Youth Manifesto 2021
The youth of Aruba are the future of our small island nation. They will have to navigate through tomorrow with decisions that are being made today. This Youth Manifesto is the result of a group of youth coming together in the ‘To Vote, I Voice’ project and bringing attention to the challenges young people encounter in Aruba.
The Youth Manifesto aims to be the first step in including youth in decision-making processes at the highest level. Above all, this Youth Manifesto aims to hold politicians, policy makers, and the government accountable for decisions that have an impact not only on the Aruban community but specifically the Aruban youth.
Four core areas are present in this Youth Manifesto: mental health, environment, education, and labor (employment opportunities). The youth involved in the making of this Youth Manifesto came up with a list of inputs that policy makers, parliament and the government of Aruba should seriously consider including in their policies on these 4 core areas.
The youth of ‘The Vote, I Voice’ project considers and respects the problems and challenges encountered daily by the Aruban youth. They aspire for an island where investment in education and tourism is not only infrastructural but also an investment in the quality of life and needs of the Aruban citizen and the natural environment.
The Youth Manifesto is a first step in having structural and regular dialogue with policy makers and politicians on topics that are important for the youth. HCLF is working on this aspect to unite youth organizations to contribute to this structural dialogue exchange by establishing a youth platform.
The youth in the To Vote, I Voice project propose the following input by the government of Aruba:
We will conduct studies and provide data on mental health in Aruba;
We will optimize the referral process for individuals with a mental health limitation;
We will introduce support groups at schools;
We will provide mental health services through AZV;
We will promote and make mental health a topic of continuous conversation;
We will introduce new recycling methods;
We will introduce more self-sustainable projects/programs at schools;
We will create and execute a standard strategic plan of safety to clean up the toxic waste;
We will conduct studies on educational systems in Aruba;
We will start introducing internship opportunities in 'MAVO/HAVO' schools;
We will create a plan of action to teach self-expression in schools;
We will create a plan to implement 'Proyecto Scol Multilingual' in all schools;
We will introduce young people to the Aruban labor market;
We will introduce 'bring your child to work day in companies;
We will teach young people about Aruban Labor Laws;
We will develop policies that demand inclusivity in companies.
How did the youth manifesto come to be?
The voice of youth is important in any democratic nation. If we look towards the Ladder of Participation, Aruba has yet to structurally include youth in decision-making processes on a policy level.
The Covid-19 pandemic considerably impacted how we experience topics such as mental health, the environment, employment, and education. Youth especially were confronted with drastic changes and the economic consequences has an impact on their future.
HCLF’s mission is to see a prosperous generation driven by their core heart-centered values make sustainable choices for themselves and the world. With the Parliament elections slated for June 2021, HCLF was determined to start including different youth in decision-making processes by introducing the project 'To Vote, I Voice: Don't Count YOUth Out!'. Another inspiring contribution came from the Netherlands' 'Coalitie-Y' consisting of young people from different organizations.
'To Vote, I Voice: Don't Count Youth Out' aimed to help elevate young people in Aruba's voices and provide a platform to engage with politicians on action steps that affect the youth's futures. This project also encouraged young people to be accountable for their proposed solutions on their concerns in four core areas: mental health, environment, education, and labor.
'To Vote, I Voice' engaged youth with different stakeholders on the topics of mental health, education, environment, and employment. The project included the following activities that build up from one another, leading to the creation of a youth manifesto.
Impact Café: Youth Concerns. Participants received presentations from 4 governmental departments and conduct a SWOT analysis of the current situation around the 4 topics.
Vox Iuventus Impactus: Stating the Facts: Aruba Recovering After COVID-19. Participants engaged in conversation with 2 experts from Stichting Deugdelijk Bestuur and Aruba Birdlife Conservation.
Impact Factory: Stating The Facts: What's Next? Participants received different workshops to help them formulate questions and prepare for the Youth Town Hall
Impact Café: Youth Town Hall. Participants engaged with 6 political party candidates on the 4 topics
Impact Factory: The Youth Manifesto. Participants formulate statements and action points to complete the Youth Manifesto
Impact Factory: The Youth Manifesto. Participants formulated statements and action points to complete the Youth Manifest