Youth council invites partners for voter education drive

The Guyana National Youth Council (GNYC) is inviting organisations working for, and with young people, to sign on to the partnership agreement for the implementation of youth voter education, which it says conforms to its strategic goal for enhanced youth participation in decision-making.

In a press release, the GNYC said that the aim of its “Vote Like A Boss” education campaign is to allow young people to understand the importance of voting, its process, and the mandates of all parties.

This, the GNYC said, is to be achieved through youth participation, by providing a space for young people to engage all political parties, as well as the Guyana Elections Commission (Gecom).

According to the release, voting and participating in the political processes are critical ways through which citizenship develops within young people and the method through which society educates them about their roles and responsibilities as active citizens.

The campaign includes workshops on political manifestos and the youth agenda, voter education street fairs around Guyana, public forum/debate, and public service announcements.

The GNYC said it is a non-partisan and politically non-aligned organization, registered as a non-profit entity. “We are a fully youth led and youth initiated network with organisational and individual members in several regions,” the release said. It said it has a network of over 80 formal and informal youth groups/organisations, across Guyana.

The release said the organisation’s genesis dates back to June 2013, where a steering committee commenced a series of consultations with young people, which later saw the drafting of its constitution, membership drive and outreach, capacity building sessions, establishment of a duly elected board of trustees and its eventual launch in September, 2014.

The GNYC thanked members of the public as well as local, regional and international youth organizations for their support and encouragement. It also thanked Gecom for its support and assistance during this period, which is designed to create a sphere of inclusive participation.

The organization added that it is “truly heart-warming” to see supporters of the major political parties, APNU+AFC and PPP/C, endorsing the campaign by using the slogan to create a Facebook page and on promotional images to inform potential supporters of their mandate.

The GNYC said that while it welcomes this recognition, it remains non-partisan and has not endorsed any political party contesting the upcoming elections.

“We continue to urge all young people to vote come May 11, 2015 according to your own personal views and values and make an attempt to learn more of the mandate of each political party to be an informed voter,” the release said.

For further information, the GNYC can be contacted at nycguyana@outlook.com or gnycteam@gmail.com or at www.facebook.com/guyananyc.

The PPP had accused the organisation of being part of the US-funded LEAD project, which the government had earlier said was partisan and had called a halt to its operation. However, the youth organization had said in a previous press release that while the LEAD project was in fact a current donor, the GNYC was a legally registered independent non-governmental organisation.

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