(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) “The Way Forward” presented by Yvonne Holder, Technical Coordinator of the Technical Action Services Unit at the CARICOM Secretariat ended the three-day Sustainable Livelihoods for CARICOM Youth Workshop held in Saint Lucia from 8-10 July.
The workshop was attended by more than 30 CARICOM Youth Ambassadors (CYAs) from Member States and Associate Members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The main objective of the workshop was to educate CYAs about the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), thereby making them stronger advocates for its implementation at the national level. Topics reviewed included the history of regional integration and the current status of CSME, as well as media relations.
“The sessions were quite informative. We were able to do quite a lot,” Grenada’s Nerisa Celestine noted, expressing satisfaction with the up-to-date information shared. “We already started sensitising the public about the issues relating to CSME, but from this workshop, we were able to learn new ways, through new mediums, about how to disseminate the information,” Celestine added. The CYA pledged to find more creative ways to present the issues to young people and get them involved in the CSME.
Kyle De Freitas of St. Vincent and the Grenadines agreed with his colleague’s assessment, describing the sessions as “an opportune time to train CYAs” on CARICOM’s flagship programme. He said, “When disseminating information, especially about the CSME, you must take a systematic approach to doing it.” De Freitas noted that media interviews and lecture-styled workshops for youths were not enough. “What I am hoping to do is to have a training of trainers conference similar to this one for CYAs. This allows for a more targeted approach, not just educating people about the CSME, but preparing and enlisting them to help with disseminating information such as its benefits,” he added.
The Vincentian CYA said the workshop, which will target youth leaders and various community-based agencies, will focus on the potential employment opportunities as well as the impact of HIV/AIDS on CSME, rather than the broader elements of the CSME.
Deputy Programme Manager for Youth and Community Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Heather Johnson expressed pleasure with the workshop and saluted those who assisted in making it a success. She thanked the Government and Youth Department of Saint Lucia for hosting and facilitating the workshop.