Last Thursday, the focus was on the proposition that “young people should entertain no doubt whatsoever that they are indispensable to the process of engineering the path to nationhood, not not patronizing or condescending, but in circumstances in which they truly are and are unequivocally assured that they are forever inextricably entwined in the way forward”.
Positioning Trinidad and Tobago on the path to becoming an exemplary, law-abiding society will only succeed with the proactive participation and involvement of our young citizens, especially Generations X, Y and Z born between 1987 and 2012.
Accordingly, the main objective of this initiative is to provide our young citizens with multifaceted opportunities to express their opinions and ideas in search of strategies to eradicate the scourge of crime and lawlessness that defiantly plagues the nation. The secondary goal is to create a framework that will appeal to their finest cultural attributes in their quest for purpose, progress and fulfillment in their personal lives: making the right choices.
Participation and involvement
This will take the form of a portfolio of national crime fighting competitions which will be organized using a wide range of creative disciplines, providing all our young citizens with multiple opportunities to participate and engage according to their creative skills. , unique talents, personal tastes and appetites. . They will be free to compete in any number of oral, written and/or artistic bids, each in accordance with the prescribed rules and guidelines.
Activities to choose from will include debating, public speaking, impromptu speaking, choir, songwriting and singing, panel discussions, quizzes, essay writing, composing poetry, recitation, spoken word, slogans, short story writing, carnival costume design as well as relevant aspects of visual and graphic arts.
Participation will be restricted to young people between the ages of 10 and 35 and will be open to elementary and secondary school students and students of colleges, institutions of higher education, technical training establishments, trade schools, members of sports organizations, youth clubs, community councils, village councils, social, business, economic, cultural and faith-based youth organizations and unattached youth.
The focal point
The focus of all participation and involvement will be the reduction of crime and lawlessness, and the creation of a law-abiding society: Nationhood Cornerstone #6.
Issues to be addressed will include juvenile delinquency, school violence, substance abuse, bullying, crime and punishment, retribution or restoration, prisoner rehabilitation, alienation, domestic violence, transformation social, ethnic and gender disparities in education, roles of church, school, parents, government, business, labor movement, professional bodies, protective services, judiciary, NGO, community and role models , impact of peer pressure, conventional and social media, music, politics, poverty, wealth, corruption, good life, unemployment, unemployability, illiteracy, etc. Judges will be selected from a panel of experienced staff drawn from influential sectors of the national community.
The main deliverable is to lay the cornerstone of nationhood upon which Trinidad and Tobago’s transition to a law-abiding society.
Others will include:
Youth: 1. Proactive participation in exploring crime prevention solutions; 2. Creating a more conducive learning environment; 3. Concern to elevate and enrich mindset development activities; 4. Maximization of their wisdom, knowledge and understanding; 5. Development of their literary, debating, public speaking, creative and global communication skills.
Adults: 1. Greater awareness of the potential of their children; 2. A better understanding and appreciation of the mindset of young people today; 3. Raising public awareness of ways and means to help prevent crime; 4. Reduction of fears and anxieties among teachers and parents; 5. Higher community and individual comfort levels; 6. Improvement of the morale of the security services; and 7. Broad positive exposure to mass media.
Outcome 1: A society passionately mobilized in a new approach to overcoming the nation’s top challenge through the cross-fertilization of citizens’ views, ideas, opinions, suggestions, solutions and strategies.
Result 2: While some initiatives can be implemented in the short term and become permanent, others may require longer gestation periods. As activities unfold and momentum builds, citizens will be contemporary and exponentially sensitized to measures to create and maintain safe, secure, peaceful and harmonious communities.
Outcome 3: The cross-fertilization of ideas articulated and adopted during the project period will form the core for the development, planning and implementation of a comprehensive citizen-generated strategy to eradicate the scourge of crime and corruption. anarchy, and ultimately lay the cornerstone of the nation to transform Trinidad and Tobago into an exemplary law-abiding society.
This is not a magic bullet. A non-governmental citizens’ initiative is envisaged, coordinated by a group of young independent exemplary who will determine the timetable, the estimated cost and the sources of funding. Work to establish the implementation framework is currently underway.
—The author Roy Mitchell is the former Special Advisor and Coordinator of the National Tripartite Advisory Council (NTAC).