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Activities marking Youth Month this year are being celebrated in November and December, under the theme: ‘Jamaican Youth, Embracing Support”.
The activities, organised by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, through the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD), got underway on Sunday (November 1) with a Youth Explosion service at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church, Portmore, St. Catherine.
They will continue on Monday (November 9), when young people representing each of the island’s constituencies converge at Gordon House, downtown Kingston, for the second sitting of the National Youth Parliament.
Participants are expected to engage in non-partisan discussions on issues pertaining to youth entrepreneurship and empowerment, child care and protection, and the influence of music on young people. Motions and resolutions are expected to be tabled for national consideration.

Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Hon. Olivia Grange (left), embracing 2009 festival Queen, Kameisha Turner, during the launch of activities to mark Youth Month at the Limelight Entertainment Centre, Half-Way-Tree, Kingston on Thursday (October 29). Youth Month is being observed under the theme, ‘Jamaican Youth, Embracing Support’.

International Students’ Day, to be observed on November 17, will be marked with the staging of an advocacy conference at the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Centre, Montego Bay St. James, with participants engaging in advocacy for students’ rights.
The official opening of the Marcus Garvey Youth Information Centre in St. Ann on November 27, will mark the sixth such facility to be established across the island.
The spirit of volunteerism is expected to resonate on Saturday (December 5), with youth representatives participating in the cleaning up of the Royal Palm Reserve in Westmoreland. Youth month activities will end Sunday (December 6) with the presentation of the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence, at Emancipation Park, Kingston, which will feature a concert.
Speaking at Thursday’s (October 29) launch of the activities at the Limelight Entertainment Centre, Kingston, Youth, Sport and Culture Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, highlighted Government’s recognition of the importance of providing support mechanisms for the nation’s youth, including the celebration of youth month.

Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange (centre), Parliamentary Secretary, Senator Warren Newby (right), and Director of Youth Policy and Programme Development in the Ministry, Roberta Brown Ellis, conversing at the launch of activities to mark Youth Month at the Limelight Entertainment Centre, Half-Way-Tree, Kingston on Thursday (October 29). Youth Month is being observed November-December under the theme, ‘Jamaican Youth, Embracing Support’.

“We will be exploring and encouraging ways that more of us can give support to the youth of Jamaica. We have carefully planned all the activities for youth month, with the aim of empowering youths from all walks of life,” she said.
Miss Grange also commended the achievements of the many youths who have excelled in various endeavours, locally and internationally, and are making a positive impact on national life in several ways.
In a brief address, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry, Senator Warren Newby, also commended the achievements of the nation’s youth.
“They are the burning flame, they are the shining example in a country that is going through much crisis,” he said.
Director of Youth Policy and Programme Development in the Ministry, Roberta Brown Ellis, pointed to the need for strategic development and designing of youth programmes. She also stressed the need to forge greater collaborations and partnerships with youth organisations.
Opposition Spokesperson on Youth, Lisa Hanna, in bringing greetings commended the Ministry and its agencies for the work being undertaken to empower young people.
“I would like to see a policy for young people that integrates all the different inter-ministerial activities within the Ministry. The National Centre for Youth Development is not enough, (though) it is a start (and) I think it is a good foundation to build on. But, I think (that), right now, there are so many (other) support mechanisms that youth can embrace, but they need to be able to know where they are, and they need to have the transformative aspects of all of them coming together,” she said.