By EARYEL BOWLEG
THE Youth Division announced yesterday that Youth in Parliament will return this year.
After a two-time hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an in-person session is scheduled.
A week of activities will precede the session on Friday 13 May, when the young participants will descend into the corridors of Parliament. Young speakers from 39 constituencies applied, were interviewed and were confirmed.
“Family Islanders started arriving Saturday, Sunday and today. They participated in extensive virtual training to prepare for presentations on mental health and gender-based violence,” said Carla Brown-Roker, Youth Coordinator at Grand Bahama.
She noted that every young person in the Parliament class has the opportunity to bond, network and form lifelong friendships. They also have the opportunity to meet and speak with the leaders of the country.
“This week is no exception as we will have courtesy visits with Governor General His Excellency CA Smith, our Acting Prime Minister the Hon. Chester Cooper and our very own Youth Minister Mario Bowleg as well as visiting the Spouse’s Office and chatting with Ms. Anne-Marie Davis.
The Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Mario Bowleg, explained the importance of the Youth Parliament to give young people a voice.
“Our nation’s youth must be provided with a platform where they can openly share their views and concerns regarding key issues of national importance. The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, in association with the House of Assembly, provides such an opportunity for them through the fake Youth Parliament,” he said.
“Now in its 22nd sitting, the annual meeting of young people in Parliament has been home to a number of current political figures and provided the impetus for the inclusion of young people’s opinions and ideas, dreams and aspirations on matters of national development”.