`Stop talking of hopelessness of young people'
- Youth Minister appeals
Guyana Chronicle
November 18, 2001

YOUNG people must be an integrated part of development programmes to gear them with the necessary life skills, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Ms. Gail Teixeira said yesterday.

"It is time to stop talking of hopelessness and badness of our young people and look at preventative ways to curb these", she told representatives of the Rotary Clubs of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana at the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown.

The minister, who formally opened the 41st meeting of the Rotary clubs of the Guianas, said the contribution of the Rotarians has been significant in youth development and health awareness in Guyana.

In recent times, young people have been faced with many challenges in the health sector, which have now become predominant, she noted.

Themed `Strengthening Inter-Guiana Relationship through Youth Development and Health Awareness', the conference focusses on youth development and Malaria.

Teixeira, deputising for President Bharrat Jagdeo, said the theme chosen highlighted the need to develop meaningful programmes to enhance partnership of the most treasured resources - youths.

Rotarian District Governor, Mr. Paul Rodap noted that the annual meeting involves Rotarians of different cultures and languages adding, "...the ideals Rotarians have can improve the status for successful inter-relationships."

He said international unity at this time was essential to enhance ties between the Guianas and that the meeting will help foster collaborative efforts for youth development for all concerned.

Deputy District Governor, Mr. Dunstan Barrow said it was important for Rotarians to play a role in broadening and expanding the economic base of their countries.

This meeting, he said, is the ideal place to influence what takes place in society noting, "If we have good economic status, then we would have more to give to mankind."

He said a sound economic status will go a far way as fighting health challenges can be costly.

The objective of the meetings which began in 1961 is to strengthen relations among the three Guianas by identifying issues of mutual interest, sharing experiences and collaboratively addressing solutions to problems.

Following discussions, a draft plan on how to implement decisions taken at the forum will be put together.

Emphasis was on an action-oriented plan and strategies to encourage participating clubs to implement decisions taken at the meeting.

A cultural event showcasing Guyana and a tour of the Dutch Museum and the Uitvlugt/Leonora Estate has been oraganised for the visiting delegations from Suriname and French Guiana.

The Rotary District of which Guyana is a part of comprises 56 territories from French Guiana in the south, to St. Kitts/Nevis in the north.

Also at the conference opening were Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy and members of the diplomatic corps. (ABIGAIL KIPPINS)