JIS News

The spotlight is set to shine on the country’s young people next month, as November will again be celebrated as Youth Month by the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD).
State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, Dr. Donald Rhodd today (October 26), officially launched the Month at a press briefing, held at the Ministry in Kingston.
“Our rallying call [for the Month] will be ‘I Pledge My Heart’, a theme which will endeavour to refocus our youth and citizens on their commitment towards nation building,” Dr. Rhodd said.
The State Minister further observed that the pledge was also meant to “represent love for and hope in Jamaica, a beautiful and bountiful land with resilient and talented people”.
Dr. Rhodd said there were seven main activities slated to take place, noting they could “be summarised as focussing the nation on the imperative of youth development as critical to national development”.
A national church service will begin the series of activities for the month. This will take place at the St. James Parish Church in Montego Bay, on Sunday, October 31, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
The State Minister said that on Thursday, November 4, “in an attempt to give our youth a voice”, the National Youth Parliament would be convened for a second time at Gordon House at 10:00 a.m.
Other activities include, a National Sports Day at the Kaiser Sports Ground in St. Ann on Saturday, November 6; the launch of a youth mentorship programme and the first anniversary of the youth information centre in Port Maria, St. Mary on Thursday, November 11; and the commemoration of International Students’ Day with a march from the Liguanea Post Office to the Students’ Union at the University of the West Indies (UWI) on Wednesday, November 17.
A youth organisation conference, which will bring together youth-serving organisations from around the island, is also scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 30 at the Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville.
Director of the NCYD, Ohene Blake, said nominations for the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence, which is to be held on Sunday, November 28 at the Emancipation Park in New Kingston, “are being invited in the categories of academics, leadership, the arts and culture, entrepreneurship, agriculture, and sport”.
“In particular, we are inviting the public to make nominations in the area of youth in service, an area we receive very few nominations for, but we know that there are young persons throughout the length and breadth of Jamaica who are giving of their time and voluntary service and we invite members of the public who are aware of such efforts, to make these nominations,” Mr. Blake said.
Nominations for the Awards for Excellence are open to young persons between the ages of 15 and 24, who have distinguished themselves in particular areas. Nomination forms are available in The Sunday Gleaner, at the Ministry’s website ( or can be collected at any of the Ministry’s regional offices.

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