The young and Indomitable Prince Harold Thorpe was on the 26th November 2016, invited to deliver a statement at the University of Quebec – Canada on the importance of youth in Governance.

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University of Quebec is one of the biggest Universities in Canada and beyond. The conference was organized by Samara Canada, an organization which encourage young people into politics.

Prince Harold Thorpe was nominated and shortlisted as an Everyday Political Citizen, The Indomitable, young and developmentally oriented Prince Harold Thorpe was spotted because of his effort to enhance positive development towards Sierra Leone, especially Freetown City.

It clear that Prince Harold Thorpe has declared his intention to run for Freetown City Mayorship come 2018, He is believe to be the fastest growing politician of recent times as his name and campaign message *Better is always possible* has now become a household name and talk about slogan in and out of Freetown.

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Below is the Statement of Prince Harold Thorpe at the Conference on ‘The importance of youth in Governance’ @ University of Quebec – Canada.:

When it comes to political affairs, everyone seems to have an opinion. No matter the religion, cultural background, level of education, or age, most individuals have their own unique take on the relationship between people and politics. Within most areas of the world, politics has been viewed as the realm in which we attempt to make real some of our highest aspiration. Our desire for political freedom, our longing for justice, our hope for peace and security. However when it comes down to the youths of the nation, there simply is a shortage of them occupied in the political realm. Undoubtedly, young people’s relationship with contemporary politics is complex in mature. Most youths do not participate in formal politics due to pre- conceived attitudes concerning the difference their vote will make . However in Sierra Leone, President Koroma have been able to change the mindset of the youth in Sierra Leone.

Politics can often feel like something which is far removed from everyday life day and something which most young people don’t easily relate to. Yet if you’ve been a youth worker for any stretch of time, you’ll understand that youth work is political with a small “p” . It’s very much about engaging young people to enable them to make positive decisions for themselves as well as giving them the skills to be able to interact positively with the world around them. So inevitably, the issues that most affect them in their daily lives will be discussed and addressed. And that’s the crux of it . The issues that affect people in their lives are precisely what make up politics. So encouraging young people to engage in politics is about giving them a voice .
What I’m finding is that i’m seeing young people becoming more and more politicised and prepared to fight injustices they feel are taking place in the world.

Whether that’s around cuts to youth services and youth provision here in Canada, where young people recognize the value in good youth work and knowing where to go when they need information, advice and guidance and are kicking back at centers being closed and services being dismantled, or whether it’s through the “occupy ” movement and the injustice they see regarding bankers pay and bonuses and the sacrifices they see other people (99%)being forced to make though redundancy, unemployment and financial hardship.

Over the past year I’ve been involved in the *”Better is always possible campaign “* across Freetown. It’s been interesting and inspiring to watch young people take a vital role in the middle of this campaign, and create a collective voice, so loud that it was almost deafening at times. But the battle is long one , and young people do need support to keep going. Initial enthusiasm and energy can dissipate quite quickly and perseverance is needed to keep going if our campaign is to be successful.

Late last week, i sat down with a group of about 6 young people who had plenty of ideas and without getting onto the subject of politics myself, young people were very quick to say what they thought. One young person asked me what i though of President Koroma of Sierra Leone. The young people are from Sierra Leone. I told them my honest opinion and my standing as a Mayoral Candidate and one of the young people said “Good”. Although ideally, i would prefer to use a less partisan approach, i realized that being honest and open with young people is a big part of my own youth work style, and this conversation will allow for further discussion about politics in the future. I hope that through that brief introduction, I will be able to push and challenge them to see others points of view as well and encourage them to understand more in the coming weeks about why people from different background and experiences have different ideas about how to love the country and the world’s problems.

So why then , should young people engage in politics? My answer? Because they already are and they didn’t even know it.

Thanks you all very much for such an opportunity.

Prince Thorpe