President visits Seychelles National Youth Council-‘The youth is the future of our country’


President Michel during his meeting with all heads of the various units of the council

“The future of a country and society is the youth and this is why I have always believed that as a nation we need to develop our youth by empowering them, by giving them the right skills and education for their development so as to bring more progress and development in our country in order to move it forward.”

President Michel – under whom the portfolio responsibility for Youth falls after the recent government restructuring -- made these remarks yesterday morning after he had visited the Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC).

He was accompanied on his visit by Vice-President Danny Faure, designated Minister Vincent Meriton, who is responsible for Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports but who also held the Youth portfolio until recently, as well as other high officials from his office.

The visit started at the council’s secretariat at Orion Mall, where Mr Michel and his delegation was met by the council’s chief executive Vicky Van Der Westhuizen.

Following a meeting with all the heads of the various units of the council, Mr Michel toured the secretariat, talking to members of staff and seeing for himself their working environment and getting to know more about their work.
The council has 77 members of staff all together.

Mr Michel then walked from Orion Mall to the Youth Centre at English River where again he greeted each member of staff there and spent some time talking to youth officers and youth workers from the districts who traditionally meet every Monday to report on their districts’ activities.

Mr Michel and his delegation arrive at the National Youth Centre

A visit of the different facilities and services available at the centre followed soon after and Mr Michel had a chance to be apprised of what are in place for youth development in there.

In an interview after the tour, Mr Michel said the visit proves the great affection he has for the youth and their development.

“I have and will always have a special interest and affection for the youth because I believe in the future of our country,” said Mr Michel.

Following the recent restructuring of government, the President holds the portfolio for Youth, and this visit was an opportunity for him to familiarise himself with the different sections and staff working at the council, and to be briefed on the on-going programmes and pertinent issues that need to be addressed.

The President congratulated the council for its active youth programmes and said that there is always room for improvement.

“As I have said in the past, the future of our country and its people depends on the youth. Opportunities are being created and put at the disposal of all young people but it will depend on each and everyone of them to take their responsibility seriously and make the most of the opportunities being offered.

Addressing youth officers and youth workers who had gathered for their weekly meeting

“I believe that our youth of today do understand that, and they are seizing opportunities being offered to them. They should develop positive attitudes towards the way they behave, their health and education,” said the President.

The President noted that Seychelles has come a long way in the democratisation of education in order to make sure that all Seychellois children get access to education and for those who have the potential to develop to go as far as possible.

“We created the University of Seychelles because we believe that through the university the youth will get the required tools for them to become good leaders. The Young Leaders Programme has become a success today not only in the public sector but also in the private sector and defence. I am looking into new ways to extend the programme,” said Mr Michel.

During the visit, Vice-President Faure explained that with the re-organisation in government, more emphasis is being put on delivering efficient programmes for the development of young citizens.

“And the important thing with regard to the youth is that 57% of our Seychelles population falls under this category,” said Mr Faure.

He said this means the youth must be given a comprehensive development programme in terms of health, education and empowerment.

“It is important that the youth is included in all aspects of development and in all sectors of development in the country and we need to study all the strategies being submitted by ministers to make sure the aspiration of the youths are also included,” said Mr Faure.

Mr Faure said that the next stage of development taking place in the country cannot be envisaged without taking into consideration the development of our youth.

Like Mr Michel, he commended the work done and being carried out by all ministries and departments but stressed that the stage reached in our development today calls for more synergy and a new way of doing things.

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