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"MOVE ON GUYANA, INC" Movement of Youth for the National Development of Guyana DEFINING THE CHALLENGE Guyana’s economy faces a severe dichotomy whereby there is a shortage of skilled labor, and yet a high youth unemployment rate. Specifically, the 2017 Labour Force Survey showed that Guyana’s Youth unemployment rate was 22% overall, and 28% for young women. Worse yet, youths “not in education, employment or training” is listed at 35% overall, and is higher for young women and urban dwellers1. Guyana’s Deloitte’s 2016 study2 showed that the “Shortage of Qualified Labour” is the biggest Local Content constraint across all sectors, and this echoes the World Bank’s statistics3 which shows that less than 10% of Guyana’s workforce is considered skilled. BACKGROUND: Guyana’s Constitution states that “every young person has the right to ideological, social, cultural, and vocational development and to the opportunity for responsible participation in the development of the order of society.” This Charter was conceptualized and drafted by a core group after consultation with and feedback from hundreds of young people over a period of several months. The group also analyzed the current political dynamics; including the genuine feeling that there is a significant disconnect between political leaders and the youth population. A significant number of youth who recently attained voting age expressed outrage at a proposal for GECOM to abandon house to house registration (HTHR) before elections. They felt an inalienable right is at risk of being taken away. They subsequently welcomed the majority decision by GECOM commissioners to proceed with HTH, and committed to getting their peers registered to vote. Research shows that 54% of Guyana’s population is below age 40, and the median age is 26. Therefore the most significant part of the electorate will be voters between age 18 and 40. MOVE ON GUYANA, INC. will therefore continually engage this demographic to fashion policies and a vision for our national development. PURPOSE: “MOVE ON GUYANA, INC” will mobilize and energize Guyana’s youth population to support its Charter of Policy Initiatives, which will captivate the imagination and inspire a movement for increased youth involvement Guyana’s national development. MOVE ON GUYANA will engage and petition the government of Guyana to adopt and implementing these measures to demonstrate to youths that it genuinely cares about youth issues and will permanently integrate our concerns into the nation’s governance and national development agenda. OVERVIEW: MOVE ON GUYANA, INC. will work to create a new dispensation in Guyanese society by inspiring the youth population to use the power and invincibility of their vote to engender a paradigm and help enact a vision for development that leads to modernity and youth equality in national decision making.
Bureau of Statistics, Labour Force Survey, 3rd Quarter 2017 Report. “Local Content Supply and Demand Analysis” done for Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. by Deloitte. 3 World Development Indicators, 2014 2
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MISSION: “Integrating our youth into our nation’s governance and development agenda” MOTTO: “Our Youth, Our Nation, Our future” CHARTER GOALS: (a) Build and strengthen a network of youth groups throughout Guyana to promote, encourage and support youth development and participation in government and community development. (b) Develop MOVE ON GUYANA, INC. into a broad national front movement that is open to membership by Guyanese from all spheres of society. Membership is not constrained by political affiliation, religious affiliation, racial identity, family origins, geography, age or gender. (c) Advocate for and help create better opportunities for young people in business and private enterprise, as well as promote and facilitate youth representation throughout at all levels of decision making in government and the private sector. (d) Promote and facilitate continuing education, empowerment, skills-building, leadership training, technical assistance and internships for our youth. (e) Promote cultural competency, inclusion and tolerance as well as imbue our youth with the cultural awareness and social skills necessary for personal development and youth leadership. (f) Promote youth peer-advocacy and conflict resolution through negotiation and counseling. (g) Advocate for youth to comprise 40% political candidates in all elections, municipal, neighborhood and regional councils, parliament, cabinet and senior government positions. (h) Advocate for our youth to embrace each other’s history, culture and religion, as well as for truth, reconciliation and nationalism to enrich race relations, heal the nation’s wounds and positively change the youth perspective. (i) Advocate for constitutional reform to strengthen our democratic institutions and culture; for social justice, criminal justice reform, a fair and equitable justice system, as well as promote civic awareness and social responsibility amongst our youth and throughout society. (j) Promote a green economy and effective use of green spaces; create awareness about the devastating effects of carbon footprints in our environment and human-generated climate change, and engage political, business and community leaders to ensure enactment of environmentally friendly policies. COVENANTS & YOUTH POLICY INITIATIVE: MOVE ON GUYANA, INC: Will bring the priorities, dreams and involvement of our young people permanently into the national development agenda and promote a national understanding of our youth’s vision for the modern development of Guyana. MOVE ON GUYANA will advocate for bright, qualified, competent young professionals to participate in all levels of national decision making and policy implementation; including substantial placements in Cabinet and the Parliament. MOVE ON GUYANA will mobilize the youth vote in Guyana to ensure every eligible youth is registered, votes in the next general election, and all other electoral processes, and ensure indelible footprints of our nation’s youth in every sphere of our national experience and development. Move On will energize and motivate the youth population to lobby for the following Covenant of policies between our government and society, and our youth population. Page 5 of 8
CHARTER COVENANT YOUTH POLICY INITIATIVE: MOVE ON GUYANA will work with governmental leaders to enact the following policies: Policies for Economic Empowerment & Job Creation (I) Advocate for the creation of at least 10,000 jobs by creating sector-specific job creation goals for all of Guyanaâ€™s productive sectors. This would include, inter alia, a. Establishing a massive infrastructure development project that includes constructing and redevelopment of drainage systems, roads and highways, water and sewage systems and a network of traffic and street lights countrywide. b. Mandating private contractors, vendors and other private sector entities doing business with government to engage in at least 35 percent youth employment or sub-contracting, and c. Create community and intergovernmental affairs units across the public service, staffed by university graduates, to interface with the community and government departments to ensure government services are delivered in a timely and efficient manner, as well as ensure inter-governmental coordination and effective policy implementation. (II) Establish a national income threshold for Guyanese 18 years and over. Enact a conditional, proportionate income subsidy from oil royalties and revenues to compensate every eligible citizen earning below the income threshold. To maintain eligibility participants must engage in continuing education, seek better job opportunities and higher income. Participants whose income increases to or beyond the threshold will become ineligible and will graduate from the program. (III) Enact new regulations and if necessary, new laws to expedite persons 18 years and older to purchase and acquire land. Permit land owners to pay for lands over a period of five years and/or absorb land cost into their mortgages. Re-establish a mortgage bank to provide low interest housing loans to every Guyanese 18 years and older with low income. Policies for Youth Administration (IV) Establish an independent Ministry responsible for youth affairs, sports, and artistic development. Develop and restore recreational facilities in major population centers throughout Guyana. Develop state of the art athletics and sports training centers as well as music, performance and visual arts centers which would foster the growth of athletes and cultural artistes in sports, music, film writing, etc. (V) Prepare a comprehensive overarching youth policy to support our constitutional mandate. Policies for Educational Reforms (VI) Abolish tuition and restore free education from nursery to university as provided for in the Constitution. Cancel all outstanding student loans for persons who studied at the University of Guyana. Introduce a permanent scholarship program for our youth to pursue masters and doctoral degrees in disciplines that are essential for our emerging modern economy. Enable the University of Guyana to offer said degrees. Tertiary education cost waivers can be linked to elements of national service such as public sector employment, teaching and knowledge transfer, participation in mentoring programs, etc. (VII) Establish a community college system in Guyana to allow high school graduates who do not qualify for automatic entry to the University of Guyana to earn a two-year associates degree.
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Revamp the CPCE program to train teachers to become highly specialized in specific subject areas after a main course foundation is established.
We propose to merge the National Theater Guild, National School of Dance, the E.R. Burrowes School of Art and Critchlow Labor College into a Community College for the Arts.
Merge GTI, NATI, LTI, ETI and GUYSUCO Training Center to form a Community College for engineering, technical and vocational education.
Upgrade Presidentâ€™s College campus to include a Community College for language, arts and sciences; or to become a satellite campus for the other two Community Colleges.
Upgrade Guyana School of Agriculture to become a Community College for agriculture, forestry, veterinary public health, livestock development and applied research.
Expand GITC and Upper Corentyne Industrial Training Centre (UCITC) to accommodate more students, and to have dormitories to accommodate more hinterland students. Build and equip a similar Industrial Training Center in Lethem.
(I) Establish Satellite Campuses of the University of Guyana in hinterland towns, which become specialized schools, complete with dormitory facilities. Specifically, a School of Information and Communications Technology, located in Bartica; and a School of Entrepreneurship and Business campus in Linden. Policies for Justice Sector Reforms (II) Allow prosecutors and Magistrates to have prosecutorial and judicial discretion when addressing cases of possession of small amounts of marijuana and other narcotic substances by non-violent offenders with no previous criminal history. (III) Enact legislation to expunge criminal records of persons convicted of non-violent marijuana and other narcotic related offences, who do not commit other offenses within a set number of years. (IV) Rationalize sentencing guidelines for drug and other criminal convictions. Implement criminal justice diversion programs for youthful offenders who are eligible for rehabilitation. IMMEDIATE AGENDA: MOVE ON GUYANA, INC. will organize a series of public consultations, symposiums, town hall forums, entertainment events and other activities to create awareness about MOVE ON GUYANA and its Youth Charter. The organization will also organize an unprecedented Get Out The Vote (" GOTV") operation to turn out the youth vote at the next general election. NEW YORK LAUNCH: MOVE ON GUYANA will launch a New York Chapter by May 2019 with a symposium and reception at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. The main organization steering committee leaders in Guyana will travel to New York to participate. Remittances to Guyana from the diaspora represented a 54% share of GDP. Diaspora participation in national development is therefore essential. Establishing chapters both at home and in the diaspora will demonstrate an inseparable bond and Page 7 of 8
need to work together to develop Guyana. MOVE ON GUYANA will work to establish chapters in Diasporas in the Caribbean, Europe and throughout North America. GUYANA LAUNCH: MOVE ON GUYANA will be subsequently launched in Guyana with a symposium and reception as well as a public entertainment event to be announced in due course. ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE: 1. MOVE ON GUYANA is governed by a broad-based participatory leadership which will be selected based on the principles of democracy and consensus-building. These will be detailed in the Organization’s by-laws. 2. MOVE ON GUYANA’s leadership will abide by a rigid Code of Ethics / Code of Conduct which they will all sign on to; and which if breached will result in various sanctions, up to and including expulsion. 3. MOVE ON GUYANA’s membership will be open to Guyanese from all walks of life, with no discrimination whatsoever based on geography, nationality, ethnic origin, religious or political affiliation, gender or sexual orientation.
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