The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs is indeed happy to join the international community in commemorating the 21st anniversary of International Youth Day (IYD 2020), under the Theme: “Youth Engagement for Global Action”.
This Theme highlights how “the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes”. It also underscores the importance of youth representation and engagement at the formal institutional level.
IYD 2020 seeks to shed light on the need to engage our youth, and for institutions to be more inclusive to strengthen their capacity to achieve global action.
As the international community works assiduously toward realising the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, through the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, has committed to developing strategies and policies that acknowledge and empower young people as part of the solution.
We at the Ministry believe that investing in our youth plays a crucial role in the successful life cycle of future generations and leadership of our twin-island State. Our policy for youth development is geared towards increased youth participation in all aspects of sustainable development of Trinidad and Tobago and the region. As such, we continue with our mission to enhance the quality of life for our nation’s youth, by developing programmes to encourage them.
The most recent of our programmes, MPowerTT, seeks to empower and mentor young men between the ages of 16 and 29 and enhance their outlook on life, through positive interaction with successful male role models in our society. Thus far, we have reached over 425 young men from 10 communities across Trinidad and Tobago, and will continue to engage them virtually as we circumnavigate the Covid-19 pandemic.
MPowerTT has added to our cast of equally vibrant and successful youth-centred initiatives including:
- 40 Under 40, which supports youth entrepreneurship and professional development, through conversation with 40 Youth Development Influencers under the age of 40, who share their knowledge and experiences.
- LEEAP - the Life Skills, Employability, Entrepreneurship, Activism and Patriotism Programme, which provides skills training to young people, to help them successfully transition to adulthood and contribute to national development.
- GCYE - the Global Campaign for Youth Employment that promotes youth entrepreneurship through two components: the School Enterprise Challenge and the Apprenticeship-Internship-Mentorship (AIM) High Programme.
- National Youth Awards, which recognizes and celebrates myriad accomplishments of our nation’s youth, by rewarding their contributions to national development, and acts as a vision board of inspiration, optimism and hope for the youth population.
IYD 2020 also marks the starting point for our newly appointed CARICOM Youth Ambassadors, Ms. Renee Atwell and Mr. Keigon Denoon, who are tasked with the responsibility to highlight the concerns of our youth population, by redefining and creating innovative opportunities for youth representation at the highest levels of leadership. The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs is committed to supporting Ms. Atwell and Mr. Denoon who are both eager to accelerate the advancement of our youth, regionally.
This International Youth Day, the Ministry encourages each of you, from corporate to community, to engage and empower our youth, inspire their interests and nurture their goals, so they become invested in themselves, their community and their country.
Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha, Nigerian Educator and Author once said “youth are our arrows to the future”. Let us be the hands that guide their aim.<'p>
We at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs will remain committed to the empowerment of our youth and the advancement of the youth development agenda for Trinidad and Tobago.
Happy International Youth Day 2020!