#Providenciales, October 2, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – Thirty years later and National Youth Day in the Turks and Caicos is still a country-wide day off but have we made any strides in fending off the social ills which sicken younger generations? It is what I wanted to know in a sit-down interview with the founder of the day, now a gospel minister and bishop; Dr. Earle Fulford.
“It was in 1987 when I made the proposal. Now how it happened, when we had our grand occasion in 1987, at the rally, at the ceremony, I got up and I challenged the government, at that time it was the Hon. Oswald Skippings who was the Chief Minister, and Governor Bradley, and I got up and I said that we pay lip service to young people, we don’t anything organized to show young people that we recognize them. We didn’t have a youth department, we didn’t have a national youth council, so I said one way we can do that is by recognizing the young people, putting a day aside for our young people to appreciate that we recognize them.”
Three decades is a long time ago, and according to records complied by the University of Florida, the population of the Turks and Caicos was around 13,000 people in 1987 – give or take 2,500. About 80 percent of the population was estimated, in 1987, to be below the age of 25 years old.
The former director of Social Services reflected on what the problems were then… “I recommended that we establish a Turks and Caicos National Youth Council, to represent the rights of young people in our country.”
As for the remedies for the modern day Youth, Dr. Fulford had some ideas.
“We are producing so many negative people right now because at the 4th,5th and 6th grade, they are not being introduced to God, that has been taken away, they need to reintroduce and take it to the final level of graduation. What I would say is that the nation is failing the youth.”