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Thursday, 19 April 2018
Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Youth in the Nevis Island AdministrationHon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Youth in the Nevis Island AdministrationNIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (APRIL 03, 2018) -- The following is an address by Hon. Eric Evelyn Minister of Youth in the Nevis Island Administration on the observance of Youth Month 2018.
 
Fellow citizens and residents,
 
I greet you on the occasion of Youth Month 2018.
 
The month of April is celebrated as Youth Month here on Nevis. Youth Month is an opportunity to celebrate and highlight our youth and to educate them on a range of issues affecting them.  It is also an opportunity to empower and develop our youth.
 
Youth Month activities are led by the Department of Youth in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) with the support of youth organizations and other government and non-government stakeholders.  The theme for Youth Month 2018 is “Securing our Future, One GOAL at a time”.
 
This year, the theme surrounds the very important Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, and seeks to educate our youth as well as the entire population on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 
 
The year 2030 is the target year for the attainment of these goals and we do not want anyone, particularly our youth to be left behind. Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban-Ki Moon, in his 2017 International Youth Day address stated ‘In this landmark year, as leaders prepare to adopt a bold new vision for sustainable development, the engagement of youth is more valuable than ever’. 
 
There is no doubt, even at the international level, that the engagement and involvement of young people is pivotal to the successful attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. In light of this, the United Nations Development Programme highlighted several key facts in the January 2017 publication “Youth as partners for the implementation of the SDGs”. Among these important facts are the following:
 
Today’s generation of adolescents and young people (between 10 and 24 years old) is close to 1.8 billion – more than at any other time in history – approximately 90 percent of whom live in less developed countries.
 
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a total of 169 targets, were adopted in 2015. More than one third of SDG targets reference young people explicitly or implicitly, with a focus on empowerment, participation and/or well-being.
 
There are 20 youth-specific targets spread over six key SDGs: Goal 2 (hunger), Goal 4 (education), Goal 5 (gender equality), Goal 8 (decent work), Goal 10 (inequality) and Goal 13 (climate change).
 
Young people’s involvement is also key if the call for participation, inclusion, accountability and revitalized global engagement embedded in Goals 16 (peaceful, just and inclusive societies) and 17 (partnerships and implementation) are to be achieved.
 
The Sustainable Development Goals encompass the targets which we as an island, a country, and the world, must achieve in order to ensure the security of our people and our planet. In order for our young people to be active partners in the process, they must be educated on the existence of the goals and their potential roles in the implementation process. 
 
Although there are 17 goals, it is impossible to fully explore all 17 during a one month period. As such, we will continue the process of education which was started a year ago, through the department’s efforts. Education on the SDGs is embedded in some way in all of the department’s programmes and activities. 
 
Last year the department hosted the first edition of Camp Goals which focused on six of the goals. The annual Summer Job Attachment Programme and the Keep Empowering Youth with Skills (KEYS) Personal and Professional Development workshops were held under the theme:  Promoting Professionalism - One G.O.A.L. At A Time. The thrust will continue throughout the 2018 and 2019 calendar years and beyond, as we answer the call to achieve the 2030 mandate.
 
It is important to note that the activities of the Ministry of Social Development and in particular the Department of Youth to serve the young people will not be limited to the Youth Month 2018 activities. We plan to continue to engage local, regional and international partners to continue to empower our youth. As such, we encourage all young people to join the 2018 Youth Month Activities.
 
April 3-12: Camp GOALS: The annual Easter Camp is field trip and activity-based and focuses on SDG 3: Good Health and Well Being, SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG 13: Climate Action and SDG 16: Peace Justice and Strong Institutions.
 
On April 3: Join us from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)-sponsored Activate Talks at the Nevis Disaster Management Department’s EOC Conference Room. Activate Talks is a global series of talks promoting dialogue among change makers from all walks, as we rethink and rework how we can deliver results for the most vulnerable and marginalized adolescents and youth. 
 
The focus is on drawing the world’s attention to showcasing and developing solutions for children and young people’s well-being. Activate  Talks are intended to broaden the dialogue as we invite both traditional and non-traditional partners to get involved in the discussions and debates and to share their views and experiences of issues for children. “Adolescents and Youth in a Digital Era”, looks at some of the ways in which technology can help its users, the pitfalls and what we as a nation can do to ensure that online is a safer and more productive place for all.
 
On April 4-7th: we will host the QUEST (Quality Education, Sound Training) Program for teenagers. This program will feature young people from Barbados as well as youth from Nevis who will engage in public speaking and confidence building activities. 
 
QUEST is an amalgamation of the bi-annual Caribbean Junior Parliamentary Assembly (CJPA) and The Persistence of Vision (POV) Project. Consisting of major components of both the CJPA and The POV Project, QUEST will be an annual project hosted in a different Caribbean country. It will have strong focus on Theatre Arts and Public Speaking for Theatre and Media.
 
Join the Department of Youth every Saturday during the Month of April for special editions of “Youth on the Go” on VON Radio. The show will run from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. each Saturday morning.
 
On Friday April 13: there will be the Youth Month Rally which will commence at 3: 00 p.m. at the Old Nevis Cultural Center and proceed to the Villa Grounds. Come out and learn from over 20 youth groups and organization as they share the 17 SDGs in this educational rally.
 
Fitness, good health and wellbeing are important for our youth.  As such, all young and young at heart are encouraged to participate in the You Fit Youth Dancercize Events on Tuesday April 17th and Tuesday 24th at the Villa Grounds. The sessions commence at 5:15 p.m. on both dates. Come out and learn how to burn calories and stay healthy while having fun.
 
On Thursday April 19th, the Department will launch the Comm-Serve – Community Service Program. Volunteerism has been the pillar of the Nevisian society for decades and we encourage all young people to sign up to be part of this volunteer programme. Do you want to be part of ensuring a better Nevis? Comm-Serve, Do you want to be actively engaged and involved? Comm-Serve, Do you want to document all of your service hours and activities? Comm-Serve. Don’t let this opportunity for service pass you by.
 
Following the launch of Comm-Serve, all youth and youth groups are encouraged to be part of the Global Youth Service Day on Friday April 20 by completing a service project that can impact your community, parish, island, Federation, region or even your world. If you are unable to volunteer on April 20, the service days will be extended to Sunday April 22, 2018.
 
From Monday April 23 to Friday May 4th, join us for the 4th annual Costume Design Workshop. Register today as we continue to provide opportunities for Quality Informal Education.
 
On Tuesday April 24th we present: Resolve It: A conflict resolution session for teenagers. In light of all of the incidences of anti-social behaviour, this very important session seeks to provide alternative options for responding in the face of conflict.
 
On Wednesday April 25th, the Department will host the 5th annual “Be Your Career Choice for the Day” where selected students will have an opportunity to perform the roles of professionals who are currently engaged in traditional and non-traditional careers. Following the two hour attachment, the participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences with their colleagues as well as the wider Nevisian audience.
 
On Thursday April 26th, the 25 Most Remarkable Teens will present their “Volunteer Project Activities” at the Nevis Disaster Management Department’s EOC Conference Room commencing at 7:00 p.m. 
 
On Friday April 27th, The Nevis Recyclers Association will host their first Science Fair at the Villa Grounds.
 
Youth Month 2018 will culminate with the “You Fit Youth”, Follow the GOALS Scavenger Hunt and Team Challenge at the FIT Grounds on Sunday April 29th from 3 to 6 pm.
 
Don’t miss out… for 2018 and beyond, let us do our part to secure our future, one GOAL at a time.
 
It is with a deep sense of pride and a great privilege for me, in my capacity as Minister of Youth, Sports et al. to officially declare Youth Month 2018 open. Please support our youth in these endeavours and I wish you all a safe and enjoyable Youth Month.