The young men and women who traveled to the weekend event are, at the end of the training, expected to serve as the “eyes and ears” of the two appointed Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Youth Ambassadors to Belize, promoting special projects and leading the local-level discussions on issues affecting youths.
One of these ambassadors, Tarun Butcher, explained that the youths shall be expected to show confidence in themselves, to be able to speak up and stand up for what they believe in and not be afraid to advocate – in short, being responsible and not followers.
Facilitator of the two-day workshop Sandra Diaz-Cadle, in an interview, explained that the goal is to empower the young people so that they will be expected to work with each other and with the Department of Youth Services to organize their fellow young people on matters of interest to them and will meet once a month with the youth ambassadors to map out a strategy and plan of action.
The participants were recommended by the Department of Youth Services on the basis of prior experience working with youth on the local level in community youth groups. That work is expected to continue.
One of their key complaints – that there is not enough of a platform for youths to articulate their special problems to the rest of society – was addressed.
Others that were on the agenda included crime and police response, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, economic development and leadership development.