Ms Tamanisha John’s letter entitled ‘Education along with youth involvement must be promoted to achieve gains” published in SN on September 6, highlighted the need for individuals to improve themselves academically, as an important cog in the wheel of empowering the nation’s youth, alongside the programme of “servant leaders” being developed by the Linden-based organisation, Youth Vision.
We would like to say that, in addition to the above, today’s youth must also be encouraged to participate in outdoor sporting activities. As members of the Youth Empowerment, Inclusion and Reconciliation Project (YEIRP) sponsored by the United Nations Develop-ment Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Govern-ment, we have conducted surveys which show that 80% of our young people do not engage in outdoor sporting activities, spending their time indoors playing electronic games or utilizing the social media networks. Of those who do partake in sport, the lack of proper facilities and fields force them to literally play on the streets (football, basketball, cricket).
One of the goals of YEIRP is, through the provision of grant funding, for various subgroups to identify small projects which can be executed to the benefit of their local communities. As members of the Linden subgroup we have decided to undertake the rehabilitation of the public open space which is located in front of the Mackenzie Primary School, in Kara Kara, Mackenzie. This abandoned playfield is currently a sight for sore eyes, overgrown with bush and serving as cattle pasture.
Our objective is that, working in collaboration with the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) and the Mayor and Town Council (M&TC), we can successfully rehabilitate this playfield and restore it to its original purpose, utilizing it for games and recreation. We are hoping that this will entice the young people to cease engaging in sporting activities on the roadways and would lead to the formation of youth clubs and groups that would encourage those currently engrossed with electronic games and social media to come out and take part in healthy outdoor activities.
Healthy bodies do nurture healthy minds, and the consequential social interaction fostered among youths can be a meaningful contribution towards their overall empowerment, alongside academic improvement and the goals of the Linden Youth Vision Programme.