Youth Remain At The Forefront Of National Agenda

Director of Youth - Mr. Geoffrey Hanley

Director of Youth – Mr. Geoffrey Hanley

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
November 06, 2009 (SKNIS)

The Department of Youth has recycled the theme from this year’s National Consultation on the Economy to highlight the continued focus that must be placed on youth development.

Youth Director Geoffrey Hanley told SKNIS that November’s commemoration of Youth Month will observe the theme “Youth at the Core of Our National Priorities.”

“Government remains committed to our young people,” he said. “We want them to know that we will continue to explore all avenues for their advancement and we are asking all stakeholders in society to partner with us as we work to protect the prosperity on the nation.”

During an address to mark the month open, Director Hanley recalled the inspirational story of the Roebling family, which faced numerous skepticism and tribulations during the construction of the famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

A few months after construction began; a tragic accident claimed the life of the conceptualist John Roebling and paralyzed his son Washington. The bridge was completed when Washington, unable to talk, tapped instructions for the engineers on his wife’s arm.

“Like the Roeblings, we have a vision of what the youth of St. Kitts and Nevis should embody,” Director Hanley said. “We’ve dreamt it up and now we must make the sacrifices necessary to build our youth, to give them confidence and equip them [to succeed] in life.”

Strategies mentioned for parents ranged from monitoring television content and encouraging neighbourly support in raising a child, to affirming the positive behaviour of young people.

Against this backdrop, Mr. Hanley invited residents to support as many activities as possible. These include Youth Parliament on November 11, a Health Walk on November 21, a School Song Festival on November 23, and a High School Cook Off Competition on November 27.

Director Hanley stressed that the “Youth Department and its host of volunteers continue to work hard to ensure that youth are engaged in meaningful activities [so as] to reach their full potential.”

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