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Sep 13, 2023

Young People from All Cultures Meet at Youth Ideas Summit

Today, youths from across the country gathered inside the Toucan Hall at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel for an event on the National Celebrations calendar. It was the Belize at Forty-two Creative Youth Ideas Summit, the concept for which was borne three years ago when Minister of Culture, Francis Fonseca also took over as chairman of the National Celebrations Commission. Today he shared with News Five that he felt there was an absence of young people in terms of our national discussions about the state of our nation. In that light, he said he reached out back then to the National Student Union of Belize and so began the conceptualization of the summit – an event that would bring together young people, from different organizations and schools across Belize. Fonseca says that the future of the country lies in the hands of our youths and they need to take up the mantle from now to chart the course ahead.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Culture

“We have school leaders here, we have young presidents of different youth movements, really to have an engaging discussion each year on the celebrations calendar about the state of our nation. Where are we? This year, where are we at 42? What do you think Belize is doing for our young people? How do you see your future in Belize? These are important questions for young people. So, I think it’s an incredibly important event. Obviously, you know, it will begin, continue to grow over the years. As I said in my remarks to the young people this morning, I challenge them to the work of education, more engaged in the blue economy, the green economy, the orange economy, which I believe are the future, in terms of Belize’s economic development, and I also encourage them and challenge them to get fully engaged and involved with the People’s Constitution Commission – very critical work being done now by that Commission. How will Belize be governed for the next 50 or 100 years? They have an opportunity to participate meaningfully in that discussion and to guide that discussion.  They have a perception that young people just complain – that young people just complain on Facebook, complain on TikTok and Instagram about things, make fun of everybody, but we have to move beyond that. We have to move to decisions, action, change. How do we transform this country? Nobody will do it for us. The recommendations will be put together in a full, formal report by the organizers of this event. That report will then be presented to me as the Chairman of the Celebrations Commission and as the Minister of Education and then I will then table that report to the Cabinet. That’s the first step in terms of sharing with them these proposed solutions and recommendations and concerns coming out of the Creative Youth Ideas Summit. But we’ll also share it with the wider public so that other leaders in other sectors can benefit from these discussions.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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