Aug 31, 2008 News Comments Off on Youth Village achieves objectives…Organizers hoping to make it an annual event
Youth Village Coordinator Alfred King has said that the Youth Village that was established at the National Park for the hosting of CARIFESTA X has achieved its objectives, in the sense that it gave youths the opportunity and space to participate in activities which were designed to raise the level of awareness and to reinforce strong positive messages about behavioural changes.
King noted that while some of the issues that were looked at were more on a social basis, there were others which were life-changing experiences.
In the case of health, the coordinator said, young people were exposed to experiences that would allow them to appreciate and select healthy meals so that they can practice healthy lifestyles.
As it relates to issues relating to drugs and alcohol use and abuse, King noted that some youths are hooked on it, and as such they were taken through the ill effects of using these substances, with the hope that they would adapt to more positive behaviours.
He indicated that the activities were done in quite an innovative way, which captured the attention of many.
“This has taken youth work to the next level. This is not about sitting young people down and talking to them… they are aware of a whole lot of issues, but we are not seeing a compatible response in terms of them adopting positive lifestyles and stuff like that. So here it is hoping that, with interactive activities that would allow them to experience these things, actually it would serve as reinforcement and would cause them to respond in a more positive way,” King said.
Meanwhile, the blast of the Youth Village was the entertainment segment, which King said was a sold-out every day.
This segment saw youths entertaining each other, and sending positive messages about life through the form of music, among other strategies.
“Young people were having fun, but, at the same time, they were learning a whole lot of life skills…so, during CARIFESTA, it was about the culture, it was about changing the way young people see themselves, adapting more positive values and lifestyles, contributing in a more meaningful way to the society, and preserving our culture. This was done by raising awareness, participation, developing skills; and we hope, long after CARIFESTA, they will be attached to these things and continue to do these things that will take up their leisure time,” King explained.
With the response received from members of the public, the organizers are now thinking of turning the Youth Village into an annual feature.
An official decision has not been made as yet, as they are now in the reviewing stages, where the possibility is being examined.
The Youth Village was aimed at providing a youth-friendly and organized environment that will provide edutainment for youths by youths.
The village provided a number of interactive centres for youths to develop their talents and express their creativity in many forms, while at the same time addressing needs and issues affecting youths.
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