Youth Festival in full swing | 12 August 2019
The 20th Seychelles Youth Festival, under the theme ’Reaching out to the Youths’, is in full swing after it was officially launched in a ceremony held at Palais des Sports on Saturday morning.
The launch was attended by President Danny Faure, Vice-President Vincent Meriton, Designated Minister and Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture, Macsuzy Mondon, the leader of government business in the National Assembly, Charles Decomarmond, ministers, members of the National Assembly, principal secretaries and youths from the different districts.
Also present were some young athletes from Team Seychelles who performed well during the Indian Ocean Islands Games in Mauritius.
The festival which will span over two weeks will be showcasing young talents in different activities such as entertainment, sporting, educational, recreational, environmental, entrepreneurship and other valued activities.
The activities will cater for the artistically, vocationally and the academically oriented.
The Festival, organised by the Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC), will also have a series of holiday activities involving students from primary and secondary schools on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.
Addressing the gathering, Designated Minister Mondon said that theme chosen for the festival falls in line with the government’s commitment to never leave any young people behind thus making sure that every youth is given the chance to play his or her role in the development of the country.
She noted that this year’s theme for the youth festival has been aptly chosen to reflect the country’s commitment to promote inclusiveness in our youth development endeavours through the wide variety of activities on the programme for all the youths to gather in the spirit of harmony and togetherness.
“Whether they are able bodied or physically challenged, all of our youths who are willing to participate will have an opportunity to express themselves and showcase their goodwill, achievements or creative talents. This year’s theme does not only talk to the young people but also to us as adults, as leaders and as a government and a nation. We are all being called upon first and foremost to listen to the voices of our youths, to their aspirations and to their pleas,” Designated Minister Mondon said, noting that we should give special attention to fallen youths in need of our support.
“We need to appreciate that all of our young people have the potential to harness for their own benefit, for the benefit of their families, communities and that of our country,” she added.
Minister Mondon said that the youth servicing the country, as one of their fundamental duties, should be a critical unifying factor among our young people thus providing the common objective of taking the country to greater heights.
She further said that with the human capital as our greatest assets, the youth development remains a priority of the government and government remains committed to sustaining the investment being made for the benefit of the youths to empower their capabilities and skills so that they can live up the values of peace, unity and harmony.
As example of youths who want to reach greater heights and those who want to contribute to positive changes in the country, Designated Minister Mondon hailed the success of the young athletes who performed well at the island games and the young environmentalists for their contributions against marine pollution especially from plastic pollution.
“My message to the youth is that you should have objectives and dreams that are limitless, but you need to be focused and work towards your future goals. You must not hesitate to set concrete objectives for your personal development using the opportunities offered through our youth policy and in line with our national development strategy 2019-2023 and the vision 2033,” Designated Minister Mondon said, noting that they should appreciate the dignity of labour for the improvement of the country and that of their families.
The chief executive of SNYC, Penny Belmont, said that as an important asset, the youth of Seychelles have plenty of talents, full of life and they are motivated to make a difference in the life of Seychelles.
She noted that the SNYC is there to provide guidance to them so that through their energy they could create opportunities to make that difference.
“We as young people we are here to show that there are positive elements among us out there. This shows that not all of us (youth) have fallen down or gone astray. We who have not fallen down what we must do is reach out to those that have fallen behind and bring them forward,” she said, noting that the outreach programme will continue throughout the year with the aim of reaching out to the point where the difference which the youth have aspired to make is felt.
The ceremony was graced by dance performances by different youth groups. The speaker of the Youth Assembly, Marlon Esparon, joined four young athletes – swimmers Felicity Passon, Samuel Rossi, Janil Lucas and boxer-Keddy Agnes who participated in the island games, to pledge “to come together and let’s steer the ship that we call home”.
The accompanying photographs show highlights of the launch ceremony.