DP Youth Group Actively Involved in Crafting Democratic Party Platform on Youth and Community Affairs Actively Involved in Creating Vision for Young People in the Community

The Democratic Party last week had its first meeting with the DP Youth Group; a platform of young people that actively engage with the leadership, Board and Candidates of the DP for the 2014 Parliamentary elections; “rather than just have our DP Youth be part of campaign rallies, we actively involve our young people in the planning and vision for what we want to offer St. Maarten in terms of youth and the communities in which they live,” said Hasani Ellis, President of the Board of the Democratic Party and at just 28 years old, one of the youngest presidents of a political party and who, together with 21 year old DP Candidate Ysmael “Kenny” Faustin, is also a candidate on the DP slate; “For the past years, the Democratic Party has put the emphasis on our communities. It is the belief of the Democratic Party that bottom-up empowerment is crucial to the development of our country.”
The input from the young wing of the DP has resulted in the Democratic Party Platform on Youth and Families, which highlights an integrated neighborhood development policy, which will continue to be an important part of a DP government’s social agenda. This approach requires strong and vibrant community councils, which government will continue to support and encourage.
The Platform also clearly states that Sustainable Development also calls for joint approaches in all sectors of the community; “The DP therefore believes in partnership with NGO’s and corporate St. Maarten. The DP gave full support in government facilitating the establishment and subsidizing of the St. Maarten Development Fund Foundation in order to ensure continuity in the services of the NGO’s and in extension the vulnerable groups that are served through these entities.
“Focus on family and parenting is the corner stone of community development. The emphasis, however, lies on support for the family, as the caregivers and leaders of tomorrow are the youth of today. Efforts in the interest of our youth must be combined and synchronized, so that no one falls through the cracks.
“Our Party believes that parents must take up their parental responsibility and that as society we should give support when and where needed. The DP has endorsed national and international laws and ordinances in the area of care, education, participation, protection and rehabilitation for the youth and other vulnerable groups. This party will continue to put the necessary policies and services in place to ensure that these areas are fully developed for the wellbeing of our citizens.
“The DP is also committed to the implementation of the victim support unit, the central reporting center of Child abuse and the Youth rehabilitation facility. These are all initiatives that were started under the leadership of the DP government,” concludes the DP Party Platform on Youth and Community Development.
The members of the Democratic Party Youth group will be individually interviewing all of the candidates on the DP Slate and will be distributing their ideas on moving St. Maarten forward via social media and other means.