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Jamaica celebrates Global Youth Service Day
26 April 2006, 14:45
by Theresa Maria Brandt

Kingston, Jamaica: The UN Volunteers programme, in collaboration with the UNDP Civic Dialogue Project, the Kingston & St. Andrew Action Forum and the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO hosted a youth rally at the YWCA on Saturday, 22 April.  Betty-Anne Blaine, founder of Youth Opportunities Unlimited and Hear the Children Cry, addressed the rally on the theme “Investing in our young people for a better Jamaica”.

The rally aimed to encourage nation building and youth development by promoting peace and greater understanding through discussion.

People from over 40 communities from Kingston and St. Andrew areas participated, including many youth. An open space for peaceful communication was created so as to further develop mutual understanding and respect among community members.

The youth rally was organized:

  • To bring to the table various issues of concern to youth from the communities and identify the current priorities of communities from the perspective of the youth.
  • To give the youth an opportunity to articulate with individuals, governmental and non-governmental organizations (especially those which focus on youth concerns), the possibilities for youth empowerment and development.
  • To strengthen the youth group and recruit additional participants, with the view to creating opportunities for development.

The rally helped the youth groups to consolidate ideas with various collaborating partners and design a programme that will best suit their needs.

  1. Organizations contributed to this event in the following ways:
    Hosted an interactive session with the youths present (based on either personal experiences and/or on behalf of their organizations) so as to motivate positive thinking in them, in terms of career and other goals that they may have.
  2. Hosted a booth/table at the rally and disseminated information to the youth about how best their organizations can facilitate them.