While bringing remarks on behalf of Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Lanisha Rolle, on January 23, 2020, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary David Cates commended the 47 Graduates of the 2019 Fall graduation National Youth Leaders Certification Programme, and commented on the need for proper training of such leaders. “The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture has provided effective leadership tools for these graduates to develop and organize meaningful activities for our youth, to address conflict resolution, to take steps to familiarize and identify constructive ways of communication, and to develop themselves with the soft skills necessary for our youth to become productive and responsible members of society”, Mr. Cates said at the Graduation Ceremony, held at St. Joseph’s Hall, Boyd Road.
“These measures are all designed to place our youth at the forefront of change, and further allow these 47 Youth Leaders to walk in their purpose.” Also present were Under Secretary Montez Williams; Under Secretary (Acting) Renee Bullard; Head of the Youth Division Sandena Neely and other Officers of the Ministry; Keynote Speaker and Pastor of Christian Education at Mount Tabor Church Pastor Jevon Neely; Lecturers of the Youth Leaders Certification Programme; and family members and invited guests. Mr. Cates noted that, as a result of the training sessions, participants were outfitted with the tools necessary to identify the various indicators that signal a troubled youth.
“Further, the participants would be able to administer conflict resolution techniques, provide mediation, and share stress coping skills, which will assist young persons to maneuver through life, despite their many challenges,” he added. “Above all, the participants are now able to challenge the negative stigma of young people being lazy, combative, and unable and or unwilling to gain or keep employment.” Mr. Cates noted that that Ministry remained committed to its mandate to train, equip and inspire the participants of the Youth Leaders Certification Programme, with a view to furnishing them with the instructive tools to steer and nurture the youth of The Bahamas.
He also gave special mention to the members of the C. V. Bethel Band that performed throughout the Ceremony, as well as to the few men who were graduating. Of the latter he pointed out the need for even more trained male youth leaders, as the need for such positive role models was high for many at-risk boys and young men. “It is crucial that any person entrusted with the guidance of our nation’s youth be fully prepared to handle the ever changing needs of the youth of today,” Mr. Cates said. “We must be relevant and innovative in our dealing with young people introducing new and creative measures to help them meet their challenges.” To the graduates, Mr. Cates said that now that their leadership skills had been “strategically honed and standardized,” they were a part of the unique a team of Officers with an important goal.
“You are duty bound to go into your communities, schools, civic groups and churches and impact our youth with motivation and positivity; so much so, that they will recognize that they are understood and are being encouraged to be at the forefront,” Mr. Cates said. “Your purpose as a participant in this Ministry’s programme prepares you to create a space for our youth for them to peel back the layers of disappointment, shame, and personal problems, allowing them to transform into the person that God created them to be.” Mr. Cates said that his Ministry, through the Division of Youth, recognizes the need for technical and practical resources necessary to manage Youth Organizations effectively. The 16 weeks of intense training sessions were designed to help them develop the skills and expertise to become both more efficient and effective with the nation’s young people, he said.
“At this time, I wish to congratulate the facilitators who provided an optimistic and instructive discussions for the overall success of the training,” he added. “I further want to congratulate the Officers of the Ministry and our partners. Through this certification programme, our Youth Programmes, and our strategic partnerships with youth organizations, churches, bands and civic groups, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture continues to be a symbol of hope and vision.” Mr. Cates then congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to be reminded of “your mammoth responsibility of challenging the status quo for every youth; in molding their lives and propelling them to be the best they can be to the forefront”.
“You are now equipped with the skills and knowledge to enhance and motivate the members of the organization, and be that beacon of light that guides our youth, as well as other Youth Leaders, to walk in their purpose,” he said. “Congratulations to all of you, as you commit to being an instrumental person in the lives of our youth, and the many communities of The Bahamas. “I congratulate all of you on a job well done.”
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