Conference 2002 - World Youth Forum Reports 2



Joseph Buchanan


My name is Joseph Buchanan presently a student at Hillel Academy. I was one of the representatives of Youth Support Jamaica who attended the 2002 International Youth Conference.


The International Youth Conference which took place at the Barbican Centre in London, England, was an educationally interesting fun-filled sociable event for me in that I got to meet other youths from all over the world. Present at the conference were doctors, students, teachers and sponsors whom all made presentations on various topics concerning youth issues over the three days.


I was proud and honoured to be a member at this event, for this was where I found colleagues and friends, with whom I was granted the opportunity to share my Jamaican culture. Films, songs, poems, skits and lectures were all elements used to shed light on problems we as young people are facing throughout the world today.


For example, did you know that the media can affect the health of young people? Take models, for example, they portray themselves to be slim, sexy females who are in a near Anorexic state, thus influencing young girls to do the same. This is from one extreme to the next, picture the McDonalds Advertisement and now take a look at young people who consume the product... .they are primarily obese. These are some of the pointers that I learnt from the conference. In other words, I learnt how to access advertisements.


At the conference, each day, while having our meals we discussed various problems affecting youths throughout the world. This was very interesting for me because our discussions took place in an atmosphere that made all feel as though we were family. This was where I experienced equality for the first time; positive energy filled the room as we chatted and laughed.


At the end of the conference I was surprised because I was not aware that so many lessons could be learnt in a week. I learnt the meaning of humility, team work, diligence and companionship.

For me the 2002 International Conference provided me links with other youths from various parts of the world with whom I am still in contact through the internet.


So in conclusion, I say one love and thanks to Youth Support Jamaica for an unforgettable experience and an incredible journey to London.


Jodian Grindley

My name is Jodian Grindley. I am currently a student of Newell High School in St. Elizabeth.


I was among a group of nine Jamaican students who were privileged to go to London, to attend  4th International Conference on Adolescent Health and Welfare. This visit lasted seven (7) days. During our stay we met other participants from Los Angeles, Italy, Russia and people from many other countries. When we arrived we were taken to a hostel. We all were very tired and hungry so we had something to eat then we showered and retired for the night.


On the first day we were taken on a tour. We visited the Queenís house where we saw monuments of past queens; we then visited London Tower and from there we were able to view sections of London. We also visited the St. Paul Cathedral where we had the opportunity to purchase souvenirs. We also visited shopping centres located on such famous streets as Bond, Regents and Oxford Streets where we were allowed to do a little shopping.


On the second day we went to a Dungeon where we were told about the purpose for which it was used. We also went to Bridge 2000 and the old London Bridge. After all the exploring, we went back to the hostel quite late. Then came the day when we all settled down for discussions at the famous Barbican Centre, London.


The first day was more hke a get acquainted day. All the participants introduced their views in a question and answer session. There we had the chance to know what was happening in other countries. On the final day everyone got a chance to show what they learned.


The trip was very important because it was informative and educational. I observed a number of things that I had only heard about. For example, I met a transgender person and surprisingly the action portrayed why he is now a woman. This experience also enlightened me as to what I want to do in the future. What I liked most about the conference is that it allows me to see the variety of different challenges which young people face in growing up and entering adulthood in different countries.


Youth Support Jamaica is important because it helps young people to see that if they make a mistake in life they donít have to give up. Many of our youths today are going astray and the youth of today will be the men and women of tomorrow. Therefore, what they learn, is what they are going to take into our future world.


I personally think family value is what lacking in our society today. We need to get it back so that we can have a better society. Therefore what I would suggest for Youth Support Jamaica to do is have a counsel section where they speak to not only the youths but also their parents. Why? Because dealing with the youth problems also includes their parents, that is if they have any, because many of our youths today donít have any parents. That is why we have so many street children and a lot of children dropping out of school. This is where Youth Support Jamaica can play a major roll in their lives.


I would describe the Youth Support Jamaica as life saving organization.


I think it is a good thing being a part of such an organization, because it gives me the opportunity to give advice to my friends and also members of my family. Having gone and participated in their 2002 conference has allowed me to make some positive decisions in my life. In other words, I have learned things at that conference which I am now able to use in my own personal development.


Thank you Youth Support Jamaica for the experience and keep up the good work.

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