Regional—Youth Resilience, Inclusion & Empowerment

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2022-2027

Region: Latin America and the Caribbean

Country: Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia

Solutions: Governance

The Eastern and Southern Caribbean (ESC) region struggles with high rates of interpersonal crime and violence, with violent crime rates among the highest in the world. Of the top 20 countries in the world with the highest murder rates, 17 are in Latin America and the Caribbean. These incidents of crime and violence disproportionately affect young people, between 15 and 29, and remain a major social problem. Young males are most at risk of becoming both victims and perpetrators of crime in the region.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Youth Resilience, Inclusion & Empowerment in the Caribbean Activity—in Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, and one additional Caribbean country—to address this demand and support youth to build more safe, prosperous, and resilient societies.

The project works to improve the provision of social services to vulnerable populations, provides targeted education, psychosocial support, and market-relevant skills to youth, improves access to productive and inclusive development opportunities for youth, and supports family and community interventions. Because a major impediment to youth resilience to crime and violence is the lack of a strong social support system, the project also focuses on strengthening family and community systems to improve support to youth and create safer communities. Because there is a high incidence of gender-based violence in the Caribbean, the program prioritizes engaging men and boys to address behaviors and norms that rationalize and contribute to high levels of gender-based violence. It also prioritizes referral, recovery, and livelihoods for girls and young women who are survivors and trafficking victims.

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Sample Activities

  • Establish and implement an adaptive learning agenda for the project to sustain continuous cycles of generating, integrating, and sharing learning, both internally and externally.
  • Operationalize a youth-centered systems-strengthening approach through the targeted support of grants to local partners, including youth groups, government, the private sector, and civil society.
  • Strengthen coordinated institutional capacity so government institutions, youth-serving organizations, and youth-led organizations are able to offer high-quality, relevant, and efficient services to youth over the long term.
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