Sep 18, 2009 News
By Gary Eleazar
Co Chairperson of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Commission on Youth Development, Surinamese Yldiz Beighle, yesterday, during a Rotary meeting at the Pegasus Hotel, urged the body to play a greater role in the development of youths regionally given the reality of hopelessness that pervades the region.
Beighle explained that the Commission was mandated by the CARICOM Heads to assess the situation that currently faces regional youths and come up with mechanisms and initiatives aimed at improving their lives.
In seeking to emphasize the need for Rotary to take up the mantle as part of the many goodwill projects that the club is engaged, she pointed out that there are many youths in the region that feel that they are voiceless and as such seemingly trampled upon.
In pointing out the need for such an intervention, Beighle noted that youths feel as though the education system has failed to adequately prepare them for the labour market, adding that those who can afford to finish school do so only to find that their skills are seemingly useless given that related jobs are not available.
Beighle also told the Rotarians gathered that in some cases the youths were at a stage where they did not understand what the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is, adding further that some did not even fully understand the concept of CARICOM.
She noted, too, that there are those who feel that the CSME is discriminatory, in that it only facilitates the free movement of skilled persons and does not afford everyone equal opportunity, while others are of the opinion that the formation of CARICOM was the best thing to happen to the region.
The Co Chairperson also impressed upon the Rotarians that violence is a severe threat to the desired development of youth in the region, adding also that some are forced into crime while others see it as the only way out of their current situation.
She noted too that the mandate of the commission on youth development was a major task and as such she was hopeful that Rotary could assist in helping to bring about some positive change.
As such, much like the four-way test that is the premise used by Rotarians in their respective activities, Beighle suggested that they add: perceive young people as an asset instead of problem; invest in young people, family, schools and communities; guide and mentor young people and connect with young people as a partner to reach other people.
She urged the Rotarians to reach out and work with young people not on a short-term basis but to establish long-term relations.
“If you are true to yourself then you will be true to young people,” emphasized Beighle.
It was Dr B.B.G. Nehaul, then Government Pathologist and Bacteriologist of British Guiana, who conceived the idea of establishing a service club in Guyana and he chose Rotary.
His effort at forming a club was unrelenting and was spread over a two-year period.
Dr Nehaul visited the headquarters of Rotary International in Evanston, Chicago on several occasions, at his expense, and returned home to interview persons, whom he identified, as selfless and community-service oriented, as well as prominent in their professional or business pursuits.
According to the Constitution of Rotary, Dr Nehaul needed men who satisfied the Classification Rule: that they were in separate and distinct businesses and professional services rendered to the community: That, basically, their job descriptions “most accurately described the principal and recognized activities”, of their organizations or undertakings.
Eighteen such persons were identified, and in July 1958 they constituted a Provisional Rotary Club.
That meant that their formal application for membership had been received and acknowledged by the Secretariat of Rotary International, pending their formal admission, on the 20th May 1959.
From then to now the Club has grown to include thousands of members countrywide and assisted thousands of people.
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