Young people representing youth groups across Tobago engaged Chief Secretary Orville London in a round table discussion on Tuesday, August 17 2010. The event marked the worldwide observance of 2010 as the “International Year of the Youth”, as proclaimed by the United Nations. This is the second year that the session is being held; the first was held in 2009.
The questions posed to the Chief Secretary focused on youth employment and access to government housing, and crime prevention and detection. Other topics of discussion included education and training, sports and sporting facilities, and village councils. The young people also requested of the Chief Secretary that the T.H.A. Executive Council consider the establishment of an active official youth arm of the T.H.A. which will have a greater involvement in the decision making process.
President of the Tobago Youth Council and Leader of the group, Farley Augustine said to the Chief Secretary: “We believe that if we have the opportunity to speak to you then we will influence and even inspire your approach to governing of…Tobago”.
As he congratulated the group for organising the initiative, Mr London noted:
“There are very few decisions that we make as leaders that will not impact young people in some way. This is not just an opportunity for young people to interact; but I am hoping that it will be a catalyst for young people to understand that they have …to continue making a difference, continue pressuring decision-makers, continue carving out their space in this environment in which we live”.
He added: “You have to see yourself as the employer …. you are my employer.”
The Chief Secretary also entreated the young people to be analytical when treating with issues facing the country.
The participating youth were Sophia Cooper – Lashley Foundation for Human Development; Todd Denoon – Rotaract Club of Tobago; Andre Baker – Tobago Youth Council; Keshawn Wilson – Good-wood; Mark Thomas – Roxborough Police Youth Club; Sharelle Thomas – Roxborough Youth Club and Wade David – Life Changes Youth Centre.