Young people being ignored, states teen speaker

| 14/03/2011

CNS): Local young people are not being given a voice in Cayman society today and are being looked down upon, a teenage temporary speaker said on Monday as she made the opening address for the country’s annual Youth Parliament. Diana Tibbetts, who played the role of speaker during the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s event at the Legislative Assembly, said that as everyone was arguing about the need for future changes no one was giving young people a chance to voice their opinions or concerns. The teen also questioned what had happened to the once safe loving Cayman community as she pointed to the surge in violent crime.

“We as a country should focus and look at these problems in a mature manner, not bickering and blaming people for this, but coming together as one and trying to fix this,” she said, adding that it was not possible to solve a problem if those involved had problems with each other’s ideas.
She said the changes in the community were greatly affecting those who were still growing up, having a negative impact on young people’s lives.

“We are becoming affected with all these crimes, we are being victims of these crimes,” Tibbetts told the young people representing the country’s youth for the day. “We … want this to stop and we are willing to voice our opinions and facts and statements we know that people are doing and why they are doing it,” she added.

She also noted some of the environmental challenges, including the landfill, which she said most Caymanians know as “Mount Trashmore”, which was a “huge problem that has been ignored” for too long.

“If this situation is not addressed, it will affect the children of the future,” the young speaker noted as she pointed to the smell as well as the visual pollution and the problem of leaching into the North Sound.

“Cayman, the youth wants you to know that we need to all come together and contribute different ideas to find a solution for this growing situation to make Cayman’s environment a safer place for the generations to come,” the youngster said. “Cayman open your eyes, use your ears and listen to us, the youth is crying out for help.”

She asked for the whole country’s support for a better future where people came together to find solutions. “Please listen to what we have to say not only at this youth parliament, but listen to the youth in general, Tibbetts implored. “If you listen to us youth you will hear amazing things that we have to say and the ideas we have for this country of ours as we know we all live on this wonderful island and we all want the best for Cayman."

She said that during the day’s debate the country would hear the ideas that the young people had to solve some of the problems the country faced. “Don’t look at us as teenagers all dressed up nicely and just ready to debate against each other. But look at us as Cayman’s future politicians, leaders or great people who want to make a change for Cayman. Listen to our opinions for you may be astonished at what we have to say and how we present this,” the young speaker said.

“We are not just teenagers debating for the fun, but we are concerned citizens of Cayman who want to see a change and the betterment of our beloved isle,” she added, before the debate began.

See full speech below.

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  1. Anonymous says:

     I agree with the speaker, but I believe that youth are not willing enough to watch themselves and bring their own order to their lives. 

    As a young Caymanian myself, I believe that the young have just as much capability to take what they see, what they hear, what they learn each and everyday from their experiences and what they observe around them. They need to learn that, yes, people make the decision to act responsibly and learn from the mistakes they’ve made. I do not say this as if I am in some way lackingfault and do not expect any adult or youth to deny that they themselves have done things they are not proud of, yet it is your own choice as to decide whether to do the right thing or not. 

    Some may say that there are youth that are not given the proper guidance to afford them that sense of responsibility for their own actions which I find to be utter nonsense. there are a number of individuals that have overcome great hardships that many in our society at times may not even be able to comprehend going through and have made the best out of their life that they can. We as youth have good influences and bad influences in every aspect of our lives and it is simply a matter of choice as to what one decides to give into.

    thus, I believe it is necessary that if youth now feel that they are being ignored and do not feel they are witnessing positive change in their society that they feel compelled to do something about it and realize that they cannot wait for those that are supposed to guide us will step up to the plate before we ruin ourselves.

    To the adults who like to point out the faults of the young, to those that do not give the needed guidance and care, realize that the youth of made this plea time and time again for a reason. They desire your presence- try and make it a positive one. Even if you feel you are not getting to a particular someone, your positive and negative actions may be affecting someone else.

  2. Anonymous says:

    One change that we need to bring about has to do with our politicians, we have had a game of tag going on for over twenty years. This must stop. I suggest that we as a people come together and set term limits for politicians. Two consecutive terms with a three term maximum sounds reasonable to me, give the younger generation a chance to show our vision, and I’m not talking just about the “Young UDP” or the “Young Progressives” but every young person with sustainable ideas, believe me there are many.

    Most young intellects chose to be silent because if you speak out against the current “regime” or your ideas are seen as “ungodly” life will be hard for you in Cayman, without question. We the youth of these islands have voices and they deserve to be heard without fear of repercussions. I will end by saying that the only constant in life is change, currently it appears our “Christian” nation has taken a turn for the worse. However; since change is constant we can be certain that another change will take place because we have the power to invoke change.

    “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi


    We have a leader that only cares about rich foreigners. There is nothing for our young people to do. We don’t even have a trade school and we call our selfs civilized. We elect people that don’t go to important meetings to deal with our country’s business. We only have a handful of serious leaders in the L. A. . Changes Changes must come.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not completely accurate. The leader has consistently shown that he certainly also cares about getting rich himself, and taking full advantage of whatever perks he can squeeze out of the system.

    • Jan says:

      These are the kind of comments that the young speaker is referring to. I wonder some times who is more mature, the adults or the teenagers. It is not about the blame game it is about doing things to make our country, the Cayman Islands better for our future and for today. I grew up in Cayman before video games, computers and even Dish Network and guess what, I consider myself well balanced and I never once complained about “not having anything to do”. When my children say that to me, I send them outside to ride there bikes or do their chores… Idle hands are the devils workshop… A trade school, we have UCCI, ICCI, Online Universities, the list goes on and on… If someone is interested in bettering themselves they will find away. We as Caymanian parents have to remember how we were brought up and reinforce those same rules to our children.

      As forour leader, I think he is doing the best that he can under the circumstances he has been put in. Yes, I don’t always agree with him, but then i don’t agree with my husband or my boss on everything that they do either but I am not bashing them on the internet either.

      We could learn a lot from the youth alright, but then they should learn a lot from us too….

  4. Anonymous says:

    Give her the job, shes looks at home doing it 🙂

  5. Dumpy says:

    The biggest crime is the headgear that girl was forced to wear.


    • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

      I agree, the headgear should go.

    • Merely Digressing says:

      Would be much safer in there were she wearing a hard hat or a crash helmet instead

    • MasterMimick says:

      Why would any non 17th century, non-white European, non-male want to immulate those guys? Where’s the long pipe?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Vision 2008 had many younger folks involved…the document was junked. We haven’t had a government in charge for many years that has listened to it’s people. The vocal minority and the developer minority get their way on everything from the environment to tourism, education etc….
    Dreadful and the situation is a complete mess.

    • Anonymous says:

      Vision 2000 and Vision 2008 amounted to pressure relief valves, keeping the people happy by giving them the illusion they were taking a part in the design   of their own future. The sad thing is that a lot of time and talent was wasted in the process.