Young people demand more interventions and job opportunities

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Fight for Peace youth facilitator Sashane Parker says more life skills and interventions should be provided to young people. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

DISSATISFIED with efforts aimed at youth development across the country, youth representatives are looking for more opportunities to stimulate social and entrepreneurial growth.

During round table discussion with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Violence against Children, Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid, recently, young leaders called for more interventions and employment opportunities.

STAR Project Youth Program Manager Hykel Nunes said more mentors would help improve the social development of young people, especially those living in inner-city communities.

“[The] the ability and availability to have people to talk to – because that is sometimes overlooked – not everyone has someone to share their stories with or talk to them about. When you look at crime now, the existing mechanisms that are here sometimes don’t take into account psychosocial support because it’s a rigorous process in terms of assisting anyone who goes through this process,” he explained. .

Fight for Peace social worker Karen McGlashin says more job opportunities should be offered to young people. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Sharing a similar sentiment to Nunes, Fight for Peace youth facilitator Sashane Parker noted that the interventions helped him with his personal growth.

“Some of the changes that I think could help are life skills and interventions at a very young age. It’s because I was involved in a number of things like youth groups while growing up,” he shared.

“Sometimes kids just need an intervention, just someone to come and show them something different from the norms they’ve seen in the community. A lot of times they don’t really see anyone in the community to help them, or a mentor,” he said. elaborated.

Meanwhile, U-Report Youth Council of the United Nations Children’s Fund, Jerome Palmer, called for “much more community-driven decisions – not just programs – to ensure that Communities can run programs that can help them help themselves. We need routine mentorship at the community level. It should be built into future programs for parents and children.”

Hykel Nunes, youth program manager for the STAR project, says more mentors would help improve social development. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Meanwhile, Fight for Peace social worker Karen McGlashin pointed to the lack of employability. She expressed concern about young people turning to violence after high school dropouts and the stigma placed on them.

“They are not able to engage in gainful employment to better support themselves and their families, and this will lead them to choose a path that is not good for them, nor for their family, nor for their community. If we want to make a change, we have to look at employability, we have to look at strengthening that kind of system where most people would get gainful employment,” she said.

Noting he was discouraged by the lack of opportunities for young people, Fight for Peace participant Ajani Willie said: “When I’m in the ghetto and I look around I see potential but they have been influenced by certain things that block their creativity – and that’s why I found a band like Fight for Peace. I would love to see the kids around me come up with something good. It breaks my heart to see a wasted potential, and I really hope I can make a difference in my community one day.”

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