Monday, 8 October 2012

Youth NGOs urged to reach out to youths

Posted on October 8, 2012, Monday

APPRECIATION: Abdul Karim (third right) receives a souvenir from Razali (second left) after
launching the Sarawak Youth Associations Conference 2012.

KUCHING: Youth non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the state have been urged to reach out to youths to understand their needs, hear out their opinions and provide a platform to fulfill their aspirations.

Assistant Minister of Youth Development Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who made this call yesterday, highlighted the need for youth NGOs to keep in touch with the younger generation so that their activities and programmes could attract youths.

He said even though there were various programmes held by the government, which were good, there were instances where the programmes and activities did not meet the expectations of the youth, simply because the organisers had left out their requirements.

Abdul Karim, who is also Assistant Minister of Housing said youth movements were very close to his heart because he had been actively involved in youth movements, be it political or non-political movements.

“It is only through my involvement in such movements that I am able to see the problems on the ground. As every organisation has differences in needs and opinions, I hope this conference will provide a platform for all youth NGOs to voice out your needs and opinions to be brought up to the higher level,” Abdul Karim said when launching the one-day Sarawak Youth Associations Conference 2012 at Merdeka Palace Hotels and Suites here yesterday.

Also present during the launching of the conference were permanent secretary to the Ministry of Social Development, Affandi Keli and acting director of state Youth and Sports Department, Razali Mohamad.

The Asajaya assemblyman said the state government had always been committed in looking after the interests of the youths and in encouraging them to be actively involved in youth organisations.

“It is the responsibility of the government to look after the youths to ensure they are properly guided. That is why there are various organisations and a ministry to look after youths in the state,” he added.

Meanwhile, Razali in his welcoming speech urged youth organisations in the state to make full use of the various funds made available by the federal government or through the Malaysian Youth Council to finance their activities.

“The funds are there but how many of our youth organisations apply for them? I think none of us here have applied for the funds from the federal government or through Malaysian Youth Council,” he said.

Razali also welcomed Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s call for NGOs and the government to work together to benefit the people. To him the success of the cooperation between them depended on the roles played by everyone.

“Despite the change in the mentality of our youths today, I believe the NGOs have very big roles to play in promoting the spirit of volunteerism in the community,” he added.

Razali during his speech also revealed that the state was the only one in the country which did not have its own youth consultative council, adding for the time being, the issues and needs of the youths were only obtained by the state Youth and Sports Department through the Sarawak Youth Associations Conference held in April and before November every year.

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