The Keith Mitchell-led government in Grenada is planning to spend close to $EC$100, 000.00 to get persons involved in the Imani programme to help advance the constitution review process with early next year set as the date for a referendum to effect changes to the 1974 Constitution document.
The government is seeking to embark on the “New Imani Constitution Reform Awareness Project” in which the young people in all 15 constituencies on the island will be involved in a special programme
to promote the reform process.
A document seen by this newspaper indicate that a budget of $83, 950.00 has been prepared for the project involving the Imani workers with $30, 000.00 to be used equally among the constituencies.
According to the document, $6000.00 is earmarked for the holding of a workshop involving the Imani youth on Constitutional Reform.
In addition, the constituency emerging as the winner of this special project will receive $5000.00 and the second place winner will get $3500.00 and $2000.00 is being set aside for the constituency taking the 3rd spot.
Speculation is rife that the Mitchell administration is using the project to help consolidate its standing with the nation’s young people who voted in massive numbers to help his ruling New National Party (NNP) to a clean sweep of all 15 seats in the February 2013 poll.
As a public service, THE NEW TODAY has decided to highlight some of the key aspects of the document:
The New Imani Constitution Reform Awareness Project synergizes two of the most visible projects currently implemented by the government of Grenada; the New Imani Programme and the Constitution Reform Project to create a unique avenue for youth involvement in the development of the democratic process throughout the tri-island state.
This project advances the agenda of the Constitution Reform Project to realize an amendment to the 1973 Constitution of the State of Grenada by February 2015 and conforms to the goal of the New ImaniProgramme to engender a strong sense of patriotism and civic mindedness among programme participants through community based initiatives.
The objective of the New Imani Constitution Reform Awareness Project is to promote public awareness of the proposed amendments of the Constitution of the State of Grenada through youth-led activities designed and implemented by New Imani trainees with at least one project executed in each of the 15 constituencies throughout the tri-island state of Grenada by the end of December 2014.
The constitution Reform Project aims to achieve the following objectives:
1. Facilitate a series of consultations with special interest groups and the general public in each of the 15 constituencies throughout the state of Grenada to document recommendations of amendment.
2. Document a proposed amended constitution for the referendum process
3. Hold a referendum by the end of February 2015 achieving a voter turnout of at least 60% of the electorate and at least a 67% approval vote from the voters.
The New Imani Programme
The New Imani Programme, implemented by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Religious Affairs was launched in June In 2013 as the key pillar in the government of Grenada’s response to addressing the high level of unemployment among youth.
A revised version of the Imani Programme launched in 2002, the New Imani Programme is aimed at the holistic development of the nation’s youth, through career orientation, exposure to work environments, involvement in community development initiatives, academic and skills training and personal development through a comprehensive life skills course.
By the end of June 2014 The New Imani Programme will engage approximately three thousand (3000) youth between the ages of 18-35 throughout the tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique in a comprehensive workforce and enterprise training and personal development initiative.
To date, there are approximately 2000 trainees enrolled in the New Imani Programme from a cross section of each of the 15 constituencies of the tri-island state.
Trainees receive workforce training for up to 21 months and personal capacity building for a minimum of 140 hours over the course of nine months.
Workforce training is provided via direct skills training and or apprenticeship training. Certification is provided through the National Training Agency for National Vocation Qualifications (NVQ) and or Caribbean Vocation Qualifications (CVQ).
All trainees are provided with a stipend for the coverage of transportation and related training expenses each month.
A key objective of the Constitution Reform Project is to promote public awareness of the purpose of the reformation and the role of citizens in the process, and to encourage active participation in the voting process through the implementation of a nation-wide public awareness campaign.
According to Ministry of Health statistics, youth between the ages of 20 to 35 account for approximately 25.4 % of the Grenadian population and 37% of the electorate.
One of the strategies identified for the execution of the public awareness campaign involves the implementation of youth-led activities and projects to sensitise youth in particular and the public in general on the Constitution Reform Project.
This incorporation of youth in the implementation of the Constitution Reform Project is critical for several reasons:
(1). Youth have experience, knowledge, and ideas that are unique to their situation, enabling them to offer key insights and perspectives and facilitate communication in a way that adults cannot.
(2). In many communities, youth make up the majority of the population; as a result, youth voices can be crucial expressions of overall community needs.
(3). Regardless of their current status, young people are the future custodians of the Grenadian environment and leaders of their peers and can make remarkable contributions to the democratic process of the tri-island state.
Under the New Imani Programme, participants execute community-based projects on a constituency basis and this provides an excellent network for the promotion of the Constitution Reform Project at the grassroots level.
Participants are well represented throughout the fifteen constituencies of the state of Grenada and the 3000 youth enrolled not only offers a sizeable target population for the dissemination of information but more importantly also provides a considerable task force to drive the awareness campaign.
The New Imani Constitution Reform Awareness Project will involve the implementation of awareness raising activities, planned and executed by New Imani trainees on a constituency basis.
Participation will be encouraged through the organisation of a project competition to promote a competitive spirit among the constituency groups with award prizes serving as an incentive.
This project will be coordinated through the New Imani Secretariat under the leadership of the Programme manger, Norman Gilbert and will be managed by a team of Imani Field Supervisors at least one of whom will be assigned to each constituency group.
Imani Field Supervisors will guide project-planning sessions and serve as mentors and resource personnel for the planning and implementation of the group projects.
Personnel from the Constitution Reform Advisory Committee will also be on hand to provide resources on the constitution.
A system of points will be allocated for different areas of the implementation of the awareness projects and the constituency group with the highest number of points will be the winner of the competition.
Points will be awarded based on the following factors:
(1). Number of New Imani trainees actively participating in the project design and implementation
(2). Number of attendees or participants at project event(s)
(3). Number of partnership organisations actively involved in the implementation of the project
(4).Number of PR and advertising activities implemented with a reach of at least two hundred people
(5).Use of at least three types of communication media including at least one form of social media
(6).Number of constitution amendments incorporated in project design
(7). Scope and reach of the overall project
(8). Creativity and innovation of projects
(9). Effectiveness of the project implementation
(10). Submission of project report
(11). Submission of project plan
A fixed sum of XCD two thousand dollars ($2000) will be awarded to each constituency group for the execution of the project with an additional XCD 500 ($500) provided for PR and communication.
Groups will be expected to raise additional funds required for the implementation of the project if required.
Project Judges will be selected from relevant stakeholder bodies to award points based on the factors mentioned above.
The Constitution Reform Project and the Division of Youth will implement additional PR and communication activities concurrently to contribute to the awareness raising efforts of this project.
A workshop on project planning and execution will he held for a core unit of participants from each constituency, which will help to build capacity and promote quality projects and activities.
In addition a resource kit on the Grenada constitution and the proposed amendments will be developed and provided to each constituency group.