Youth Council says it is a “legally registered and independent youth-led NGO”

Members of the Youth Council met with GECOM recently.

[] – The Guyana National Youth Council (GNYC) says it has no political ties and was merely looking to edify Guyana’s youth about their democratic right by partnering with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

This comes after the General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Clement Rohee blasted both the GNYC and GECOM after the two entities entered into a partnership geared at increasing voter education.

“The organisation claiming to represent Guyana’s youth has no authority to do so, as far as the PPP is concerned this youth grouping is a creature of external interference through the LEAD ( US Leadership and Democracy) project and is nothing more than a group of partisan persons who are attempting to hijack the name Guyana National Youth council,” Rohee had said.

But a recent statement from the council noted that the “GNYC is a legally registered and independent youth-led NGO established in September 2014 after a series of broad-based consultations with youth and youth serving entities which began in early 2013. While this was before the GNYC’s partnerships with its current donors (Cuso International and USAID LEAD project), the process was facilitated by the Commonwealth Youth Programme.”

According to the statement, as a network committed to youth development, education and empowerment, the objectives of the GNYC are to engage youth stakeholders towards the creation of sustainable strengthened youth networks and to foster the development of youth leaders at the community and national levels.

“Quite broadly, we exist to promote a national youth identity which is sensitive to the diversities of the GNYC membership with a view of enhancing the common aspirations, fostering goodwill and solidarity among Guyanese youth. Since our official launch in September 2014, we have conducted monthly capacity building sessions with over 100 youth organizations and individuals in the area of fundraising, advocacy, activism, youth participation and engagement,” the statement read.

GNYC contends that the move towards launching this voter education campaign was requested by its membership, who wanted to be involved in the political processes without ascribing to any particular party as the GNYC’s mandate is a non-partisan one.

“The GNYC aims to educate the public, particularly youth on their rights and responsibilities as it relates to the voting process, with a focus on policy. The campaign will include the use of social media, television, radio and face-to-face engagement and anticipates the release of at least 4 exciting Public Service Announcements as well as grassroots Elections Fairs and Forums. There will also be platforms for young people to engage their leaders through a National Elections Forum,” the statement indicated.

Thus far, the GNYC says it has been able to secure partnerships with GECOM and some funding via USAID and LEAD to ensure the campaign comes to fruition and will be engaging the youth organizations within its network to collaborate.