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The corona crisis has turned the world upside down, including the Caribbean islands (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius & Saba and Curacao, Aruba and Sint Maarten). How will this crisis affect the future of the youth on these islands? It is important that young people make themselves heard. That is why UNICEF asked them to share their voice about #MyNewWorld.

UNICEF supports young people in the Netherlands and in the Caribbean Netherlands to let their voices be heard by politicians in The Hague and on each of the islands. Young people between the age of 13 and 18 shared their opinion on how they think the world should look like in light of the corona crisis with regard to matters of concern to them. 

This is what the #MyNewWorld campaign on the islands looked like:

#MyNewWorld Aftermovie

The youngsters from all six islands participated in focus group discussions, a virtual inter-island debate session and met with their governments to discuss their advice.

“I think participating in this project was a good experience because it happens too often that people forget about our (children's) opinions. It's like if you can't vote you don't have a say.”

Ishn (14 jaar, St. Eustatius)

This is the youngsters’ #MyNewWorld Youth Advice:

    Advice from the young people from Curacao

    • Support young people's well being during crises
    • Ensure that all children and young people have laptops and internet connection for online education
    • Develop more diverse recreactional activities for youth
    • Read the full report for Curacao

    Advice from the young people from Aruba

    Advice from the young people from St.Maarten

    • Regulate online learning by standardizing platforms accross the system
    • Prioritize and promote sports
    • Revilalize Philipsburg as a thriving economic and cultural centre
    • Read the full report for St. Maarten

    Advice from the young people from St. Eustatius:

    • Make technological resources available to those in need in a sufficient and timely manner and keep the school open for exam students unless the situation is extremely dire 
    • Upgrade the medical center  
    • Arrange better travel connections between Statia and other Caribbean islands, especially Saba and Bonaire  
    • Read the full report for St.Eustatius

    Advice from the young people from Saba:

    • Allow studentes to choose between online and regular education
    • Fund and professionalize youth sports starting with fully paid and dedicated professional coaches  
    • Ensure that proper hygiene and public health remain top priorities. 
    • Read the full report for Saba

    Advice from the young people from Bonaire:

    • Involve young people in themes that help us evolve in the best way possible
    • Make traffic safer for (young) cyclists and build more sports areas and recreation areas so that children can exercise more
    • Provide more awareness at school for mental health problems
    • Read the full report for Bonaire

    Check out the cool rap that Juriëlla from Bonaire made for the campaign:

    How did we get here?

    UNICEF organised small group conversations on each island, where young people shared their ideas about the most urgent issues. All of this was done under the guidance of UNICEF facilitators. These young people created a UNICEF Youth Advice based on the ideas and conversations.

    On Thursday, September 10th, 2020, the results of the campaign were shared with the local governments of Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba, State Secretary Raymond Knops, and Member of Parliament Stieneke van der Graaf. The youngsters' advice was also added to the advice from the youth from the Netherlands and handed over to Minister Hugo de Jonge (VWS). Check out the video and listen to his reaction after he attended the event in Den Haag.

    On November 20th, World Children’s Day, the youngsters from all six islands participated in a virtual inter-island debate session where they practiced defending their advice. The following week, youngsters met with their governments to present and discuss their advice.