JFUCCA Youth Leadership Conference, November 2019

The Jamaica Federation of UNESCO Clubs Centres and Associations (JFUCCA), in collaboration with the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO (JNC–UNESCO), hosted its third Youth Leadership Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre under the theme ‘Achieving Agenda for 2030: Youth as Key Stakeholders 4 Development’.
The conference aimed “to give youth a voice and platform to speak on issues affecting them and assist them in driving change within their communities”.

Pearnel Charles, Jr, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, and Chair, JNC-UNESCO Youth Committee, told the gathering that the JNC–UNESCO, “has successfully provided a platform for young people in Jamaica to discuss real issues and what will come from this experience is an empowerment of your own mind, thinking, and assessment”.

During her presentation, Keisha Tomlinson, president of the JFUCCA, spoke on the topic of ‘Mental Health and Youth’. She outlined her personal experience growing up as a child suffering from self-esteem issues. However, she said she overcame this issue through her faith and by using her passion for helping children. “Don’t give anyone permission to cancel your future with their words,” Tomlinson said.

Other presenters included UNESCO Youth Advisory Committee members, Sujae Boswell and Mikiela Gonzales, who gave a report on their recent trip to Paris to attend the 11th UNESCO Youth Forum and the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference.

Aldon Currie also gave a synopsis on his trip to Sweden to attend the Media Information Literacy (MIL) Conference, where MIL was discussed as “a tool that lets us protect ourselves on various platforms while allowing us to think critically of our interactions in these media spaces.”

The pitch competition, conducted by Carlinton Burrell, Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre. During this session, students were placed in groups and received presentations on the business model canvas, after which they were tasked with the challenge to develop an innovative business model that solves a pressing problem. The objective of the activity was to develop an entrepreneurship mindset in students. The winners of that competition were from the May Day UNESCO Club for their recycling plastic bottle idea, ‘Triple R’ for which they have received 3 phones courtesy of the Flow Foundation.