A total of eighteen (18) awards were presented to outstanding youth and youth organizations at the 10th Annual National Youth Awards Ceremony on Saturday.
This year, over sixty nominations were received in various categories including agriculture, volunteerism, faith-based achievements and performing arts.
“This year we have seen from the public sector, private sector and civil society a concord ration of over $20,000 towards hosting this year’s National Youth Awards,” President of the National Youth Council of Dominica (NYCD), Jahisiah Benoit said while addressing the ceremony held at the Dominica State College (DSC) Auditorium on Saturday.
According to him, the NYCD Annual Youth Awards ceremony is indeed a very dynamic event in making sure that the council highlights the importance of Volunteerism.
“There is scientific evidence, research based evidence that voluntary efforts, particularly volunteer efforts of young people contribute to several percent of annual GDP especially in developing states and Dominica is a small island developing state,” he noted.
Benoit sad also that the NYCD has achieved a milestone in pushing for this ceremony to be part of Dominica’s culture.
“As we come to celebrate this 10th National Youth Awards, it’s some time now since the idea struck us and since then we have been pushing for this award ceremony to be part of Dominican culture and I think by this time we can say that we have achieved that milestone,” Benoit explained.
He continued, “But we are not satisfied there. We know that we need to push to make it an honorable and indeed an excellent event and that is why we worked very hard from last year to build on the best practices that we observed and see how we can refine this activity.”
Benoit went on to say that contribution to national development is not always about remuneration.
“It’s not always about the cheque at the end of the month or the pay packet at the end of the fortnight,” he stated. “When we consider the challenges facing our country do you believe that a simple cash injection will be able to solve all of them? There are certain problems within our communities, problems faced by our young person’s that money wouldn’t solve.”
According to Benoit, “we need to dig deeper, we need to dig at the heart of every Dominican.”
He said every young Dominican must understand the challenges facing their communities and especially the youth, from a social stand point. “Issues such as youth violence, also issues such as drug use and its impact on our young persons, issues such as child sexual abuse and its impact on our communities,” he pointed out.
He added, “We need to pay attention to these issues just as importantly as we pay to ensuring that we have a pay cheque at the end of the month.”
The National Youth Council Awards Ceremony was held under theme: “Recognizing the Contribution of our Dominica Youth.
The event was hosted by Miss Dominica 2015, Ms Odessa Elie and Malik Stuart a member of the NYCD.
Dominica News Online’s (DNO) very own news reporter, Esther Durand was among the nominees for “Outstanding Youth in Media Award”.
Below is a list of awardees and the winning categories.
Jamesa Fabien- Outstanding young person in literary art award
Sharena Jno Baptiste- Esteem Volunteer Award and Excellence in Leadership award
Paix Bouche Drummers- Most outstanding youth organization in Culture and Heritage award
Ahmed Jno Baptiste- Most outstanding youth in culture and heritage award
Glenson Prince- Outstanding youth or youth organization sports award
Lynworth Mitchell- Outstanding youth in media award
Graceson John- Outstanding youth or youth organization in entrepreneurship award
David Thornhill- Community tourism award
Vince Jno Lewis Outstanding youth in visual arts
Sheldon Alfred Outstanding youth in music award
Bruce Langlais Kalinago youth award
Kirdeisha Langlais Academics and extra-curricular excellence award
Mitchel Davis John Outstanding youth in Agriculture award
Judy Sango Esteem challenge award
Drinon Nyerere Beyond expectation award
Inside Possie Children of Grace Foundation- Outstanding community youth organization award
Loubiere Young Catholic Organization- Outstanding youth, youth organization with faith based achievement
And Charlotte Gabriel received the President’s award
Below are some photos taken at the event.