National Youth Parliament hosts Back-To-School Fair

Date Published: 
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Friday August 31, 2018 saw the annual staging of a Back to School Treat by the Manchester Youth Innovation Centre and Lions Club of Mandeville. This year, The Youth Parliamentarians of Middlesex County partnered with the hosts to widen the community reach of the Treat as part of the project designed by the parliamentarians during their tenure.

With assistance from the Youth Advisory Council of Jamaica and guidance from the Youth and Adolescents Policy Division (YAPD) of the Ministry of Educaiton, Youth and information (MOEYI), the Middlesex Youth Parliamentarians were able to assess the needs of youth in the county and discerned a need for a Back-to-School Treat geared at reaching County residents who were unable to purchase necessary back to school supplies.



The Treat held at Charlton Park, Manchester brought together the services of the Manchester Youth Innovation Centre, Heart Trust NTA and Jamaica AIDS Support for Life to provide information on educational opportunities, free STI screening and health checkups for attendees.

In guiding this project the MOEYI YAPD, provided support to the parliamentarians, enabling them to contribute 300 Bashco back to school packages consisting of backpacks, books, and stationery to children and youth along with sponsored refreshments for attendees. The event also engaged members of Deaf community who assisted the Youth Empowerment Officers, Youth parliamentarians and YAPD staff with soliciting sponsorship and distributing packages.

Senior Director of the YAPD Ms. Naketa West noted that an objective of the YAPD is to educate and empower young people with the necessary skills in entrepreneurship, public speaking, project management, personal development and leadership in order for them to conceptualize and implement projects and community outreach activities.

Miss West explained, “The YAPD through its programmes unit and the work of the rebranded Youth Innovation Centres seeks to foster a culture of volunteerism among youth engaged in our programmes. This event was successfully planned and executed by the parliamentarians and is representative of their commitment to nation building and service".



The National Youth Parliament of Jamaica (NYPJ) and Youth Advisory Council of Jamaica are programmes of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. The NYPJ was started in November 2003 as a non-partisan initiative aimed at providing youth from across Jamaica with a forum to express their views, network and debate issues of concern in the House of Representatives. The Parliament has traditionally been hosted as an activity of Youth Month celebrations in Jamaica, with the most recent sitting being in November 2016. The next sitting will be held on Monday November 12, 2018.

The NYPJ is structured to provide an opportunity for youth to deepen their understanding of parliamentary democracy, while developing skills in research, policy formulation and analysis, advocacy, public speaking and communication.