PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten—The Annual World Cultural Heritage Youth Symposium is being held in Athens, Greece from April 26 – 30, 2023. The symposium aims to bring together students, teachers, and national coordinators of UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) from all over the world to raise cultural awareness, develop mutual respect and contribute to the creation of a new generation of world citizens that feel united in diversity and are willing to shape a sustainable future for everyone.
The St. Maarten Youth Council Association, in collaboration with the Sint Maarten UNESCO National Committee and the Methodist Agogic Centre Comprehensive Secondary Education (MAC-CSE), selected three students to participate in the symposium: Ms. Jahira George, and Nathalya Gumbs, students of the MAC-CSE, and Ms. Kamilah Gumbs, a graduate student, Sint Maarten Youth Parliament alumni advisor, and former UNESCO Youth Forum representative. Two teachers, as well as the Secretary-General for UNESCO, Ms. Marcellia Henry, will be accompanying the students to Athens.
In an effort to cover the associated travel costs, the delegation is soliciting corporate support and will also be carrying out fundraising events. To assist with this endeavor, Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson and Honorable Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Silveria E. Jacobs will be sponsoring airline tickets for the three (3) students.
“In a world where technological advancement is moving at a rapid pace, digital awareness has become one of the most important skills one ought to obtain. The symposium which is aptly themed “Raising Awareness in a Digital Age” allows for the active participation of our youth on an international stage. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that as a community we support our youth through empowerment. I believe that these engagements play a vital role in their personal development, as such, I look forward to the outcome and agreements resulting from this much-anticipated youth symposium,” stated Minister Richardson.
“Ensuring that our students at home are given the opportunity to participate in international conferences like this World Cultural Heritage Youth Symposium is of crucial importance to Sint Maarten. Participating in international events aids our youth to utilize, showcase and enhance their communicating, debating, social skills, and general knowledge. This opportunity also allows them to share and educate others on Sint Maarten’s culture and heritage, and gain lifelong bonds through networking which serve them well when they are at a later stage in their lives. I hereby bid the students and the entire delegation a successful symposium,” stated Prime Minister Jacobs.
International Women’s Month will end on Friday, March 31, and the support of expenses by Prime Minister Jacobs and Minister Richardson to these young ladies’ marks yet another highlight to women in leadership paying it forward for other young women to become leaders for Sint Maarten.
Both Minister Richardson and Prime Minister Jacobs wish the student ambassadors and their chaperones much success as they travel far and distant to represent Sint Maarten on this prestigious platform.