JIS News

A National Youth Survey, which will provide baseline information for the revision of the National Youth Policy, should be completed by January 2011.
The $43 million survey is being undertaken as part of the Inter-American Development Bank/Government of Jamaica Youth Development Programme, which will provide primary data leading to a complete set of data for youth development programmes, new policies and initiatives geared toward the youth.
Speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service ‘Think Tank’, Director of Youth Policy and Programme at the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD), Roberta Brown Ellis, said several steps will have to be taken before the actual revision of the Youth Policy.
“One of the first things is to have a youth survey, that process is underway. It started in June and is being conducted by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, and the survey should be completed by January 2011,” she said.
The survey targets all youth and youth-serving entities, including young people in special circumstances, unattached youth, and those with disabilities. It will incorporate, but will not be limited to seven focal areas – economic, educational, physical, political and governance, protection and support, social/family, and spiritual.
Following the survey, Mrs. Brown Ellis said a series of stakeholders’ consultations, involving young people, will be held before the policy’s revision. “So, we are looking at 2011, at least by the beginning of 2012, to have our new and revised Youth Policy in place,” she added.
Meanwhile, she said the NCYD has scheduled a slate of activities to observe Youth Month, being celebrated in November/December. These include: International Students’ Day on November 17, at Vere Technical High School, Clarendon; a Street Youth Stakeholders’ Consultation on November 19; Youth and Ministers’ Forum, on November 22; the Jamaican Youth in Concert and the Prime Minister’s Youth Award on November 28; and the refurbishing of the Muirton Boys’ Home in Portland on December 5.
Encouraging young people to participate, Mrs. Brown Ellis said this is the International Year of the Youth. “It’s your year, your voice is to be heard. Therefore, I urge you to come out and participate in all our Youth Month activities. Make contact with your National Centre for Youth Development parish office or your youth empowerment officers; get involved in all the activities. We are celebrating you this year. This is your month to shine,” she added.

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