Ambassador Holloway delivers remarks at Youth Exposition and Volunteer Fair

Winners of the Project Pitch Competition receiving their certificate

Director of Youth, Ms. Melissa Carmichael

Director of Sports, Mr. Christopher Jones

Other Government Representatives;

Competition Judges

Youth Ambassadors

Members of the Youth Action Network

NGO Partners;

Special Invitees;

Members of the Media;

Good afternoon.

Thank you for inviting me to speak here today as we culminate the Guyana Youth and Social Entrepreneurship Program with this Youth Exposition and Volunteer Fair.  The U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Government value the contributions made by young persons to create a more prosperous and peaceful future and to promote mutual understanding.

More than 1 billion people around the globe volunteer to help others. Whether working in a soup kitchen to feed the hungry or using your skills to help the needy, volunteers develop new skills while helping their communities.  A 2015 United Nations report “The State of the World’s Volunteerism” noted that citizen volunteers help make governments more responsive and accountable to their citizens.   Volunteerism also adds immense value to your country’s economic output.

The U.S. Embassy will continue to play our part to empower young people through our youth development initiatives such as the Youth Ambassadors Program, the Youth Action Network, and the Youth Empowerment Services (or YES) program. We continue to see the positive returns of these initiatives, when emerging leaders such as you, are committed to fulfilling their social responsibilities towards the development of their country by making positive contributions in their communities.

Congratulations to all the participants who have benefitted from the program in the arenas of leadership development, teambuilding, project planning skills, managing sustainable charities in a challenging environment, and being innovative in the 21st century, among others. I am excited to hear your project pitch on community development initiatives you plan to undertake as you return to your respective communities and apply these new skills that you have learned over the past week.

I’m pleased to acknowledge the outstanding work of all the youth organizations present here today:

Caribbean Youth Environment Network

Come Alive Network Inc.

ECO Trust

Global Shapers

Guyana Red Cross

Junior Chamber International Guyana

Leo Club

Rotaract Club of University of Guyana

Stabroek Rotaract Club

Volunteer Support Platform

Witness Project

Youth Ambassadors Guyana

Youth Action Network of the U.S. Embassy

The work that you all do on a continuous basis has an innumerable impact on the lives of others.

I encourage members of the audience today to visit the booths of these impressive organizations and to learn a bit more about the work they do.   The connections and information shared may cultivate further opportunities for these individuals and organizations to succeed and thus create an even greater impact for the future of Guyana.

We also extend our recognition to Youth Ambassadors 2015 cohort on executing another successful program. We at the U.S. Embassy value your commitment and passions in fulfilling your social responsibilities towards the development of Guyana as you not only seek to strengthen your leadership potential but to empower your peers through the sharing of knowledge and practical experiences.

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to our many partners – the Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, and National Sports Commission – who made their facilities available to us.  Thank you to the Master Class Institute for extending coaching to the winners of today’s project pitch.

In closing, I wish to encourage all of you to keep up the great work which will undoubtedly contribute to a secure, prosperous and inclusive Guyana.

Thank You.