US Embassy’s youth arm hosts Youth Expo and Volunteer Fair

The Youth Action Network of the Embassy of the United States of America and Youth Ambassadors Guyana 2015 hosted a grand Youth Exposition and Volunteer Fair at the Umana Yana on Wednesday, and US Ambassador to Guyana, His Excellency Mr Perry Holloway, pledged continued support to the development of Guyanese youth.

Scores of young enthusiasts flocked the Umana Yana during the activities, which

Members of the Youth Ambassadors Guyana 2015 Team are joined by the judges and winners of the GYSEP project pitch

commemorated International Youth Day 2017 by showcasing the work of youth organisations so as to inspire young Guyanese to become involved in service to their country.

More than 10 non-governmental organisations participated in the Volunteer Fair, each proudly exhibiting their work as young leaders of Guyana, while the expo provided an opportunity for groups to present their ideas as they sought to implement projects throughout the country. Addressing the audience at the Wednesday gathering, Vice President of the Youth Action Network, Ashraf Dabie, also a member of the Youth Ambassadors Guyana 2015 Team, underlined the accomplishments of YAG 2015 while pointing out what prompted his teams to implement a number of youth developmental programmes across Guyana. He detailed the implementation of four service-capacity-building initiatives — the most recent wrapping up at the Youth Exposition – which were realised by allowing the six participating groups of the Guyana Youth and Social Entrepreneurship Program (GSYEP) to present their service project ideas. This was as they competed for a chance to be among the two top ranked groups to be awarded additional coaching by the business experts of the Master Class Institute, led by Dr Rosh Khan.

Also speaking at the event was the President of the Youth Action Network, Malcolm Wills, who outlined the mission of his organisation while sharing the achievements of the group ever since they came into existence, back in 2013. And in delivering the feature address, US Ambassador Perry Holloway commended the work of the participating groups, and indicated that the US would continue to support the efforts of young Guyanese as they seek to impact change within their communities.

“When I see all these smart, energetic, motivated young people trying to do things to better themselves, to better the people around them, and to better their country, I realise that there is hope for Guyana; and, by extension, there is hope for the rest of the world. So I do really enjoy coming to events like this,” the US Ambassador posited. Alluding to a 2015 United Nations report which stated, “Citizen Volunteers help make governments more responsive and accountable to their citizens. Volunteerism adds immense value to your country’s economic output”, the US Ambassador acknowledged the work of young Guyanese, especially those present at the event, and pledged his country’s commitment to continue investing in Guyanese youth. He said, “The US Embassy will continue to play (its) part to empower young people (through) our youth development initiatives, such as the Youth Ambassadors Program and the Youth Action Network. We continue to see the positive returns of these initiatives when emerging leaders such as many of you here today come back from your training and are committed to fulfilling your social responsibility towards the development of your country by making positive contributions in your own communities.” The US Embassy’s Youth Exposition and Volunteer Fair marked the first event to be hosted in celebration of International Youth Day this year, and established a precedent for similar initiatives to follow. The annual recognition and celebration of the accomplishments and contributions of young people to their respective societies will be observed around the world on August 12.