Access to Information Youth Ambassadors Inducted

Release Date: 
Friday, December 1, 2017

The Access to Information Unit, Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday (November 29) inducted seven youth Ambassadors to promote the message of access to information within their respective schools.

The Access to Information Youth Ambassadors are drawn from seven rural and urban high schools.

Acting Director for the Access to Information Unit Office of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Tomica Daley explained that the Youth Ambassadors Programme, which is running as a pilot, is aimed at empowering youth to play a more active role in the promotion and transformation of Jamaica’s democratic framework by creating awareness amongst youngster on the tenets of the Access to Information Act, its application and importance.

“The vision of engaging our youth is high on the Unit’s list of priorities as we continue to create opportunities for youth to share in the conversation aimed at promoting access to information.”

In his charge delivered by Ms. Maxine Headlam Acting Deputy Chief Education Officer School Operations, State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, the Hon Floyd Green said that the Youth Ambassadors Programme is another powerful signal that Government believes strongly in the youth.

Quoting from a UNESCO publication, he urged the Youth ambassadors to learn the tenets of the Access to Information Act, and to become information literate, competently accessing, analysing, evaluating, creating and using information; critically analysing information and media content, and to use these skills to advance human rights and sustainable development.

He encouraged the youngsters to adhere to the ATI Unit’s code of conduct and be shining examples, representing the organisation, their schools and themselves well.

“When a country sends an ambassador to another country to represent it, that ambassador no longer represents him or herself. Every action that an Ambassador takes now reflects positively or negatively on the country that sends him or her, State Minister Green’s message read, encouraging the youth to embody the principles of ATI which are integrity, transparency and accountability.”

Mrs. Shereika Hemmings-Alison Senior Legal Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister who represented Permanent Secretary Mrs. Audrey Sewell and Mr. Archibald Hylton special advisor to the Hon. Derrick Smith Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister who represented the Minister both lauded the ambassadors and charged them to serve with excellence.

“As the Government takes decisive steps to positively transform the way we handle the affairs of the nation, the ATI Youth Ambassadors Programme places our youth in the vanguard of this process of change,” the Permanent Secretary’s statement read, adding: “We expect that as youth Ambassadors you will live the principles of the ATI Act and be exemplary representatives of the Office of the Prime Minister and your schools.”

The Youth Ambassadors will serve for 12 months and expected to carry out projects in their schools. The Ambassadors selected are: Shaquille Johnson of Wolmer’s Boys School; Shadae Graham of Westwood High; Josh Pratt of Ardenne High; Jevaun Johnson of Cornwall College; Charlecia Robinson of Vauxhall High School; Shavell Shaw of Wolmer’s Girls School and Nastacia Linton of William Knibb Memorial High School. The students received their ATI Ambassadors pins. The Ambassadors also underwent training on the provisions of the ATI Act and the terms of reference of the youth Ambassadors programme.

Speaking on behalf of his fellow Ambassadors, Shaquille Johnson said the youth are honoured to be part of something of such national significance and which the nation has needed for some time.

“Access to information is relevant to our lives; Access to information is relevant to our cause; ATI will help us to move forward as a nation,” he declared.

He expressed confidence that he and his fellow Ambassadors would take up the ATI cause very seriously, “not just to wear the badge but to be true ambassadors of the programme.”

 

CONTACT: ATI Unit, 968-8282/atiunit@cwjamaica.com

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