August 31, 2010
In December 2009, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a Resolution proclaiming that all Member States, including St. Kitts and Nevis recognise August 2010 to August 2011 as the Year of the Youth. Governments and civil society were all called upon to promote actions at all levels aimed at disseminating among young people the ideals of peace, freedom, progress, solidarity and dedication to the objectives and goals of progress and development.
As the St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association celebrates nine years of active involvement in nation building this September, we encourage all young people to take their rightful places as positive and meaningful contributors to the progress and development of the Federation as called for by the United Nations. Young people, as free people, it is our right; as the majority of inhabitants of this country, region and world, is it our responsibility, as the promise and hope for tomorrow lies squarely in our hands, there need be no other reason. We truly believe, as that UN Resolution itself noted that “the ways in which the challenges and potential of young people are addressed will influence current social and economic conditions and the well-being and livelihood of future generations”. If today we do not seek to alleviate challenges such as violence, crime, poverty, financial hardship, sexual promiscuity and irresponsibility and other challenges, then what sort of world would we have to live in in twenty years?
Bearing all this in mind, the theme chosen for SKNYPA’s 9th Anniversary celebrations and activities is ‘Our Year, Our Voice: Using today’s challenges to open tomorrow’s doors’. With a mandate to involve young people in nation building, the activities were all borne from the central idea that if young people’s voices are given serious consideration in the dialogues surrounding our national challenges, solutions can far easier come about.
For example, on September 13th the Association will officially launch its Secretariat and website as focal resource points for young people to gain information on opportunities available to them. On September 15th, the Inaugural Primary School Parliamentary debate in honour of our late founding father Mr. Desmond E. Ward will provide some of the youngest in the country the opportunity to discuss pertinent issues at the highest level. Fifteen children from across the island aged 9 to 11 will take to the National Assembly to debate issues surrounding education and crime. SKNYPA has benefited greatly from the generosity and kindness of a number of people and organisations and our appreciation will be shown to them at an event on September 19th. September 20th to 24th is our Volunteer Week and on October 2nd, we will stage a Youth Club Exhibition where youth organisations are invited to set up booths so that other young people can see the options available to them when it comes to getting involved. SKNYPA itself would launch another of its own recruitment drive so that persons aged 12 to 30 may also consider us as their organisation of choice. Our leadership conference on October 8th and 9th will seek to inspire and strengthen the capacity of our young leaders and organisations to get up, go out and get things done.
Other activities include our Annual General Meeting on September 11, fellowship at the Ebenzer Methodist Church in Old Road on September 12 and a Wreath Laying Ceremony to honour the memory of Desmond Ward on September 16th.
SKNYPA is a non profit, non partisan youth organisation geared towards ensuring that the youth voice is always counted on issues of national interest. As we strive to fulfil our mandate and commit ourselves to Using today’s challenges to Open tomorrow’s doors, SKNYPA stands resolute in the knowledge that if we take the opportunities to better ourselves now, tomorrow shall be in great hands. It is my pleasure to therefore declare SKNYPA’s Anniversary Period – OFFICIALLY OPEN!