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Generally, the Africa Unite Youth Symposium was one that brought much knowledge and ideas to me. It exposed me to beliefs and concerns of not only Caribbean people, but of youths in particular. It was refreshing to see that even though we all had different opinions, we listened, understood and gave deep thought to others perspectives. The venue was very relaxing and most appropriate for such a venture as it represents the legacy of the great philosopher Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey. The speakers were very dynamic and brought a renewed twist, insight and their own flavor to different yet related topics. On many occasions during the symposium a speaker created a heat wave, bringing enthusiasm and excitement to the group discussions, which was something I personally looked forward to everyday.

In my view, what also made the symposium a great experience, was the varying age groups of both the speakers and the audience, this in itself made the "generation gap" quite clear as a youth and an elder will have different, yet similar view on the same issue and yet both think that the other is speaking a different language. In my analysis (of an elder in the audience, Mr. Bailey) I believe that elders are gems as they speak thoughts supported by a great wealth of experience while we the youths speak of great thought with little or no experience. The elder has a little more of one element than the youth and may automatically be perceived to be totally correct. The truth is, things are changing and the elders' experiences will work up to a certain point but there are many new things that we youths are exposed to which allows us to continue moving at a steady pace. This is where co-operation and proper communication comes in, as there is no room for a link to be broken because of the lack thereof.

The issues addressed at the symposium were indeed touching but going back to something Dr. Kwame Boafo mentioned; which is "the importance of youths". To me, seeing that this was a youth symposium, this was a topic that I believe should have been a little more prominent throughout the three days. Society sometimes take us young people for granted, underestimating our ability and not realizing that we are very observant and learn quickly; making us fully aware of what happens in our household and nation. If what we are exposed to during our early years is negative, then chances are, we will be a direct reflection of that negative environment. It should be of interest to adults and to us as youths to identify what we want as young individuals, why do we want "it"? What method do we have in mind in attaining "it"? How will "it" benefit everyone? And most importantly, what are our views, ideas and remedies?

I also enjoyed the "Africa Unite" documentary as it brought a cool, warm and energizing feeling inside. The visit to Nine Miles made one feel as though they were apart of the history that Bob Marley created. After all is said, I do intend on taking much of the knowledge gained, spreading it to as many individuals and youths as possible; such issues of importance must not settle only among the participants of the Africa Unite Youth Symposium 2008.

I will like to express my sincerest thanks to the organizers of this event for considering and selecting me as a participant. This was truly a memorable experience.

- Choc'late Allen, Monday 11th February 2008