PHILIPSBURG:— Local author and university student Ralph Cantave recently took part in the Caribbean Regional Youth Council’s advocacy and policy workshop in Trinidad & Tobago on January 26 to 27th. St. Maarten was one of the 10 plus islands that were represented. Cantave was among the 40 youth leaders that were accepted out of over 200 applicants. He saw the need to attend as an active youth on the island and will be sharing his experience and the knowledge gained with interested groups that want to further empower St. Maarten’s youth.
The two days consisted of practical trainings and presentations geared towards enhancing skills for effective activism, developing youth policies, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy strategies, position paper writing, advocacy methodologies, lobbying and professional development. The workshops were mainly geared towards youth council representatives, in order to help them find innovative ways of getting connecting and communicating with the youth of their islands, the wider public, and governments. Facilitators of the workshops consisted of some of the region’s best and brightest young professionals, U.N and governmental policy experts, activists, business leaders and the former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Basdeo Panday.
Having received a wealth of knowledge from the program, Cantave will be writing a letter to the new Minister of Education, Youth, Culture, and Sport, to share his ideas on ways St. Maarten can move forward with its national recovery and development through youth engagement. He believes that more can be done to include them in the decision-making process and all organizations must not only improve the quality of work but collaborate more in achieving common goals. Cantave will also suggest that St. Maarten’s Youth Council seek membership with the Caribbean Regional Youth Council and so that an ambassadors program be created for students and young professionals.
He closed by saying, “Having visited several countries in recent years, I realized the need for us to tell our story, especially now, as a developing nation, by allowing our youth who are involved in various sectors, whether academia, arts or business, to develop new skills, networks, and experiences which can be used to empower their peers.”
Source: St. Martin News Network http://www.smn-news.com/st-maarten-st-martin-news/28258-st-maarten-student-represents-at-trinidad-workshop.html