Minister of State Joseph Harmon charged 57 graduates of the Youth Leadership Training Programme at the Madewini Training Centre to be ‘doers’ and not just talkers for the development of Guyana.
The Minister was at the time speaking at the closing ceremony of the first in a series of eight training programmes on Sunday, which will draw on youth leaders from across the country between June and December.
“The true demonstration of your effectiveness as youth leaders will be the practical things you get done and the positive tangible things that you achieve through your endeavours. Be doers, not talkers. We have too many talkers in Guyana; people who have the best ideas about everything but they do nothing. Change that paradigm. Become agents of change, become people who do things. Make your communities better, make your regions better and ultimately you will make Guyana better,” Minister Harmon advised.
Referring to the contents of a publication by President David Granger, where he referred to the crises of employment, education and empowerment faced by young people, who make up 60 per cent of the nation’s population, the state minister said government has a clear vision for the development of this important sector of the population.
Following national consultations across the ten regions of Guyana, a draft National Youth Policy, headed by the Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment Aubrey Norton has been reviewed by Cabinet and is now being prepared as a ‘white paper’ to be laid in the National Assembly and made public for scrutiny and consultation.
However, Harmon noted that even as the National Youth Policy is in the pipeline the challenges facing Guyana’s youth are of a critical nature and hence it is important that interventions like this training programme begin immediately.
The minister also spoke on the importance of social cohesion and lauded the organisers of the programme for the diversity reflected by the faces of the graduates. He called on them to return to their communities and resolve to work to remove the political, economic, social and cultural barriers that divide Guyanese.
Further, Harmon called on the young people to not see politics as a ‘big people’ thing but to become involved in the “political, economic and social affairs of your communities as precursors to your involvement in regional and national affairs.”
He added that even as they work to develop existing and new youth organisations at the community level, they must also focus on their personal development.