History of the Trinidad Youth Council

On May 1998, at the Commonwealth Ministers of Youth Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Commonwealth Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment was formalized.  Two of the mandates in this Plan of Action was the formation of National Youth Councils and National Youth Policies in all Commonwealth countries.

In October 1999, the then Ministry responsible for Youth Affairs held two (2) residential training programs at the El Dorado Girls Camp for youth leaders across Trinidad and Tobago. The main objective of the then Ministry was the creation of a youth platform which would be representative, participatory and non-partisan. It would act as the voice of young people of Trinidad and Tobago. At the end of these workshops, all participating delegates from both islands agreed to reform the National Youth Council of Trinidad and Tobago.

In February 2000, the Ministry responsible for Youth Affairs established a NYC Steering Committee Trinidad Chapter to guide the process forward. This steering committee was made up of:

  • Calvin James         
  • Ernesto Kesar
  • Ayana Dardaine        
  • Michael Alexander

In addtion to this steering committee,an eight (8) point plan was created which served to guide the NYC’s re-activation process. 

Eight-point plan for the Establishment of the National Youth Council:

  • The establishment of a Secretariat in Trinidad and Tobago as well as creating a website.
  • The initiation of an advertising campaign.
  • The rollout out of a Sensitization programme.
  • The rollout-out of an Awareness programme: focusing on the role of the Non-Governmental Organizations & Community-Based Organizations in the current Global environment.
  • A day of consultation on the Youth Council
  • Executing Residential training for volunteers
  • Executing Community consultations
  • Establishing a Youth Convention

In March/April 2000, it was resolved that individual Management Committees be set up in Trinidad and Tobago as well as management committees, in September 2000, to oversee the formation of Youth Councils. The Steering Committee, established in February 2000, assisted in the coordination of nation-wide community consultations and networking with youth organizations to contribute to this process while simultaneously conducting an extensive outreach campaign to sensitise people about the importance of a National Youth Council.

On May 12th 2001, the Management Committee in Trinidad hosted its Youth Summit at the Rudranath Capildeo Learning Resource Centre to encourage participation of young people from Trinidad and Tobago in conversations on the reformation and future direction of National Youth Council. From June 8th to 10th 2001, the interim Trinidad and Tobago Youth Councils held a strategic planning retreat in Scarborough, Tobago. This was supported by the aforementioned Ministry and the Inter-American Development Bank. The intended outcome of the retreat was the Strategic Management Plan for the reformation of the National Youth Council of Trinidad and Tobago. In August 2001, the draft constitution of the Trinidad Youth Council was completed and discussed at a public level. In November 2001, the constitution was formalized and completed.

The First TYC Election

November 2001 saw the election machinery of the Trinidad Youth Council in motion with the hosting of a free and fair democratic national election to elect an Executive Committee. On Saturday December 1st 2001, the first executive election of the Trinidad Youth Council was held and a constitutional executive committee elected! 

TYC First Central Executive (2001-2004)

  • President – Ernesto Kesar
  • First Vice President – Nishard Mohammed
  • Second Vice President- Ato Augustine
  • Executive Secretary – Trevene Layne
  • Recording Secretary – Giselle Shipley
  • Treasurer – Sherwin Bridgewater 
  • Assistant Treasurer – Samuel Mohammed and Leston Tobias
  • Communications Officer – Kenwin Purcell/Garfield George
  • Public Relations Officer – Ravi Lutchman
  • Research and Education Officer – Faraz Khan
  • Trustee – Shivonne Scope
  • Trustee – Maguella Simmons/Dineshia Hamilton
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