PHILIPSBURG – On Friday, August 12, the Democratic Party (DP) kicked off its commitment to the United Nations (UN) International Youth Day, which is globally observed on August 12.
Former President of the St. Maarten Youth Parliament Dwayne Griffith, had the honor of being the first one to write down his wishes for St. Maarten’s future. The DP aims to collect large numbers of youth wishes as input for safeguarding their future, putting together a true St. Maarten youngsters “Wish List.”
From his function as a youth advocate for St. Maarten, Griffith remains politically neutral, but was happy to provide a proper kickoff to DP’s commitment to youth. As a key wish for the future, he started off with submitting “Diversification of St. Maarten’s key economic pillar,” adding several more wishes which he sees as critical.
This year’s World Youth Day’s theme is: “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production.” The day focuses on the leading role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication, and achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production in order to safeguard the needs of future generations. Showing their commitment, the DP candidates were present to watch the creation of the first “wish list for the future.”
DP leader Sarah Wescot-Williams was pleased with yet another “first” by the DP. She quoted from the party’s vision document, “We endorse international laws in the area of care, education, participation, protection and rehabilitation for the youth. Furthermore, we do so inclusively. Our focus must be on the future generations of this country and for this, sustainability is key. Sustainable programs and a common vision will provide our youth with the assurance that each one of them matters.”
Griffith was invited by Jorien Wuite, the #3 candidate on the DP slate. Through her experience from working as the former Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA), and now the current Secretary General of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports (ECYS), she has witnessed the challenges for St. Maarten youth from different angles.
“I invited Dwayne, for he is a true example of youngsters’ relentless ambition on St. Maarten. Unfortunately, due to his personal situation Dwayne is unable to gain access to St. Maarten’s study financing program. However, through a paper he has written, Dwayne has been granted the opportunity to receive a scholarship from the United States, enabling him now to enroll in yet another trimester to continue his learning in a very relevant area of Transformative Entrepreneurship. As president of St. Maarten Youth Parliament, he serves as a true Ambassador for the country and the DP believes that St. Maarten must embrace our talented youth that continue to shine on a regional and international platform,” she stated.
International Youth Day is only a few days away from the start of the new school year. From the entire DP family, “we would like to wish each student much success for the coming school year. To the teachers, we wish you much strength and thank you for your commitment toward educating our youth. Parents we encourage you to continue to remain active in the learning process of your children,” the release said.
“The Democratic Party will work with our younger generation on their St. Maarten Youth Wish List for the future. DP will remain dedicated to facilitating opportunities for our youth in the labor market, focus on expanding our sports sector and the creative industries, and ensure proper waste management and consumption of resources to safeguard and preserve our natural heritage for our future generations,” the release concluded.