Dr Collins to mentor Guyana’s Caribbean Youth Ambassadors
Renowned Guyanese Leader Dr Astell Collins was recently appointed Youth Advisor for the Pan Caribbean Partnership (PANCAP) Coordinating Unit, making him the focal point for youth throughout the Caribbean.
PANCAP encompasses the fight against HIV and AIDS, and it is a partnership of national, regional and international state and non-state actors, which was established on 14 February, 2001 to respond to the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean.
In his capacity both as Global Representative and Youth Advisor, Collins believes it gives him greater access to the Caribbean community to promote the principle and concept of UBUNTU, which he learnt while living in South Africa.
He said it is simply to promote the Spirit of Humanity.
He also believes Guyana can become a model nation to the rest of the Caribbean and even the world as a nation of peaceful co-existence among an ethnically diverse citizenry.
Dr Collins continues to honour the legacy of his mentor the late Dr Myles Munroe with every seminar.
Moreover, with his vast experience in advocacy for human rights and equality, he will be engaging with Guyana’s newly appointed Caribbean Youth Ambassadors, namely Jewel Collier-Swan and Adrian Alfred.
Collins is committed to working with the entire Caribbean Youth Ambassadors Corps and a number of plans are already in the works for various training and developmental sessions.
Moreover, the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Youth Ambassador Programme (CYAP) is the mechanism established by the Community to facilitate youth participation and partnership in the regional integration process and in national and regional development.
The Programme is coordinated by the Caricom Secretariat; facilitated at the national level by departments responsible for Youth Affairs; and implemented through multiple networking and collaborative relationships with stakeholders, including private and public sector agencies, national youth councils/organisations, retired Caricom youth ambassadors and international development partners.
The Secretariat, with support from development partners, equip CYAs with appropriate information, knowledge, skills, attitudes and resources, and provides spaces and opportunities for them to participate in decision-making and programme/policy development at the regional level.
Caricom Youth Ambassadors are young Caribbean nationals mandated by Caricom Heads of Governments to advocate for and educate young people about regional priorities such as HIV and AIDS and the Caricom Single Market and Economy.
They perform a dual role, addressing youth issues at the national level within a regional strategic framework, as well as bringing national issues to the attention of the Region’s policy-makers and planners.
Dr Collins is a humanitarian who cares deeply for all and in his capacity of chairman of Habitat board of directors, his first initiative known as Fifty for the 50th Project was established to ensure that Habitat for Humanity Guyana Inc was positioned in such a way to create a platform to promote national unity, social cohesion and also the spirit of humanity.
The idea is to have those who can afford to give to the less fortunate which ensures we become our brother’s keepers, He said what better way for us to celebrate our 50th Independence anniversary but by looking out for those in need.
With this initiative, Collins wants special attention to be focused on single-parents especially mothers, the elderly population, and the differently-abled.
He is passionate about expressing compassion to the differently-abled and has worked with a number of institutions that offer services to this group.