicated that the 15-24 age group was of the highest poverty rate. He said in order to address the income disparity, was the old modes of thoughts had to be replaced and to ensure that new ideas were used for their development.
He commended UNESCO for engaging the Youths in a project that would equip them with the skills necessary for sustainable employment.
The young men and women were challenged by Mr. Daniel to use the UNESCO Youth Path Project to chart a new course to restore honesty, decency and good will, which would make a difference. They were also challenged to abstain from gang activity and to become ambitiously involved in the UNESCO programme designed to reduce poverty.
“I want to point out that the Nevis Island Administration of which I am a part, has ensured that its tourism revenues flow down to the youths of Nevis, which would help to alleviate poverty. Since we have been in government in 2006, we’ve organised a homework assistance program was to ensure that children master the skills of language and mathematics at primary schools.
“We have expanded the School’s Meals Programme and provided free text books in primary and secondary schools. The NIA made provision for scholarships to more than 100 students to attend college and university. These are direct and deliberate efforts to reduce poverty among the young. The NIA is persuaded that education is the best way to rid the society of poverty and Policies like these will overtime reduce poverty,” the Social Transformation Minister said.
Mr. Daniel also indicated that the Youth Path programme provided an avenue for young people to assist with creating work for themselves and asked for UNESCO to consider expanding its Youth Alleviation Programme with technical, vocational and academic training.