Secondary and tertiary students participated in the University of the West Indies Country Conference to discuss major issues in society that are affecting them. The conference is held every two years and this year’s theme is “Youth and Security: Assessing Risks, Mitigating Vulnerabilities, and Improving Well being”. There were panelists who presented academic papers on themes like financial and economic inclusion of youth, school-based response to violence among other topics. According to Dr. Sharmayne Saunders, Acting Head UWI Open Campus, the conference is a platform to inform youths about growing issues.
Dr.Sharmayne Saunders, Acting Head, UWI: “We hope to use our conference as a platform for engaging the community in current issues that are affecting our country primarily coming from a research standpoint, that’s what we’re trying to promote using this platform. So every two years we host the conference, we look for topics or themes that are most current and related to our country. We have representation from highschools down south and from our local in Belize City. There is so much happening in the country and we need to reach our youths and we felt that the timing is perfect. The University has a ripe opportunity and we believe that we could do something, we could contribute something through this process. You will note that our conference under the youth theme the planners, the organizers and the entire conference is manned and operated by youth so that was our aim to ensure that we incorporated youth, get the engagement of the youth and start the dialogue here.”
The conference was a two-day event which was held at the Marion Jones Sporting complex and it ended today.