Eighty-eight young people, including a 12-year-old boy, graduated on Sunday from the Youth Leadership Training Programme, which was hosted at the Madewini Training Centre on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway, by the Office of the Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment.
According to a press release from the Ministry of the Presidency, the Youth Leadership Training Programme is divided into two modules; the first features lessons in leadership skills, event planning, communications, effective public speaking, meeting procedures and setting up youth organisations, while the second focuses on skills such as writing reports and minutes, the formulation and implementation of policy, how to conduct meetings as well as social psychology and team building exercises.
The participants hailed from Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two), Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three), Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four), Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five), East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six), Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven), Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight) and Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten).
The release said that Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo who gave the charge to the graduates, urged them to use the time they have now to develop their skills to prepare themselves for Guyana’s oil and gas future. “This country will be very rich as the new frontier of oil and gas. We have now become the one bright spot in the world where all eyes are looking, but we need not only to be rich but also to be safe and the only way our country can be safe and secure our riches is if we have dedicated leadership and you are the leaders. Time is moving very quickly and you have to be prepared for that leadership,” he was quoted as saying.
He also encouraged them to take the lessons they have learned and put them into practise as they return to their communities.
According to the release, Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment Aubrey Norton said the programme features components that can help to mould responsible citizens. “What we have attempted to do is to put together the critical things that are necessary for them to begin the process of becoming leaders,” he was quoted as saying.
The release said that three of the young people: Christine Chanderpaul of Cove and John, East Coast Demerara; Shoba Kamptapersaud of Black Push Polder, Berbice and Michael Sinclair of Rose Hall, Berbice expressed how useful they found the components of the programme as well as their eagerness to be role models for the young people in their own communities.
The Youth Leadership Training Programme is one in a series, which began last year and has seen over 200 young people being trained in practical leadership related skills as part of the current administration’s plan to provide young people with the necessary skills to tackle the challenges facing youth in the country.
Sunday’s ceremony also featured cultural performances by the graduates including dances, poetry and musical renditions. Prime Minister Nagamootoo was also given a tour of the Madewini Training Centre, the release stated.