“The topic of child labor is a multi-dimensional one that requires a comprehensive approach for its prevention and elimination,” Peña began at a panel discussing best practices in combating child labor at Partners' recent convention.
Partners’ Youth Ambassadors Program, a U.S. State Department sponsored cultural exchange program, brings together youths of limited means and/or with limited international experience, ages 15-18, to build understanding among countries, increase leadership skills, and prepare them to be positive agents of change through volunteer service. In 2012, eleven Guyanese youth and two adult Guyanese mentors participated in the program. While in the U.S., they were engaged with local government and civic organizations, built relationships with host families and youths, and participated in skills-based training that enabled and empowered them to mobilize their communities towards positive change. The youth were empowered to build mutual understanding among countries, enhance leadership skills, be conscious minded, expose themselves to cultures in and out of the country, work and relate with each other, be positive agents of change through volunteer service and replicate what they have learned.
I spent Aug. 11 to 19 in Guyana working with interface representatives of government, non-governmental agencies, local communities, academic community, and the private sector and to identify key issues to promote sustainable forestry and land use. Both the Partners of the Americas and the U.S. Embassy in Guyana helped to sponsor this trip.