Fifty youths have been named as members of the first Kingdom Youth Parliament (KYP). They will partake in a number of events taking place between May 19 and May 23, 2014, both as individuals and in teams. During this period, the youths, who have been selected from all corners of the kingdom, will be debating issues relating to their shared future, and the question of what the kingdom has to offer its citizens in terms of education, career opportunities, culture and safety. Around 150 youths applied to be a member of the youth parliament via the Website www.koninkrijksjeugdparlement.org. They had to submit a short video in which they introduced themselves and gave their vision of the kingdom. All clips can still be viewed on the Website. A judging panel consisting of experts such as current and former politicians, administrative leaders and a number of youths reviewed all candidates’ submission. This was not an easy job, as there were a large number of submissions, most of which were of high quality. Organizer Rob van der Veer said: “We could have easily have filled a hundred seats in the parliament. We’ve had to make some difficult choices, but I am sure we managed to select five outstanding teams.” The judging panel not only assessed the quality of the contents of the videos, but also looked at creativity, passion and powers of persuasion. Aside from that, the judges aimed at finding the best candidates to guarantee equal representation from all countries in the kingdom.
The following members of the youth parliament have been selected:
For St. Maarten: Trumane Trotman, Antoinette Joseph Philips, Ember Samuels; Hailey Greaux, Shanna Vasilda, Dwayne Griffith, Iris Hakkens, Murielle Jean Michel, Daniella Maccow and Mhakeda Shillingford.
For Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba: Carl Fielmich, Yavis Chirino, Dayron Mackay, Julia Martinus and Cassidy van Arneman (Bonaire); Raymi Melendes, Shaquana Parris and Czaigany Woodley (St. Eustatius); Nataly Linzey and Elsa Peterson (Saba).
For Aruba: Marifer Aguirre Broca, Aditya Gupta, Kawish Misier, Tamae Bastien, Quirinius Maduro, Ann-Jilian de Haseth, Jeremy Lannooij, Jochem Pennekamp, Jady Brown and Nurianne Helder.
For Curaçao: Kennedy Ogenio, Jerome Profar; Tahir Willemsberg, Marco Winedt, Warren Lasten, Chiara Hoyer, Rachel Pool, Nihal Montroos, Karen Dilrosun and Chasvely Lachland.
For the Netherlands: Aster van Tilburg, Sophie Heering, Danielle Jongeneel, Ilze Busscher, Marjolijn van Raaij, Mahamed Xasan, Ivo Cornel, Machiel van Stralen, Javier Crijnen and Jonathan Felix.
The selected youths will be coached during the coming months by professionals in each country, in preparation for the series of debates to be held in Philipsburg in May, 2014. The Kingdom Youth Parliament is an official part of the celebrations of the 200 year existence of the kingdom, and is being organized with the support of the Committee for Kingdom Relations, the National Committee 200 Years Kingdom, private sponsors and many youths and volunteers who give their time and efforts to make the event a success.