International Youth Conference moves 'Ahead of the game' By Esther Elijah Guyana Chronicle
December 21, 2003

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'AHEAD of the game' is the theme for the 2004 International Youth Conference (IYC) organised by religious leaders but targeting all youths and adults in seven days of management leadership skills,
community service, sports and creative arts in Guyana.

Youth Pastor at First Assembly of God, Winston Assanah hails IYC 2004 as one of the largest and most effective youth development programmes in Guyana. It was officially launched last Sunday at 18:30 hrs at the church in Wortmanville, Georgetown.

IYC 2004 opening night will be hosted July 25 at the National Cultural Centre, which will have special invitees from the government, opposition and various other sectors of Guyana.

The Youth Department of First Assembly of God organises the conference, also popularly known as 'Youth Forum'. It is scheduled for July 25 to 31 at Le Meridien Pegasus, in Kingston. The focus will be on four interactive day-sessions of "structured leadership development for the total individual... not normally addressed in a management classroom... to positively influence behaviour for development."

Management leadership sessions will be hosted from 09:00 hrs to 12:00 hrs - during which time lunch will be served, and sessions resume from 13:00 hrs to 15:00 hrs at Le Meridien Pegasus. Evening sessions are from18:00 hrs to 21:00 hrs.

Speakers at the leadership sessions will be: Rev. Raphael Massiah; Guyana Defence Force Major, Wilbert Lee; Ms. Adele Farrier, a Manager at Scotia Bank; Mrs. Phillipa Lee, Project Officer of the Canadian Executive Services Organisation (CESO) and Rev. Chetram Lall, an international speaker on finance management.

Featured topics at IYC 2004 will be: The impact of integrity on organisation success; Management of charisma for management success; Capacity building (1&2); Making the most of your time; Time management best practices; Protocols and diplomacy and Budgeting and Investment.

At least 150-200 persons are expected to attend the leadership sessions while night sessions often fluctuate and attract as much as 400 persons, at a time, according to Assanah.

He said IYC 2004 would also promote the development of creative and performing arts, during four evening sessions.

"One night alone, for example, is dedicated to drama (while on different days) there will be strictly performances from gospel bands from all across Guyana - bands from Linden, Berbice, etc.," he explained. The final night of IYC will feature a night of songs and a fashion show.

Cost for the entire weeklong programme is $5 000 per person. However, persons may reduce the cost by choosing to attend only certain sessions.

Registration forms may be uplifted from First Assembly of God in D'Urban Street, Wortmanville, and further information may be obtained by calling Telephone Numbers: 231-7082 and 225-9015.

IYC also features an entire day of sports at GNS Sports Club ground, and a community project, where the church will work in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity to assist in building a house for one family.

"IYC always has a community project that addresses how we as leaders can positively serve our community," Assanah said, "There are several things in the community we will see and fix that nobody seems to want to fix."

Last year, the children play park at the Guyana Zoo was maintained and refurbished when members of IYC joined hands with Courts Furniture Store.

"We repaired and repainted all the swings and structures at the children's play park at the Zoo," Assanah reported.

IYC will enter its third year in 2004.

It is open to everybody, both local and overseas-based persons, regardless of religious affiliation. In the past, IYC attracted delegates from insurance companies, banks, Courts and CARICOM Secretariat. Since 1997, First Assembly of God has been hosting National Youth Camps across the country with an aim to help enrich the lives of young people spiritually, socially, academically and physically, while giving them an opportunity to visit different parts of the country.

In 1997, teenagers were taken to Camp Alpha on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway, in 1998 it was President's College at Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara, in 1999 it was Goshen in Essequibo, and in year 2000 it was Skeldon, Berbice.

In 2002, the leaders in the Youth Department of First

Assembly of God decided to switch from camp to conference.

In 2002, IYC was first hosted at Le Meridien Pegasus, where the participants were instructed in personal development, youth purpose and vision, technology, healthy living and were given talks on political,
social, legal, economic and spiritual issues based purely on the Bible.