Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 29, 2016 (SKNIS): Youth across St. Kitts and Nevis and other stakeholders will be engaged next week as the review of the Draft Federal Youth Policy enters the consultation phase.

Members of the Federal Youth Policy Steering Committee met on Friday (October 28) at the Disaster Management Committee Conference Room at Long Point, Nevis, to establish the parameters under which the policy will be reviewed and revised where necessary; the age range of youth that will be served by the policy; and the specific areas to be covered in the policy.

Chair of the Steering Committee, Vernon Connor, said one outcome was a decision on the consultation schedule for the month of November. This will start with surveys and two youth forums, one in St. Kitts and another in Nevis. He promised that the dates and times will be communicated to youth and other stakeholders via the media and other avenues.

Youth expert, Dwynette Eversley, whose services were facilitated by the Commonwealth Secretariat and UNESCO, said she was excited with Friday’s discussions, describing them as fruitful.

“I think we got some really important milestones looking at what are the kinds of arrangement of services we should have for young people, that is, persons from 12 to 29, mindful of the different life stages within that component and mindful of their needs so that development is integrated,” she said, noting that development is constant. “We still have a long way to go because we have to make the linkages as to how the sectors will work together because youth is not a sector, but youth development runs across all sectors.”

Ms. Eversley said she was looking forward to her interaction with youth across St. Kitts and Nevis as the revised policy takes shape.

“The draft policy contains a vision of youth of the federation; a mission; the contained values – young people have to feel and own those values – and these are some of the things that will come out in the community consultations,” she stated. “We want to go on the block and meet young people where they are, we want to go in the schools and we want to have other sorts of consultations so that a wide and diverse population is engaged.”

The committee also will take advantage of social media, which have a large youth audience, to gather opinions.