Are you interested in becoming a youth advocate for your school and community? The Cayman Islands Youth Assembly (CIYA) is now seeking new members.
What is the CIYA?
The CIYA is a signature programme of the Youth Services Unit (YSU). It was established in 2008 and encourages young people to research, educate others, and advocate about social issues that are relevant to youth. Members are trained through civic research activities to effectively contribute and dialogue about these issues.
Who can join?
The CIYA encourages inclusive participation, and welcomes youth of all skill-levels, who would like to share their voice to make a difference. We believe that a diverse membership can better represent that challenges and concerns of all youth of the Cayman Islands. High school/College students across the islands are members. Also, Young Adults outside of school-settings (regardless of employment status) are welcome to become members. All members are encouraged to collaborate and spearhead advocacy initiatives that raise the voice of youth.
What topics are discussed?
When members are recruited to join the CIYA, they are called to share their opinions, ideas and experiences regarding a wide variety of youth concerns. Typically, each "term" the CIYA elects a President, Vice President and other executive members; before voting with its regular members to choose a topic of interest they will research (and dialogue about). Past topics have included:
- Local employment
- Drug use
- Child negligence
- Bus Transportation
What activities take place?
The CIYA is well-known for:
- Hosting youth dialogues and forums
- Supporting youth initiatives/events organised by the Ministry responsible for youth
- Visiting schools and local youth organisations/youth groups
- Radio and other public appearances
- Developing position papers to present to key members in the Ministry responsible for youth; and other key Government Officials
How can the CIYA help?
The CIYA can help students and young adults in a variety of ways. The host of benefits includes but is not limited to:
- Having a community to discuss important issues that shape the future of our country;
- Helping you find your voice and express your concerns with the guidance and support of our facilitators at the Youth Services Unit;
- Networking when you have an opportunity to interact with students/youth from a variety of different backgrounds and organisations, as well as key Government Officials or Guest Speakers (local advocates, policy makers, etc);
- Developing your perspective on the world around you;
- Participating in dialogues that support the improvement of your public speaking skills;
- Planning CIYA activities that build on event-management skills;
- Growing your skills in Researching/Analyzing as you work on articles or position papers that share your opinion (in a cohesive/organized manner that strengthens your credibility in civic spaces/amongst decision-makers); and;
- Giving a voice to other youth in your community, who may not feel comfortable speaking up.
How to join the CIYA?
Presently, the Unit is relaunching the CIYA. We will be seeking:
1. Student representatives from Years 10/11/12 or A-Level/College-aged
If you are a student who is interested in this opportunity, contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 943-1127 / 244-6303 to speak directly with the YSU and to receive a copy of the CIYA Membership Form. Otherwise, speak with your school counselor to express your interest; and request their contact with the YSU, to secure your spot in the programme.
2. Young adults outside of school-settings
Youth (regardless of employment status) are welcome to become members. Contact email@example.com / 943-1127 / 244-6303 to speak directly with the YSU to participate or see if this is the right fit for you. You will receive a copy of the CIYA Membership Form.
Where do meetings take place?
Meetings of the CIYA take place Thursdays 3:00PM - 5:00PM at the Intergenerational Hub (131 MacLendon Drive, next to DHL). Meetings have not yet resumed, and when the programme has been formally re-launched, these will be shared with interested/prospective members. Drop-Ins will also be welcome; and will be asked to complete the CIYA Membership Form.