HONOURABLE MARIO K. BOWLEG
MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORTS AND CULTURE
ON THE OCCASION OF THE
THE LAUNCH OF THE NATIONAL YOUTH GUARD
AT: OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
DATE: 21ST OCTOBER 2022
It was about three (3) years ago that the massive eye of the extremely powerful and catastrophic category five (5) hurricane Dorian the islands of the Bahamas. This storm was the strongest to ever make landfall and was the worse Natural disaster in Bahamian recorded history. This disaster and its subsequent recovery opened our eyes to the fact that we needed to do more as it relates to disaster preparedness and recovery. To this end, my government is launching a program that will seek to make an historic impact of its own. I am proud to announce the launch of The Bahamas National Youth Guard.
Lifted from our blue print for change the national youth guard program is designed to teach young people the skills needed to assist this nation during a disaster or an emergency. Dorian was an eye-opening experience but this government did not just take what we saw and forgot about it, but had the vision and the fortitude to establish a ground breaking program such as this. The Bible says, that without vision the people perish. We are determined that the Bahamian people should not perish, not under our watch.
The National Youth Guard is a youth program focused on equipping young persons from all of our islands with the necessary tools to assist the nation by supporting private and public agencies during national emergencies, such as natural disaster. This programme targets young adults between the ages 18—25 who believe in giving service to their nation. It will give the participants the opportunity to gain technical skills such as CERT certification, boat captain license training, risk assessment, disaster management, conservation training, soft skills and physical training. This initial cohort will consist of one hundred (100) of our young nation builders who will be positioned to make an impact in this nation through service. The National Youth Guard is a program that will be facilitated by my Ministry specifically the Division of Youth and its civic and corporate partners. This program will have four (4) phases with a twenty-seven (27) month cycle.
- Phase 1: A 3 months specialty training
- Phase 2: An Internship component – in which persons will get on the job training.
- Phase 3: Reservice component – 2yrs where our trained youth will be called to serve in the event of a case of emergency.
- Phase 4: Quarterly training sessions to ensure the cadets are well equipped with the most up to date information.
I encourage all young people across the length and breadth of our nation who are interested in giving service to their communities and preparing themselves and their families for the next disaster to sign up for this program. In my Ministry’s belief of giving ease access and staying connected to young people. We have posted the link to sign up on our Facebook page, The Division of Youth 242. I would be remorse if I ended without congratulating the team at the Division of Youth who have worked diligently to make this vision a reality. This teams works daily to improve the lives of young people through the nation.
Jackson Brown, Jr. once said “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” Bahamians have always been resilient no matter the condition. Today we prepare our young people for a bigger, brighter, and I declare a bolder future.
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About the Bahamas National Youth Guard: The Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture’s National Youth Guard Program is focused on equipping young people with the tools needed to assist the nation during national emergencies, such as natural disasters.