(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown,
Guyana) At least two CARICOM Youth Ambassadors (CYAs)
have ensured that the voices of youth resounded on
the issue of Sexual Health and Reproduction, through
their participation in a panel discussion held
Tuesday 11 July in Saint Lucia, in observance of
World Population Day.
The exercise was staged by the United Nations
Population Fund (UNFPA), and involved more than 30
CYAs, as well as local and regional officials. It
was moderated by Dominica’s CARICOM Youth
Ambassador, Fenella Wenham.
Wenham, along with CYA of Grenada, Devon Roche,
were joined by six other regional panelists from
UNFPA’s Youth Advisory Programme for the discussion
which is expected to be broadcast across the Region.
Wenham credited UNFPA for organising the event in
what she termed a “youth-oriented” way. “I find that
young people of the Region are quite informed on
issues relating to sexual health and reproduction,”
she said, adding, that the panelists “did justice”
to the questions that were posed.
“In the past, we’ve had the same discussions, but
the panelists and moderators were … older
professionals,” Roche said. “Young persons don’t
necessarily like to sit and listen to scholars and
PhD persons talking about issues relating to them. I
also found that it was livelier and the information
coming from these persons was received openly by
their peers,” he added.
He supported the comments of Wenham and
encouraged the organisers to go a step further in
finding ways to attract more young people. He
suggested changing the location to an outdoor
setting in order to make a greater impact on all
An opening ceremony for the World Population Day
launch was held prior to the panel discussion at the
conference room of the Bay Gardens Hotel. A number
of local and regional dignitaries attended the
launch, along with more than 30 CYAs. Minister of
Health, Human Services, Family Affairs and Gender
Relations, Hon. Damian Greaves gave the feature
The CYAs are now participating in a three-day
workshop on Behaviour Change and Communication,
which ends on Friday 14 July.