Providenciales, 25 Sept 2015 – Having celebrated the first National Youth Day in these Islands in 1995, this 20th year is therefore a commemorative one for the PDM who first introduced it under the Taylor Administration and directly under the leadership of the Hon Clarence Selver. National Youth Day when introduced was held to be a day of celebration – celebration of our youth. We therefore on this 20th year considered this a major milestone worthy of great celebration.
We are grateful to and celebrate the many persons that served in the capacity as Minister with responsibility for youth, Youth Directors and also former members of the National Youth Council then in place. We then pause to celebrate the youth who allowed their lives to be positively impacted through the Department over the years and who we celebrate for their efforts in paying it forward.
This week our Radio Show “Raising TCI” returns and we pause to celebrate our youth. With a youth theme and in honor of our youth worthy of celebration, we will sit and hear from youths who have a vision and who have already begun to impact and change their corner of these Islands. We will hear from them the challenges and what they feel can be done. We will also celebrate with the Miss Teen Organization as it seeks to offer young ladies a platform to show case their inner and outer beauty.
We recognize that it is difficult to be a youth in today’s TCI with the myriad of challenges ranging from lack of activities that reach them where they are at especially our unattached youth; unemployment; under employment; depression; poverty; the growing inability to find their place or worth in their own country and the response to migrate to other countries in search of better opportunities; lack of adult guidance; crimes; juvenile delinquency and improper facilities and programs to help; drugs and alcohol; imprisonment and society’s too often approach to allow a successful reentry; teenage sex and pregnancy; prostitution; bullying and gang violence; and being saddled with a future where they cannot seem to be able to find or see their place. It is not easy and I encourage us all from where we are to reach out as individuals and collectively in organized bodies to respond to these real challenges tangible and meaningful ways.
Nonetheless in the midst of it all, many of our youth continue to rise above the challenges and give us reason to celebrate be it in the area of academia, sports, creative arts, business and civic roles and responsibility. We salute you and will continue to support your efforts and celebrate your successes.
We charge you, our our youth to seek out the programs and activities that will support your positive development and to also understand that in every generation there will be calls to make decisions and sacrifices for the good of our country. It is never ever about personal wealth and self -aggrandizement. It is always about leaving this world better than we met it. It is in your power to remove the stigma that too many have of you as youth. I challenge to search within, see if you are living out your fullest potential or existing. You must rise up and make your positive mark. You are required to contribute positively towards nation building. That is your duty and more so as you are the inheritors of what you build or destroy today.
Equally, we renew our pledge to help our troubled and challenged youth. We believe firmly that the raising of a child will always be the responsibility of an entire village. My mind goes back to the act of infant dedication and the practice to invite individuals of the Church to stand if he/she was committed to assisting the parents with the rearing of the child. I am asking us in an act of rededication to the building of our country, to stand in support of our youth and assist parents in raising our future leaders. And also to stand committed to doing what we can to give them the opportunities so that they can realize their fullest potential. Love of God and country must motivate us. We must help even when it is not welcomed. It may sound foolish but this is a must. Many homes need our help not our destructive criticism. The village encompassing the Church, the School, the lawmakers, custodians of the public purse, civic organizations and individuals must come alive as we seek to rear the next generation of leaders and citizens.
We celebrate our youth this week. We believe that our brightest minds are ahead and that our future is bright if we act now.
We say Happy 20th National Youth Day TCI. May God bless guide and protect our youth and our homes.