12 August 2020
· International Youth Day is celebrated each year on 12 August
· The theme for 2020 is ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’
· St Helena’s Youth Parliament allows young people to be more engaged in Island political issues
International Youth Day is celebrated on 12 August each year to recognise the efforts of the world’s youth in enhancing global society. It aims to encourage ways to engage young people in becoming more actively involved in making positive contributions to their communities.
This year, International Youth Day highlights the theme of ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’. It emphasises the ways in which young people at the local, national and global level are enriching societies, as well as enhancing the representation and participation in formal institutional politics.
Here on St Helena, we have established a Youth Parliament which has given young people a platform for their actions, initiatives and voices to be heard. The last debate in November 2019 highlighted the importance of more efficient learning in Prince Andrew School, through restructuring the school timetable to meet the needs of both academic and vocational students.
Member of the St Helena Youth Parliament, Marcella Mittens, commented:
“Previously, we have always had an Elected Member representing and voicing the needs of the youth on the Island; however the establishment of the Youth Parliament gives young people the opportunity to be leaders in our society and voice their ideas and passions, demonstrating the power and courage young people have. It is an empowering experience to participate in a formal debate and I personally feel this should be organised more often as the youth have a lot to say. We are not just the future of the Island, we are also the present – we can accomplish things now.”
Children’s Champion, Councillor Derek Thomas, added:
“With the support of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, efforts are being made to develop the Youth Parliament to ensure that our youth are properly engaged and represented in decision making processes, which provides greater opportunities for our youth, in our aim to strengthen and grow our economy.”
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12 August 2020