President of the National Youth Council, Senator Jahisiah Benoit, is praising Government for its contribution through the National Employment Programme towards the development of the council.
Senator Benoit spoke at the 11th annual National Youth Council award ceremony at the Dominica State College on Saturday.
As of September, NYC staff is employed through the National Employment Programme.
“Prior to 2013, the work of the council was conducted pretty much on a day to day basis by one administrative coordinator. I’m sure you will agree that in the 21st century and with such a large youthful population, that’s not enough manpower and human resources to handle the affairs of the National Youth Council. Thankfully, in 2013 with the introduction of the NEP, we saw two additional members of staff, that is to say two project officers were engaged with the NYC and the output of these officers really left a mark and demonstrated that we in fact needed these human resources; but more importantly that we had the capacity to manage them and make sure that they produce results,” he explained.
Persons employed at the office in Roseau include the communications officer, project officer, an administrative coordinator and two administrative assistants.
Senator Benoit remarked that this assistance allows the NYC to tend to the needs of Dominica’s district youth councils.
He acknowledged that over the past years, the NYC has not been able to give adequate direct assistance to community youth projects. He informed those at the ceremony that as of the next quarter, this would change.
“Thankfully with the support that we will be receiving from the NEP, we will now be able to allocate more of our resources to empowerment of our district youth councils. The executive has already taken a decision that at the next subvention we will be targeting our South-eastern district council to provide them with the sum of $3,000 to implement their work plan.”
The NYC President added that going forward, he envisions more NYC work being executed by district youth councils with the assistance of the executive to mobilize resources and provide technical assistance.
He said in 2013 the executive of the council relied solely on a subvention of $12, 000 from Government, however, at present the council receives well over $25, 000 from central government.
Moreover, Benoit revealed the plan of the NYC to go into poultry as an additional source of income.
“Firstly, as a small island developing state, food security is very much of an issue for us. On average on an annual basis we give $18m in terms of imported poultry products. That’s a significant sum. This represents a market, this represents a critical sector that we young people can engage in.”