Govt’s youth empowerment efforts get support from USAID

The PPP/C government has taken a significant step towards empowering the nation’s youths, particularly those who have encountered the law, with the launch of the USAID Youth Resilience, Inclusion, and Empowerment (Y-RIE) programme.

This initiative by USAID aims to provide support, opportunities, and resources to help young individuals steer from a life of crime and build a brighter future.

During the launch hosted at the Marriott Hotel, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud emphasised the government’s commitment to addressing the challenges faced by youths.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud at the launch of USAID’s Y-RIE programme hosted at the Marriott Hotel

“The government is deeply committed to the young people of this country and we have collectively spared no effort in developing programmes in ensuring that and even in looking at that the legislative arm in ensuring that there are strong pieces of legislation that protect young people in this country,” she said.

Minister Persaud expressed the government’s pleasure in partnering with USAID, along with Grenada and St. Lucia, to implement a programme that aligns with existing national and strategic interventions.

She further underscored the efforts made by the government to develop comprehensive programmes and robust legislation to protect young people, while providing ample opportunities and support to effectively counter violence and crime.

The Y-RIE programme will play a vital role in strengthening both national and sub-national government-provided social services by improving the quality of support available to vulnerable youth.

It will also promote evidence-based approaches within the public sector, ensuring that interventions are effective and tailored to the specific needs of the youth population.

Moreover, Y-RIE will facilitate coordination between social services and justice institutions, creating efficient referral pathways and fostering partnerships with both public and private sectors to bolster community-based crime and violence prevention efforts.

Additionally, it will support entrepreneurial and small business pathways, enabling young individuals to explore self-employment opportunities by creating a supportive ecosystem for youth empowerment.

Meanwhile, the minister revealed that the initial focus of the Y-RIE programme will be on training the ministry’s officers, who work with juveniles.

They will receive specialised training to recognise and address trauma, shock responsiveness, and effective engagement strategies with the aim of preventing at-risk youth from falling into a life of crime and violence.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, and other dignitaries were present at the launch.

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