The National Youth Council of Dominica wishes to express sympathies to young people through-out Dominica who have lost relatives and loves ones, our prayers are with you. We wish further to express solidarity and our unwavering commitment to Presidents and Members of Youth Groups and District Youth Councils around the country. The NYCD is committed to playing its role in the reconstruction efforts of your lives and that of all Dominicans.
Therefore, as soon as factors such as communication, vehicular access and resources are available we will be meeting with you in your respect communities to establish dialogue as to how young people can contribute to the reconstruction process. We will be meeting in collaboration with the Youth Development Division and other stakeholders to re-establish our district youth councils.
We want to further recommit our mandate to educate Dominica’s youth on sustainable development education which include climate change ozone depletion and bio-diversity. A program the council undertook over the last four years whereby we went to number of schools through-out Dominica teaching the importance of sustainable development.
The National Youth Council of Dominica is of the view that Dominica’s youth must find relevance in the reconstruction efforts of Dominica as we seek to build back stronger and more resilient. As you would expect the youth is a major stakeholder in any country’s development and should be engaged from the beginning.
Hurricane Maria has dealt Dominica a heavy blow, but among the rubbles there are opportunities. We must rethink how we develop socially and economically, and how we develop sustainably. As our Prime Minister has reiterated we are fighting a war that we have made very minimal contribution too. The ravages of climate change have been brought to the forefront of the international community as was evident with the passage of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria two historical weather events.
And while small island developing states such as Dominica and our sister islands are dealing with the aftermath of these storms our appeal to the international community is not just for relief and favourable financial instruments but to curb their industrial activities which is affecting the climate, because we live in the world too, and we have seen our island paradise eroded overnight.
We have begun to identify some priority areas to include the need for psycho social intervention to deal with the trauma associated with Hurricane Maria. We see the youth playing an even greater role in ensuring food security and food sovereignty as has been done with the 4H Clubs throughout the schools.
We recognize also that the subject of climate change must be on the forefront of our human capacity development agenda. Therefore, young people must become sufficiently aware of what climate change is and how they must develop around this new evil. We need farmers, agri-processing experts, architectures and engineers as much as we need lawyers. There exist the need also for the young to be engaged and trained in emergency response and disaster management and climate smart technologies in agriculture and other fields.
In essence, we need to become more resilient to these extreme weather patterns, the blatant truth is that the hurricanes will continue to come and we are right in its path. As such it would be necessary to do so with the involvement of youth, our parents once told us of the story of Hurricane David. It’s been thirty-eight years since its passage and now we will forever be reminded of Hurricane Maria, we should prepare the future generation for what is to come to ensure a more resilient Dominica
We at the National Youth Council of Dominica wants to spread a message of hope and reassurance to Dominica’s youth that despite our current situation, Dominica still hold much potential for growth and can offer a meaningful life for all Dominicans. With the efforts of the Secretariat and the Executive we will ensure that your views and concerns will be heard.