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Aug 17, 2012

International Youth Day with Jamaican Artist, Pressure

Countries across the globe celebrated International Youth Day on August twelfth, but in Belize the festivities had to be postponed due to the threat of Hurricane Ernesto. While today’s weather was still not optimal, the Youth for the Future Secretariat called out the young people to the MCC Grounds to have their day in the spotlight. As a special treat, a well known Jamaican artist was brought in to perform for the event.

 

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Belize’s young people were celebrated today at an all day event observing International Youth Day. So while youths have regularly been highlighted as being involved in violent incidents, today was all about positive interaction.

 

Kirk Augustus, Manager, Violence Reduction Unit, Youth for the Future

Kirk Augustus

“The importance of this day; firstly we are celebrating them and two, we’re trying to let people know all the positive that young people are doing in Belize. If you know, recently the news is just basically crime and death so now we are bringing to the public, this is what young people are doing. There are a lot of positive young people in Belize and they’re doing a lot. So to some extent, we at YFF need to take some responsibility in terms of not showcasing the positive young people the way we should. So right now, this is the genesis or the start in terms of how we are going to promote and expose young people.”

 

Herman Longsworth, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports

“I simply want to ask the youth of Belize to look at the positive, start to see the positive, come to the Youth for the Future Secretariat, see what is available, what can be done to improve their lives because there are things there. We will start to promote them in a manner, I believe, that will emphasize it more but they can come out, come out and see what is going on and we have programs going on countrywide, especially for at risk youth and they should come out and try to take part and benefit from these programs.”

 

According to Kirk Augustus of Youth For the Future, the day was planned to be fun and inspirational with uplifting messages. The entertainment and guest performer, Jamaican artist Pressure, volunteered his services for free.

 

Kirk Augustus

“We started off with an opening ceremony; we had motivational speakers, the mayor couldn’t make it because of previous commitments so he sent the deputy mayor, our minister spoke and then we have a DJ competition which will be followed by local entertainers and we will finish off with the international entertainer, Pressure.”

 

Herman Longsworth

Herman Longsworth

“He’s a nice humble guy, he’s very, very into young people and wanting to see young people develop across the world and so we’re very appreciative that he has decided to come and do this for us. We all know the emphasis that our youths put especially on this kind of entertainment and the kind of impression that these guys can create in their heads. So it is very, very important that we got this kind of an artist, somebody who caters to young people but caters to the proper development of the young people.”

 

There were also informational booths on the MCC Grounds, to coincide with the theme: “Building a Better World; Partnering with the Youth”

 

Kirk Augustus

“We are partnering with young people so we bring out stakeholders and we bring out all the different NGOs because with the concept, they want us to bring awareness with certain topics, for example HIV and AIDs, entrepreneurial, focusing on global issues that are affecting young people, crime and violence, so this is what we’re depicting in terms of when you’re looking at the booths.”

 

Herman Longsworth

“We have booths that showcase the work that some of the youths or young entrepreneurs to showcase what they’ve been doing to some extent and some of the programs that we’ve had to showcase what they have. But the primary thing here is to get everybody together, to have them interact, to have them enjoy themselves and to have them appreciate that they are appreciated.”

 

Minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Herman Longsworth, says the event will be even better in the coming years.

 

Herman Longsworth

“This is the beginning of what we expect to blossom into a program that will showcase all the talents we have in Belize where our youth is concerned. It has to be an annual thing, it has to be a continuous program that will only culminate at an event like this, but will happen throughout the year. It has to be something that will definitely highlight what is going on with our youth and simply bring it to the fore once a year at an event like this.”

 

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

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