Certificates and a stipend of Rs 5 000 were awarded, yesterday, to each of the 294 participants who have completed the National Youth Civic Service (NYCS), a new youth development programme aimed at shaping the character of youngsters aged between 17 to 25 years. The award ceremony was held in the presence of the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Bell Village.
In his address, Minister Toussaint recalled that NYCS Programme was launched, on a pilot basis, on 11 February 2019 and implemented in 10 Youth Centres around Mauritius. This highly dynamic and creative initiative, he underlined, aims at empowering young people so as to enable them to develop into a confident, intelligent, active, resilient and daring youth community, while further promoting a spirit of citizenship, and social entity.
Speaking about the programme, Minister Toussaint pointed out that it paved the way for the development of 27 officers of the Youth Cadre of the Ministry along with the youth as they were trained to become Creative Coaches according to the programme's guiding principles. They are: preparing the youth for life; taking ownership of their learning; fostering an inclusive spirit; learning through service; focusing on employability skills; building social capital; networking; and partnership.
He further highlighted that the programme focused on nine key elements, namely: Personal Branding; Creativity and Innovation; Millennials Style; Born to Move; Self-Empowerment; Rethinking the Future; Volunteering; Words to Live and Character Focus which were delivered through mostly interactive thematic sessions, group works, lectures, and practical sessions such as residential camps, field visits, placement and competitions.
The Minister stated that a special committee will soon be set up at the level of the Ministry of Youth and Sports to do a more in-depth evaluation of the programme and come up with recommendations in view of forthcoming editions.
He also seized the opportunity, on the occasion coinciding with the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, observed annually on 26 June, to encourage each and everyone to practice sports activities for a healthier lifestyle and called upon the youth to transmit sporting values to their peers so as not to become prey of social ills.
As regards the forthcoming Indian Ocean Island Games 2019, the Minister called upon volunteers to give a helping hand to ensure the smooth running of the Games.