Richardson: young people must be at the forefront of all policies and programmes that affect them
File photo of Roma Richardson at the Clarence Fitzroy Brant College (CFBC)
By: Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St Kitts, May 1, 2019 – Frustrated by the wanton political discrimination practiced by the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government against young people and professionals, a member of Young Labour – the youth arm the opposition St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), has made a personal commitment to ensure that young people will not be treated like second class citizens and endure the humiliation and disrespect while trying to get a job.
Roma Richardson, who related her own experience and others at an SKNLP press conference on Wednesday afternoon said young people must be at the forefront of all policies and programmes that affect them.
“As a member of Young Labour, I personally am committed to ensuring that no young person, or no person, is ever forced to endure the humiliation and disrespect that I endured while just trying to get a job. Young Labour can guarantee every young person that they will be fairly considered, always consulted, and promise that young people are never again treated like second-class citizens, or have their voices silenced and their presence ignored,” said Richardson, who returned to St Kits last June with a master’s degree in Gender and Development from the University of the West Indies (UWI).
“Youth should be at the forefront of any plans, programmes and policies that affect young people,” said Richardson, who promised that in a modern St Kitts-Nevis, “a Next Gen SKN, youth will have a say in what a “state of the art” high school would look like. They will be a part of the national conversation on employment.”
The youth will participate in the decisions related to sustainable development, because sustainability is all about us, and those who haven’t even been born yet. And, in a Next Gen, young people will be assured that they will be treated fairly and with dignity.”
Pointing out that as the largest demographic in St. Kitts and Nevis, the youth are in prime position “to demand a seat at every table, and to resort to radical action in the form of protests, petitions, and debate if we don’t get those seats.”
The youth she said are the ones to hold government ministers accountable and demand that their questions be answered and presence recognized. “Government has a duty to employ its people, or to create the environment where people could become self-employed, or be employed in a thriving private sector. The Labour Government has done this before, through short-term, transitional work programmes, and through the multitude of private companies brought,” said Richardson, who also holds a BA Literatures in English (Major), Gender and Development Studies (Minor) with First Class Honours, also from the UWI.
Richardson promised that the Next Gen SKN, under Labour, will invite, value and respect people’s skills.
“I encourage you, young people, to start by telling your stories. Young Labour has a plan to change the story of every young person discriminated against or unfairly denied opportunities.
Discrimination will not be the narrative of the future. Instead, we will write stories of young people triumphing, succeeding, and living their best lives – in St. Kitts-Nevis,” said Richardson.
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