Across the Caribbean and in many countries around the world, young people face barriers of inequalities, deficiencies, and oppression in access to quality education. In fact, high rates of adolescent pregnancy, poverty, depression, abuse, drugs, and risky sexual behavior are barriers that often have devastating impact on adolescents and youth.

This state of affairs has been amplified by Reverend Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth, the Chief Executive Officer of Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation, even as International Youth Day (IYD) is observed. IYD is observed annually on August 12 and this year it is being observed under the theme: “Transforming Education”.

Even as the day is observed, Sheerattan-Bisnauth said that there is need for a process of transforming education needs to consider the realities that plague youths so that adequate resources can be invested so that policies can be implemented and accountability systems be put in place.

These, she said, are crucial if young people are to be given the opportunity to be equipped to live life in its fullest and healthiest form, and to make informed decisions and wise choices.

As such, she noted that CFPA is calling on governments and civil society and faith based organisations to commit to and invest in ‘#TransformingEducation #SDG4’, and to recognise the rights of all adolescents and youth to education in its fullest and broadest scope, and their right to play a role in decisions affecting them.

“Adolescents and youth need to have access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), which is critical in enabling them to develop life skills, to take control of their lives, to flourish and to contribute meaningfully to the advancement of their communities,” said Sheerattan-Bisnauth.

According to her, adolescents and youth are a key priority for the CFPA and “at the heart of our vision, mandate and commitment to ensure that no one is left behind.”

The CFPA, which is a Member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR) and comprises 19 Family Planning Associations across the English, French and Dutch territories, includes Youth Advocacy Movements #YAMs, consisting of under 25 adolescents and youth, who are leaders in advocacy and education and awareness on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights. The #YAMs are safe, nurturing, and energising spaces for adolescents and youth to grow and develop as agents of positive change for a better Caribbean.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here