Deputy PM Richards leading a previous Youth March.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Youth, the Honourable Shawn Richards declared Youth Month 2018 officially open on Nov. 1 and called on all citizens and residents to seize the opportunity to uplift the nation’s youth.

“The month allows us, as a nation, the opportunity to collectively recognize the achievements of some of our outstanding young citizens across numerous disciplines,” Richards said. ”It also affords us the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to creating an environment that recognizes their value, enables their growth and empowers them to recognize their fullest potential as productive and patriotic citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

Youth Month is celebrated in St. Kitts annually in November. This year’s theme is “Preserving Our Land of Beauty” and the deputy prime minister touched on this in his remarks.

“While it [the theme] may evoke an urge to uphold the aesthetic beauty of our fair land, we must also remember to hold true to the inherent beauty of our people,” he said, noting that Kittitians and Nevisians are renowned for being resourceful, progressive, supportive, creative, fun-loving and helpful.

That spirit of helpfulness is reflected in a number of activities that will be held throughout the month. For instance, on Nov. 10 and 17, the designated Youth Service Days, youth will implement community-based projects in their neighbourhoods. Adults are encouraged to assist the youth in organizing activities such as cutting older persons lawns, cleaning up beaches, planting trees, and presenting gift baskets.

Other notable activities for Youth Month 2018 are Nov. 3, First AID and CPR Certification Training; Nov. 4, Youth Island-Wide Bike Ride; Nov. 13, Art Exhibition; Nov. 15, 25 Most Remarkable Teens Awards; High School Chef Competition on November 22; Nov. 27, High School Choir Fest; and Nov. 30, Youth Month March and Rally.

“I take this opportunity to commend those among us that have dedicated the time and energies to encouraging the dreams, building the skills and shaping the characters of our youth over the last year or years and indeed across a number of disciplines,” Minister Richards said.

He invited the public to support youth as they participate in various youth month events.