Scores of youth advocates and individuals working towards developing the nation's youth, particularly in the area of advocacy, were out in numbers at Yute X, a Youth Advocacy Conference at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Wednesday May 7 to Friday May 9. The conference which saw young people discussing the state of youth advocacy in the region culminated on Saturday May 10 with a Uniformed Groups Parade & Expo at Emancipation Park.
According to Rajive McIntosh, student at Ardenne Extension High Yute X "was a really wonderful and inspiring experience. It was really interesting and taught me how to interact with other young people. It has inspired me to take up youth advocacy as a fulltime job."
According to Knight-Johnson "we haven't even began to scratch the surface of what young people can do and their ability to make changes in Jamaica and the Caribbean."
Conroy B Wilson, Executive Director at ASHE Ensemble & Academy highlighted "ASHE was excited about Yute X and the ability to use the performing arts to inspire and empower young people. The conference demonstrated the power of youth when mobilized to create change and that is the essence of ASHE's mission."
Ashe which was primarily responsible for 'xtratainment' at Yute X presented an excerpt from CURFEW an award winning musical. According to the participants CURFEW showed the real power of 'edutainment' and the profound impact it has on young people if used in a positive way.
"Yute X is the start of a great idea that should be evaluated and developed for yearly reproduction" Wilson of ASHE remarked at the end of the conference.
Yute X was supported by the Ministry of Health & Environment, Ministry of Education - Education Transformation Team (ETT), Scotiabank, the Gleaner Company and RJR 94 FM.
The Advocacy Conference which was organized by the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network (JYAN) under the theme Yute X: Xpression, Xcitement, Xtratainment, Xposition was made possible by the USAID/JA-STYLE Project. JYAN is a youth led advocacy group that focuses on youth sexual and reproductive health rights, education & training, violence prevention, care & protection (including persons with disabilities), entrepreneurship and employment; music, culture and society; and climate change & environment.
Source: Dzine Konceps