Youth Week 2019 to focus on unemployment, mental health

Youth Week 2019 was launched on Wednesday and would involve the participation of some 5000 youths from across all administrative regions of Guyana.
Youth Week will be observed from May 18 to May 25, 2019 under the theme “Inspire and Build Resilient Youth.” The Youth Week activities serve to create a platform for young people to participate in national events as equal and recognised citizens of this country. Further, the event seeks to promote among youths an awareness to remain steadfast in defence of territorial integrity.
Currently, the youth unemployment rate in Guyana stands at 22 per cent, as the end of 2018.

From left: Ewin Enmore, Field Officer (PYARG); Adeli De Jesus, Senior Research and Planning Officer, Department of Youth; Leslyn Boyce, Director of Sport (ag); and Germaine Watson, Project Officer, Department of Youth

Speaking at the launch at the Social Cohesion Ministry, Director of Sport (ag) Leslyn Boyce said that Youth Week activities were geared towards inspiring young people to commit themselves to pursuing the type of technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills training to boost a green economy. She added that the Week further sought to provide an opportunity for youths across Guyana, regardless of political preference or religion, to be united for a better cause.
According to Boyce, the aim at the end of these activities is to ensure that young people are better informed of the importance of their role in national development and be inspired to become involved in meaningful activities and programmes aimed at development of themselves and communities.
Further, she stated that Youth Week would also bring awareness of the various technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills training that are available via the Department of Youth and Guyana Youth Corps so the youths could make adequate use of these initiatives. She said too that the Department was working to ensure certification that was accredited and valuable for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme so that youths would be more confident in enrolling in these courses.
Youth Week activities will kick off in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) on May 18 with a Youth Rally to spread awareness on issues relating to mental health. PYARG Field Officer Ewin Enmore said the Youth Rally would be held in that region this year as it was one of the regions plagued with troubled youth. He said the aim of the rally was to sensitise youths about mental health and locations where they could access assistance as well as ensure that attention and love were shown to those suffering from mental health issues.
He added that the objectives were to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, strengthen collaboration between the Department of Youth and other stakeholders, and reduce suicide rates in Region Six.
Department of Youth Senior Research, Planning and Development Officer, Adeli De Jesus, who outlined the activities planned, said this year’s Youth Week would focus heavily on unemployment among youths as well as their mental health and wellbeing.
Some of the activities a youths’ roundtable discussion on unemployment on May 21 and a mental health activity on May 22.
The Youth Department said that the activities were open to members of the public and encouraged interested participants to visit its Facebook page for updates or visit its office at Lot 91 Middle Street for any necessary assistance.