Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding has instructed that $100,000 be given to each “Youth Mayor” for a project that is “substantial and long lasting.”
Speaking at the Prime Minister’s Youth Mayors’ Luncheon Wednesday (December 2) at Jamaica House in Kingston, Mr. Golding said that the “young Mayors” should be leaders of today and not tomorrow, as is often said.
“You can’t afford to wait until tomorrow to start leading. There is space for your leadership that right now is not sufficiently occupied, because there are people that you can influence that I cannot influence. I call on you to prepare yourself to start exerting that influence and in the right way” Mr. Golding said.
He noted that one half of the population of Jamaica is below the age of 25, and can be influenced by other young people.
“That is your generation and you can reach them, you can exert your influence and lead them. I am challenging you to begin to take up that responsibility,” Mr. Golding said.
HERE’S HOW WE DO IT IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Minister with responsibility for Local Government Reform in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Robert Montague, greets Youth Mayor for St. Elizabeth, Kirk Hammond (c) and Hanover’s Youth Mayor, Tina Renier. The Youth Mayors were at a Luncheon with Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding today (Dec 2) at Jamaica House in Kingston. The Youth Mayors were sensitised about the operations of Local Government and got a practical feel of council operations by acting as councillors for a day.
He told the “young Mayors” that he wanted them to be prepared to question and challenge the things that adults say, if they are not satisfied and step forward, because that is leadership.
“Do not wait for us to make space for you, step up to the plate and assert yourself,” Mr. Golding admonished.
He said that adults owe the youths an apology, for bequeathing them a confused society, and requiring that they repair some of the damage that have been done.
“Look at the successes that we have achieved, to see how you can build on them, but there is lot of fixing that you will have to do,” he cautioned.
The PM said that after listening to the presentations of the “young Mayors”, his confidence in young people was reinforced. He charged them to assert themselves and provide the leadership that the country needed now.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, told the KSAC earlier this month, that his department has allocated $2 million to its Junior Councillors this year to spend on projects. This was a huge increase over the approximately $50,000 they received in the past.
Junior Mayors and Councillors are young novices given a chance to experience local governance, as part of Youth Month activities each November.