“Youth are important to the development of every country and the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth and Sport will spare no pain in ensuring that our youth are educated and trained, and are provided with economic opportunities for their own development, that of their communities, and by extension that of the country,” underscored the Minister within the Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth and Sport, Hon. Nicolette Henry at the inaugural convocation of the Youth Innovation Project of Guyana (YIPoG).news 20170522 8

The theme “Aspire, Inspire, to Reach” is an appropriate one as it presupposes that ‘what the mind can believe and conceive, it can achieve’.

“It is our firm belief that the Youth Innovation project will create an enabling environment where our youth will be able to realise their true potential; thus playing their part in fostering social cohesion, helping to protect our environment, forging economic prosperity, and applying best practices for a green economy of this beautiful country of ours,” stated Minister Henry.

The Youth Innovation Project of Guyana, a Government of Guyana initiative, is considered the flagship programme for the Department of Youth for the year 2017. This peculiar project focuses on the important issue of youth innovation. “To be innovative is to be willing to devote yourself fully and unreservedly to making your ideas a reality…more than ever Guyana needs its young citizens to stand up and showcase their inherent creativity,” the Minister posited.

Minister Henry explained that this is vital since youth are the backbone of any nation; they can change the future of the society through innovation, professionalism and creativity, but must be guided and empowered.

“The vision of this country lies in the hands of our youth. They are filled with tremendous and towering ambitions, and it would not be the best use of our human resource if, as youth, they are not given the opportunities to exercise their talents,” the Minister stated.

While pledging the Government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment that allows open and free competition to reign and innovation to bloom, the Minister noted that competitive ideas are those that exhibit a strong sense of social responsibility by ways of seeking the best interests of citizens and the country in which they operate.

Minister Henry also emphasized that for the continuous success to take place, the Department of Culture, Youth and Sport will continue to collaborate with their international partners, the private sector, NGOs, youth clubs/groups, other Ministries and stakeholders to provide youth with the opportunities and support needed to equip them for life in the 21st century.

In this regard, “the Youth Innovation Project of Guyana comes in and it does so at a crucial time when we are moving towards a green economy…we firmly believe that this project when implemented, will help every Guyanese to realize their full potential as long as they are committed,” Minister Henry said.news 20170522 9

Aside from those gathered at the Umana Yana, today’s launch saw participation of youth from all ten administrative regions via the internet; thanks to the E- Governance Unit.

While presenting the overview of the YIPoG, the Project Consultant, Mrs. Bridget Hinds posited that it is the innovative mind, the pioneering spirit and the indomitable energy of our citizenry that launch us successfully into a competitive, globalized scene. It is these characteristics that the current President, HE Brigadier David Granger espouses as he visions a green economy.

She explained that the Ministry of Education espouses STEAMS as the crucible in which innovative ideas and a pioneering spirit may find form and function. ​S​cience, ​T​echnology, ​E​ngineering, The ​A​rts, M​athematics, and ​S​pirituality, provide the foci for the YIPoG. Notwithstanding the global reach of STEM activity, the MoE purports to expand the framework of operation so as to address the urgency of needs in Guyana. It is anticipated that The Arts and Spirituality will address the burgeoning criminal activity towards and by our youth.

The goals of YIPoG are to maintain a high level of competition for the best ideas of young Guyanese; provide a healthy structure in which this competition functions and engage our partners both locally, regionally, and internationally in the YIPoG.

Meanwhile, the purpose of this challenge is to recognize and support the production of outstanding project proposals and initiatives from the 10 administrative regions of Guyana and Georgetown that foster a green economy in the context of STEAMS.