Senator Andre Worrell has challenged this country’s youth to make a difference in their society.
Addressing the tenth anniversary awards ceremony of the local charity United Youth Leaders of Barbados (UYLB) at the weekend, Worrell lamented that “far too often we see the negativity associated with the youth in Barbados, not recognizing that a far greater percentage of our young people are actively involved in positive activity through this country”.
While urging those on hand to help to change the conversation, he stressed that the youth had a valuable contribution to make at this juncture of Barbados’ national development.
Worrell also expressed hope that more young people would join organizations such as UYLB to advocate and agitate for policies and legislation that affected them and future generations.
“Lend your voice to these solutions . . . . If you speak out, if you speak up, if you participate, if you agitate, you will make a difference,” he said.
“You need to let your voice be heard, . . . you need to actively seek out and agitate for the things that will make life better and easier for young people in the country . . . . Be a relevant voice and be a force to be reckoned with and do not let anyone intimidate you and stop you from reaching your goals,” he said.
Worrell stressed that the island’s youth had a duty to influence real change and reach out to those who needed help, while expressing concern about the number of young people were involved in the illegal drug trade.
“Where you see negativity try to correct it and point it in a better direction. Try to bring a deeper analysis as to why we are having some of these issues, why are we having issues in terms of widespread drugs in our society. Add your voice to that conversation,” he advised.
The Government senator praised the charity for its rapid growth over the past ten years, as he encouraged its leader Christa Soleyn to spread the word about its work and to mobilize more youth to get involved and build their communities.
In the face of challenges, he said they must be focused on meeting their goals.
“There will always be a continuous struggle among young people for recognition but that does not mean you ought to be daunted. It just means that you have to grasp that struggle within your hands and recognize that you have the ability to overcome that struggle,” Worrell said.