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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 

HISTORIC EVENT ... YouthPATH launched in Federation
Monday January 16 2006
by Terresa McCall

History was made in the Federation with the launching of the UNESCO funded initiative, Youth Poverty Alleviation through Tourism and Heritage (YouthPATH), which kicked off last Saturday at Brimstone Hill by UNESCO’s Director General, His Excellency Koichiro Matsuura.
YouthPATH is a project aimed to reduce and ultimately eradicate poverty through the marriage of tourism, culture and heritage.

The project will focus on developing and empowering the youth to attain economic advancement and aids the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal, which is to reduce poverty by 50 per cent by the year 2015.

Project Co-ordinator, Mutryce Williams, at the ceremony, explained that YouthPATH will provide job opportunities for the youth while giving educational experiences.

“YouthPATH is designed to provide our youth with employment as well as aid in the protection and promotion of our natural and cultural heritage. The programme seeks to enable young men and women in the Caribbean between the ages of 15-25 to utilise innovative skills, for sustainable employment in the areas of heritage-tourism and the preservation of heritage sites,” Williams said.

St. Kitts/Nevis is the ninth country in the Caribbean to have adopted the project and the others, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Suriname, have recorded notable success.

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Youth and Chairperson of the St. Kitts/Nevis National Commission for UNESCO, Sam T. Condor, in his remarks accepted and endorsed the project as providing assistance to the Federation in attaining several goals.

“YouthPATH is structured so that it would assist in (1) our nation’s tourism and sustainable agenda, (2) meeting the Millennium Development Goals, (3) the goal of education for all (4) fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and (5) inculcating an impregnable sense of heritage and culture in our youth.

“This gift could not be timelier. It is evident that we have embarked upon the dawn of a new era, therefore, with all of the assistance and innovations that are being afforded us, we most graciously accept this initiative.” Condor said.

The Director General Matsuura said he was happy that YouthPATH was being launched in the Federation as heritage-tourism had become a fundamental part of the society.

“I am very happy that we are launching out YouthPATH project here because I do give personal attention and personal priority to the YouthPATH project. It is designed to train young people to run businesses of their own in a field of heritage-tourism, which is now a very important industry in your country, which must become even more important in the coming years…”

Matsuura said the YouthPATH project will also be launched in Grenada later this year.

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