Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, has welcomed establishment of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Club movement in Jamaica.
Speaking at the movement’s recent launch at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), in Mandeville, Manchester, Ms. Hanna underscored its importance in enhancing exposure of the nation’s young people to culture, education, and science.
She contended that the clubs would provide a medium through which young people could advance their development and that of their communities, and the country.
Additionally, the movement would facilitate their engagement of organisations and entities, such as the Ministry of Youth and Culture and UNESCO, in dialogue on the establishment of partnerships, to create collaborative synergies globally on how best to protect and preserve culture.
In this regard, Ms. Hanna announced that the Ministry is pursuing several cultural-related activities – “things that you will be interested to learn about, which the UNESCO Clubs will teach you." These, she said, include opportunities for underwater explorations; and possible grant funding for projects to explore cultural and archaeological sites.
The Minister also cited plans by the Ministry to undertake a series of new programmes geared toward training persons, particularly young people, to become cultural and heritage guides, details of which would be announced shortly.
She said this would provide young people with employment options, while urging them to “use the UNESCO Club as a spring board for creating new opportunities for you to get excited about science, education and culture."
First established in Japan in 1947, UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations have proven to be very valuable partners for the organisation, through their shared commitment to the entity’s ideals and work which they have assisted in translating on the ground.
Club members, who are volunteers, include persons of all ages and nationalities from every walk of life, and are well placed to present the views of civil society to decision makers.
Currently, UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations are active in more than 80 countries globally.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter