Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Youth have a new broadcast forum

THE youth of the Caribbean have opinions on the issues affecting them, and they are being given a forum to express themselves to in excess of one million viewers across the Caribbean and the Diaspora.

And this is needed, because, according to UN Resident Co-ordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Stephen O’Malley, the youth are being impacted by problems today that the youth of yesteryear did not have to face.

He said, “I think we would all agree that the challenges youth face across the region are real, they’re significant, they’re substantial – just getting a start in formal employment, for example, continuing with formal education.

“There are a lot of real pressures on youth at this time, and an expectation that youth will have to do more to make their own way, than they might have in the past when they would have expected to move into a government job or move seamlessly into some form of work. It’s going to be a much more challenging environment for them. And that is the same situation it is elsewhere in other parts of the world.”

Therefore, he asserted, “Our agreement with Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) will, through this agreement, develop a television programme utilising that existing media content generated by the Youth-IN Programme to share those stories.”

Speaking last Friday at the Letter of Agreement Signing Ceremony, he added, “We really feel that, through this collaboration, we will be able to bring forward material that allows youth and helps youth to envision their future and to fully participate in building their own future, the future of their community and the future of their country and of the region.”

Encouraging speech

Additionally, in an interview with The Grenada Advocate, he reiterated, “I really think that [the challenging situation I outlined before] is the case, and here again, I put it in a global perspective.

“If you look at trends in youth unemployment and underemployment across the world, you can see that people are having a hard time getting into the workforce, moving out of edu-cation into their first job, et cetera. And that is the kind of thing that I do believe is a greater challenge at this particular time than it has been in the past.”

Therefore, he contended that the televised Youth-INSPIRE series will give the youth a much-needed platform, because, “From my perspective, it seems like around the region the youth want to be involved. They are trying to find ways to do that. They are not passively sitting back.

“So the question is, are there things that we can do to help promote them, to help encourage them, to really say, ‘people value what you have to say, so say it?’”

And he noted that is what Youth-INSPIRE now, in addition to the UNDP Youth Think Tank, is saying to the youth. (KG)

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