NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (April 1, 2022) – The following is an address delivered by Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Youth in the Nevis Island Administration, to mark the observance of Youth Month 2022 in Nevis.
Fellow citizens and residents,
I address you at this the start of Youth Month 2022. Annually, the Department of Youth, within the Ministry of Social Development, seeks to celebrate our young people on the island of Nevis during the month of April, and this year we continue that tradition. My ministry counts it a privilege to focus our attention on our youth throughout the entire month.
We celebrate Youth Month this year at a time when we are continuing to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the past two years, our activities had to be drastically scaled back as a result of the numerous restrictions that accompanied the pandemic. Thankfully, a number of these restrictions are gradually being removed paving the way for us to resume some of our regular activities.
For a second successive year, the Department of Youth will during the course of Youth Month focus its attention on the environment and the daunting threat of climate change, something that deserves commendation. Therefore, the theme that has been selected for this year is “What’s New? A Green, Clean Youth Month ’22.” The department will again seek to raise awareness of the negative effects of environmental degradation and how it is affecting all of us as well as the urgent need to take action now to arrest the situation. As we speak, sea levels continue to rise threatening lives and livelihoods; hurricanes are taking place more frequently and are becoming more intense; animals are becoming extinct; temperatures are rising; droughts are becoming more frequent and more severe and the patterns of rainfall have drastically changed.
The Department of Youth has organised a number of activities for Youth Month 2022 which will seek to bring the theme into sharp focus. We commence with Youth Days of Prayer on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd. We are hoping that during these designated days of prayer that our churches and religious leaders will seek God’s intervention for our young people. We are also asking all to join and petition our Heavenly Father to favour our young people and to guide them during these very challenging times. We are calling on all to not only join in prayer for our young people but for our planet as well. Members of staff of the department will worship at Ignite Church on Sunday, April 3rd at 9:00 a.m.
Monday 4th to Saturday 9th will be observed as Marine Awareness Week as we turn out attention to the ocean and the need to reduce pollution and promote a healthier environment for our marine species. Marine Awareness week will culminate with a catamaran cruise.
During the period Monday 11th to Thursday 14th the department has organised a green camp targeting students ages 5 to 16 years at the ETW Park and on Saturday 16th, Easter Saturday, there will be a moonlight walk.
The department will once again this year host the Youth Beach Games on Easter Monday, April 18th. Last year that activity was a major success and one of the highlights of the month and we are confident that this year we will witness similar success.
Also worthy of note, our Green Ambassadors will be featured during the course of Youth Month.
We once again intend to mark Earth Day, April 22nd, in a special way with cheers to Mother Earth.
I want to take this opportunity to encourage as many of our young persons as possible to participate in the activities of Youth Month 2022. They were specially organised with you in mind. I am also encouraging all to continue to support our young people in their endeavours.
I would also like to commend the director and staff of the Department of Youth for their consistent work in ensuring that meaningful programmes and initiatives are planned and executed to positively impact the lives of our young people.
As we engage in the celebration of Youth Month 2022, let us all commit to engaging in practices that are more environmentally friendly, bearing in mind that it is because of our actions why we continue to suffer from the effects of climate change. I call on all of us to do our part to make our island a more resilient one for us and our future generations.
Happy Youth Month 2022 and may God continue to bless us all!