The country’s leading voice for the youth demographic is celebrating fifteen years of service and nation building! What started out as the brainchild of the late Desmond E. Ward (who sadly died on the association’s official launch date), former parliamentary consultant and SKNYPA Mentor, has now blossomed into the most fortified symbol of youth empowerment in Saint Kitts.
Although founded in 1999, the St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association (S.K.N.Y.P.A.) was not officially launched until September 13th 2001, under the directorship of Dr. Geoffery Hanley. As a non-profit and non-partisan youth organisation; the association operates as a non-governmental entity dedicated to the facilitation of open and honest discussion on national issues. S.K.N.Y.P.A. is the country’s premier institution for positive youth involvement in politics and the legislative process and aims to train young people to understand parliamentary procedure while also creating forums and avenues for non-discriminative youth expression on national, regional and global affairs.
Famous for its forthright debates on youth-related matters, S.K.N.Y.P.A. has tackled many issues concerning tourism, agriculture, education, climate change, electoral and constitutional matters, national security, electronic crimes and health. Discussions on The Vehicle and Road Traffic Bill (1999), the Criminal Law Amendment Bill proposing firmer penalties for sexual offences against children (2002) Integrity in Public Life Bill (2008) and the National Assembly Elections Bill (2009) are only a few of the legislation pieces on which the association prides itself. Often times, these pieces become official legal documents as they find their way into the Federal Parliament after the Youth Parliament sitting.
Throughout the years, the association has engaged in many activities and made significant contributions for the benefit of the society. Some of these include Parliament Sittings, Youth 2 Youth (Y2Y) retreats, COMCENTAPLAY, Youth symposiums, Humanitarian efforts, Turtle Monitoring, beautification projects and, most notably, the Desmond Eli Ward Primary School Debate Competition. Interestingly enough, SKNYPA also has a volunteer mandate, forty (40) hours per member, which proves its commitment to nation building and youth empowerment.
A compact calendar of events; including social media campaigns, private retreats, training programs, competitions, church services, banquets and much more have been planned and the community-at-large is kindly asked to journey with the organisation through its many public portals. Let’s share in this momentous occasion together!