The global pandemic has helped to further exacerbate issues already present in societies across the Caribbean, a regional youth leader has told a Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) webinar.
Roshana Trim, who chairs the Caribbean Regional Youth Council told a CDB webinar entitled COVID-19 SOS in the Caribbean: Strategies for Our Societies. that young people across the region were already facing several challenges, even before the pandemic.
Trim said: “It has affected young people in numerous ways but the truth is that in many ways those challenges were challenges that existed before and were exacerbated by the pandemic.
“So our vulnerability as it relates to our economic security, poverty, abuse, unemployment, education and all of those different aspects that we spend so much time discussing as young people and with policyholders, they’ve now become even more harsh.
“So at this point in time we have to aim to not only buttress our populations and ensure that they are able to survive this pandemic and have access to the basics and the necessities, but we have to lay the groundwork for a resilient region with economies and people who are made to adjust and adapt.”
Trim said despite those challenges, there were still positives coming out of the pandemic.
The pandemic had highlighted the need for a more versatile education system throughout the Caribbean, the youth leader argued.
She said: “COVID-19 has provided a place for opportunities and will allow us to tap into these things that are definitely a priority for us in building a resilient region and building a country where while we do not know whether a crisis will come, we do know they will come and prepping for that response.
“Ultimately in the Caribbean education has to be a major way in which we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic because what has happened is that COVID-19 has disrupted education.
“For a long time, we have been tiptoeing towards online learning and e-education and we have now been forced to speed up that process and this has disadvantaged many young people across the region.”