PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The United People (UP) Party on Thursday night launched its youth movement within the party: UPNext. In the presence of the party board, party leadership and parents, the members of UPNext was introduced and dubbed “a creative force, a dynamic source of innovations to tackle the challenges of their times that directly and indirectly affect them.”
By establishing a youth movement within the UP one of the party objectives is to raise the political awareness of the youth, through the youth, enabling them to become the owners of a new vision, for positive change. “We are convinced that through engagement and participation that our youth will take their rightful place as builders and future leaders of St. Maarten,” the party said.
Deputy Leader of the party Franklin Meyers and President of the party board Sylvia Olivacce-Meyers both congratulated the core group of youngsters on the step they have taken. They encouraged them to speak to their peers about getting involved and stressed the importance of political engagement in a country they will one day lead.
The young members of UPNext will be actively recruiting their peers to team green with the aim to dispel certain misconceptions and instill positive realities:
Young people, as part of this country, are being governed and will have a say.
Stress the importance of them following current events, watch the news, read debate articles and discuss the issues with others.
That their role and contributions are important to decision making. They will use themselves as example because their contributions, as assured by the leader of the UP, will be included in party planning and party manifestos.
That politics can be the means to positive ends and gives them a platform to become productive citizens and ensure that the right thing is done for the country. That politics do not have to be a bad thing.
They will be guided and educated not only in party principles, objectives and positions, but in the operations of government and country.
The group has already started planning several activities to take place over the next few weeks and plan on taking over social media with some other online initiatives.
“They will continue with community based activities even after the campaign season is over. UPNext will not be a campaign ploy. There is no quicker way to turn young people off than to make them feel or show them matter-of-factly, that they were used as a gimmick,” the party said.
“The United People party understands the challenges and difficulties of our youth. The party is also aware that the political situation of our country is guiding them to some sort of indifference in political engagement.”
“The United People party believes that in order to respond effectively to the needs of young people, their active and meaningful participation in their community and in democratic practices and processes is of crucial importance. Meaningful youth participation and leadership require that young people have opportunities, capacities and benefit from an enabling and empowering environment.”
“The United People party is extremely proud this evening to be the enabling and empowering environment for a core group of young people that will lead the charge for the Green team in raising political awareness among their peers and extending party principles and objectives to that important social group.”
“The United People Party also believes in molding our youth to be the leaders they are destined to be. UPNext will not simply be the energy of the party, but a capacity building forum for the core group of UPNext and the young people we fully expect to attract to its ranks in the coming days and weeks.”
“Like the party itself, UPNext is here for the long haul. Active and vibrant, they are most definitely, ready.”