Young People Jamaica’s Greatest Resource – Grange


Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, has said that young people are the greatest resource that is available in Jamaica.
She said that the youth are agents of social change as well as innovators of economic and technological developments.
Miss Grange was speaking yesterday (May 21) at the 2008 Jamaica Youth Ambassadors inauguration ceremony at King’s House.
The Jamaica Youth Ambassador’s Programme (JAYAP) was developed to capitalize on the resources of the country’s youth and assist in their development and by extension, the progress of the country. The programme, established in 2000, targets specific areas of work, which are of direct relevance to the lives of young people and these include healthy lifestyles, HIV/AIDS, and empowerment and participation.
Miss Grange noted that the achievements of the country’s Youth Ambassadors have been commendable, noting that they have made numerous appearances, speaking on relevant social issues affecting young people. They sit on various boards such as the Violence Prevention Alliance, Safe School Programme and those dealing with issues relating to child labour and child protection. They have also been involved in the reform of the justice system and the hosting of benefit performances for children with AIDS.
“Our youth Ambassadors have always set a high standard and we are determined that the Ambassadors to be appointed this year, will live up to the example,” Miss Grange said.
She informed that the Ambassadors will be engaging in more small scale activities in schools and communities across the island so as to increase their visibility among the youth they are serving and to ensure that they are accurately representing the views of a wide cross section of young people.
They will also be focusing on specific areas of work, which are of high importance to young people, through increased advocacy, information dissemination, project development and project implementation. “Some of these key areas include those related to entrepreneurship, the Millennium Development Goals, self-esteem and the CARICOM Single Market. They will also be concentrating on work relating to environmental issues such as climate change, food security and the international oil crisis,” Miss Grange stated.
The Minister commended the work of the outgoing Youth Ambassadors and encouraged the incoming group to continue the good work that was done.
“I am very proud of the work that has been done by our outgoing Youth Ambassadors and I am certain that the Ambassadors, who will be inaugurated today, will continue the good work. It will require dedication, commitment, very hard work and self sacrifice, but I am sure you are all up to the challenge and through you, we will be able to see positive developments in the lives of Jamaica’s young people. I am confident that Jamaica’s future is in good hands,” she stated.
Dean of the JAYAP, Kaysia Johnson noted that as Youth Ambassadors, “our mandate is to serve the youths of this nation, without reservation”.
She implored her fellow Ambassadors “to be agents of social change, role models, mentors, and a sounding board for our youths. With the support of the public and private sector, let us keep our eye on the vision and never lose sight of the goals to enhance the lives of Jamaica’s youth.”

JIS Social