KINGSTON — The CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan (CYDAP) is a critical component in ensuring integration of youth policies and programmes in the various countries in the region, says Directorof Youth Policy and Programme Development at the National Centre for Youth Development (NYCD), Roberta Brown Ellis.
She noted that this will ensure that specific policies and programmes are in place for young people to aid in their development and advancement irrespective of which island they reside.
“It is critical that we really ensure that after having policies, programmes and initiatives in place that we have a strategic plan of action to go along with (these). (It) should speak on behalf of young people across the Caribbean,” she stated.
Ms. Brown Ellis was speaking at a national consultation on the CYDAP recently, at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) offices in Kingston.
She said it is critical that the plan include all the specific areas necessary for youth development, namely education and training; empowerment and participation; health; living environment; employment and entrepreneurship.
She said that the ministries of youth, in the various territories, will all have to play their role to ensure that the needs of the youth are continuously met.
Ms. Brown Ellis said that the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is supportive of the draft CYDAP as it provides a framework for improving the well-being of Caribbean youth.
CARICOM Youth Ambassador, Kerry Chen, said the CYDAP forms part of a regional thrust to achieve real integration of youth policy and mainstreaming, which is reviewed against national youth policy and implementation plans.
The CYDAP is a multi-sectoral, holistic institutional framework for national policy, integrated planning and action in support of mainstreamed youth development.
It focuses on: education and economic empowerment; enabling the creation of protective environments to foster resilience and ensure youth safety and security; health and well being; enhancing development and appreciation of Caribbean culture and identity and a commitment to regional integration; creating the policy and institutional environment to support mainstreamed youth development at the regional level; and ensuring and enhancing youth participation at all levels of decision making, nationally and regionally.
The Caribbean’s youth population totals some nine million and comprises persons aged 15 to 24 years.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter