Vibrant, energetic and passionate are the words to describe the group of young people who participated in three Vision 2030 Jamaica Consultation Sessions for Children and Youth held on June 25 and 26, 2018, at the Terra Nova Hotel and at JA Biz Town located at the Caenwood Centre in Kingston. The focus of the sessions was to garner, from a child and youth perspective, the development priorities for children and youth in developing the Medium Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework (MTF) that will cover the period 2018-2021.
Vision 2030 Jamaica is our country’s first long-term national development plan which aims to put Jamaica in a position to achieve developed country status by 2030. The MTF is the primary implementation tool of Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan that comprises the medium-term priority strategies and actions that will be pursued over a 3-year period. MTF 2018 – 2021 is the fourth medium term strategic programme that will build on the results of previous MTFs (2009-2012, 2012-2015 and 2015-2018).
Vision 2030 Jamaica Youth Consultation Sessions – June 25, 2018
A total of 65 participants between the ages of 15 – 29 were engaged in two sessions from various youth groups and other entities such as Call to Lead Jamaica, Girls Brigade, 2030 Youth Jamaica, Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students (JUTS), National Secondary Students' Council (NSSC), National Youth Parliament of Jamaica (NYPJ), Global Sustainable Development Network, Jamaica Youth Mentorship Programme (JYMP), Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network (JYAN), Economic Growth Council (EGC), Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) – the Festival Queen for Kingston and St. Andrew, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Earthstrong, Caribbean Maritime University, God’s Heritage Youth Club, Rockfort Police Youth Club and The Hubmark Company.
Ms. Elizabeth Emanuel, Programme Director with the Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat, in delivering the welcome address and setting the context for the sessions highlighted that youth involvement has been at the core of Vision 2030 Jamaica and that the Vision Statement “Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business” came from young people, between the ages of 14 – 19, who through the statement painted a picture of the Jamaica they want by 2030. “Youth should not only be beneficiaries of development but should also be in a position to make a decision on the Jamaica they want and what the various institutions should do to make it happen”, she added.
Key issues arising from these sessions included improved governance, effective parenting, access to quality education, meaningful employment and entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, values and attitudes. Mental health and greater inclusion of marginalized youth. There were echoing calls for:
· Affordable access to tertiary education
· Improved Governance
· Skills training and programmes to provide access to jobs particularly inner city residents and other marginalized groups
· Political Reform
· Greater use of technology in classrooms from the primary level
· Disability Friendly Infrastructure
· An end to Crime
· Mandates to address inequality
· Greater support for locally owned and operated businesses
Consultation with the Children at Biz Town – June 26, 2018
On Tuesday June 26, members of the Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat in partnership with Junior Achievement Jamaica engaged children ages 7 -11 years from Somerset Primary, Manchester and Bunkers Hill Primary, Clarendon at JA Biz Town. Participants were engaged in interactive discussions and one-on-one interviews with the Vision 2030 Jamaica team. The children spoke of their dreams for a peaceful society and one where they can enjoy going to the beach and spending time with family and friends.
The information collected will inform the approaches for advancing the care, protection and development of Jamaica’s children under MTF 2018-2021.
In planning for a prosperous future we will continue to engage children and youth as change agents in achieving our national development goals as we work collectively to make “Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business”.