Hundreds of youth in Caricom countries to benefit from USAID-funded resilient projects

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – Hundreds of young people in Grenada and several Caribbean Community (Caricom) member states are set to benefit from three United States Agency for International Development (USAID) -funded projects launched here on Thursday.

“These projects will work with youth, partners in government, the private sector, and many others to support a safer and more resilient Grenada,” United States (US) Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Linda S Taglialatela said at a ceremony to launch the projects.

“To ensure these programmes will be truly beneficial, we held working sessions with our partners across the government and the private sector.”

Taglialatela said the US understands that investing in youth is a priority and the three programmes respond to their needs.

“The empowerment of Grenada’s young people is key to the continued development of this country and of the entire Caribbean. This focus on youth is what you will see reflected in these projects...we all need to do our part to ensure every child in Grenada is given a chance to contribute to their country’s continued development,” she said.

In Grenada, three different Government ministries will be focal points for the implementation of each project. The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture will be the focal point for the Youth Resilience, Inclusion, and Empowerment (Y-RIE) project.

Y-RIE is a youth-centred, systems-strengthening activity, based on a public health approach to violence prevention and incorporates positive youth development approaches, which target youth at risk between ages 10 to 29.

It will help strengthen coordination between social services and justice institutions, particularly around referral pathways, and promote partnerships to support community crime and violence prevention efforts.

“The government of Grenada supports this crucial partnership that mirrors our vision for youth development which seeks to transform and empower the Grenadian youth to reduce vulnerabilities and harness youth talent, energy, and innovation to move our country forward,” said Minister of State with responsibility for Youth, Sports and Culture Ron Redhead.

The other project is Opportunities to Advance and Support Youth for Success and the Ministry of Social Development will be the focal point.

This project will focus on increasing diverting youth away from courts and custodial sentences, supporting rehabilitation centres and diversion programmes to use evidence-based diagnoses and treatment, and facilitating the reintegration of youth leaving rehabilitation facilities into their families and communities.

“As a nation, it is important for us to raise strong resilient children who can make a difference in their own lives and that of their families and peers. Consequently, it is important for our young men and young women to understand and know their inherent worth and values,” said Minister of Social Development Phillip Telesford.

The third project is CariSECURE 2.0 which will seek to reduce youth involvement in crime and violence and strengthen efforts to counter trafficking in person efforts in the Caribbean. It employs a multi-pronged, human rights-based approach designed to improve national capacities to use evidence-based approaches to identify the root causes of youth crime and design policies, strategies, programmes, and interventions.

Other Caricom member states to benefit from these regional projects include, St Lucia, Trinidad, and Tobago, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, and Antigua and Barbuda.

There will be individual launches in the various participating countries.

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