Teixeira challenges media to highlight youth positives
- Sawh
Guyana Chronicle
October 4, 2001

MINISTER of Culture, Youth and Sport, Ms Gail Teixeira has challenged the media to use every opportunity for highlighting the positives about youth development activities upon which her ministry and other institutions have embarked.

She said such programmes are geared to make a difference in the lives of young people and show their positive contributions to society, which must not go unnoticed.

Teixeira was speaking at a briefing held Monday in the President’s Youth Award: Republic of Guyana (PYARG) Secretariat, on Middle Street, Georgetown.

On the eve of the PYARG third anniversary, she appealed to reporters:”While you must cover young people getting into trouble with the law and so on…we would ask you to balance that with the good stories, with young people making a change to make a difference in the society.”

Teixeira said this year has been designated ‘Year of Volunteerism’ and, even while that is being highlighted, PYARG deserves recognition as a very important contributor to the development of volunteerism in Guyanese society, too.

In the PYARG process, some 500 young people countrywide are divided into groups of 10 for involvement in their own respective projects.

The groups, which are led by Unit Leaders, give free service and trainers teach special skills in areas such as computers, tailoring and masonry.

Teixeira described the volunteers as the unsung heroes and heroines of Guyana who deserve great recognition because of what they contribute.

“This is an appropriate time to go further in the recognition of the PYARG programme during International Year of Volunteerism,” she suggested, reiterating that youth development is a critical part of the National Development Strategy (NSD) for the country.

“I feel this programme is one of many that invests in youths in a very meaningful way,” she offered, revealing that a recent study, conducted by her Ministry, disclosed that male youths are opting out of society because of very low self-esteem.

Teixeira said the survey did not point to any geographic, ethnic or religious specifics but proved that it is an across the board phenomenon which PYARG can help correct.

She said, while some aspects of the training are formal and require discipline and dedication to skills, the fun part is the chance being provided young people to discover their country and interact with people of other communities, through expeditions.

“It is not only about discovering your country, but testing your metal and seeing what your limits are and how you can deal and adapt to new situations…all part of life skills,” Teixeira maintained.

Chairman of the National Advisory Council on PYARG, retired Major General Joe Singh, who also spoke on the occasion, said the scheme seeks, as well, to enhance individual self-worth, confidence, pride and team work and provide the skills for developing ethics for volunteerism that will make a lasting contribution to society.