Updated: Apr 30, 2021
COMMONWEALTH YOUTH PEACE AMBASSADOR NETWORK (CYPAN) appoints Willandra Elliot of the Turks and Caicos Islands
Ms. Willandra Elliott, a former Little Miss Turks and Caicos and Junior Minister of Tourism, has made her mark once again as the first Turks and Caicos Islander to be appointed to the Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network (CYPAN). According to CYPAN, their aim is to “bring together young people from across the Commonwealth to upscale and optimize grassroots, national, regional and Pan-Commonwealth efforts to promote peace, respect and understanding and preventing violent extremism.” CYPAN fosters collaboration between members and creates space for policy advocacy as it relates to peace and countering violent extremism among youth and communities.
This achievement is not only history made for Ms. Elliott but also for the Turks and Caicos Islands. Therefore, TCI will have a youth that will focus mainly on advocating for preventive measures against all forms of youth violence and violence in the community, while gaining technical support from the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Commenting on her appointment to the position of ambassador Ms. Elliott said, “I intend to use my training provided by the CYPAN to create initiatives and programs that will have a positive and uplifting impact on our Turks and Caicos Islands youth, and aim to curtail the devastating violence that is trying to consume our nation. We are often reactive to the problem. We have the potential to catapult our position to one that offers more focus on improvement and reconfiguration of the habits in our society. I promise to work closely with the Youth Department to provide proactive solutions that will hopefully be a guiding light in preventing unfortunate events of violence within our community.”
The Hon Racheal Taylor, Minister responsible for Youth also commented, “One of the main goals the Department of Youth Affairs is adamantly trying to achieve is to focus on youth violence from a public health standpoint and ensuring that we are focusing on preventive measures to decrease youth violence through conflict management, mindful-fulness base training, outreach programs for at risk youth and public awareness campaigns”.
Note: CYAN is a network established with the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat and grew out of a partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Candidates go through a yearly application and a competitive selection process through the Commonwealth Secretariat.