Sun | Aug 9, 2020

Eight university youth groups come together for COVID response webinar

Published:Monday | July 6, 2020 | 12:19 AM
Moderators of Ready Reset Recharge webinar in this photo collage. From left are Tijani Christian, chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Council; Jhannel Tomlinson, climate activist; Christina Williams, president (2019-2020), Office of The Guild of Students
Moderators of Ready Reset Recharge webinar in this photo collage. From left are Tijani Christian, chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Council; Jhannel Tomlinson, climate activist; Christina Williams, president (2019-2020), Office of The Guild of Students, The University of the West Indies; Kahlil Hutchinson, president (2019-2021), the University of Technology, Jamaica, Students’ Union Council; and Kavion Allen, president, United Students Movement, Northern Caribbean University.

Student body presidents of three major universities and select national youth group leaders will come together for a five-day webinar series branded ‘Ready Reset Recharge’ beginning today, July 6 to July 10. The webinar aims to advance their solutions for overcoming the COVID-19 crisis, focusing on jobs of the future; coordinated networking and advocacy in response to future pandemic/climate change shocks, and closing the digital gap.

The series will have participants from The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, Student Guild; University of Technology, Jamaica, Students’ Union; Northern Caribbean University’s United Students’ Movement; Commonwealth Youth Council; National Youth Council of Jamaica; Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students; The UWI STAT (Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow) Ambassador Corps; Young People for Action on Climate Change, Jamaica; and the Mona Association of Postgraduate Students. Students are in the forefront of planning and leading the series with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multi-Country Office in partnership with the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Research of The University of the West Indies.

UNDP Resident Representative Denise Antonio said UNDP is encouraged by the dedication and vision demonstrated by the student representatives who have proactively carved out their own responses to COVID based on the priorities of their peer group. She said that the youth population which constitutes the majority in Jamaica must be actively consulted on development issues, given the pivotal role they will play in the future.

CREATIVE STRATEGIES

Antonio said she was particularly encouraged by the creative strategies employed by the students to analyse and unveil issues and solutions arising in UNDP’s special report: COVID-19 and Human Development: Assessing the Crisis, Envisioning the Recovery.

Ready Reset Recharge will feature guest presentations from change agents making strides in their respective fields, student leaders revealing their organisation’s plans to support students to triumph in the era of COVID, as well as a resolution to be issued jointly. Some students are also competing in UNDP’s Development Challenge for a chance to be awarded internships at the UNDP office in Kingston.

Confirmed speakers include Gordon Swaby of Edufocal, Lisa Soares Lewis of Great People Solutions, and Joel Harris of Shavuot International. Messages will be delivered by Floyd Green, minister of state in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; Alando Terrelonge, minister of state, Ministry of Education, Youth & Information; Denise E Antonio, UNDP resident representative; Professor Aldrie Henry-Lee, university director, SALISES/UWI; and Una May Gordon, principal director, Climate Change Division, Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

Moderators of the event are Tijani Christian, chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Council; Jhannel Tomlinson, climate activist; Christina Williams, president (2019/20), Office of the Guild of Students, The University of the West Indies; Kahlil Hutchinson, president 2019/21, University of Technology Jamaica Students’ Union Council; Kavion Allen, president, United Students Movement, Northern Caribbean University.

Those interested can register at www.readysetgreatja.com