Agreement to help tackle youth crime and violence

The project, which started in November of 2014, resulted in five groups being selected for funding. These groups would each receive US$3,000 from Denmark, through the UNDP, to develop their ideas.

Speaking at the signing agreement of the project, the UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the OECS, Stephen O’Malley, said that the signing of the new agreement signals their commitment to work with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Information Technology, along with the government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis, to address issues and challenges surrounding rising insecurity, where youths are seen as both victims and the perpetrators.

O’Malley said he values the working relationship developed over the years with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment in order to advance youth policies and goals in St Kitts and Nevis.

“While this is a pilot project, we hope that in the coming months our work here will be scaled up throughout the Eastern Caribbean. UNDP has a long tradition of utilizing game changing ideas and processes to leverage innovations through our programmes and operations.

“In 2014, we launched the innovation facility, as a way to stimulate innovation within our own organization, and this facility that is funded by the Government of Denmark gave us the opportunity, and gave this country’s officers the opportunity to take risk and pilot new approaches to address the complex development challenges that are found here in St. Kitts and elsewhere,” said O’Malley.

He disclosed that the ‘Social Innovation for Change Initiative’ was submitted for consideration, and it was chosen by the Innovation Fund in Europe to be a recipient of implementation financing.

According to the UN resident coordinator, UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment tested the initiative by working with youths to develop new approaches to reduce youth crimes and violence in the country’s communities.

The theme of crime and violence was chosen, he said, because of prevaling concerns about youth in the region.

“This theme was chosen due to the growing level of national and regional concerns, that the robust government practices have become challenged by the high levels of crime, citizen insecurity, declining rule of law and challenges to human rights.”

herbertThe permanent secretary with responsibility for Youth Empowerment, Christopher Herbert, thanked the international developmental agency for its partnership and the training provided to the non-governmental organizations.

“The Department of Youth has long sought to seek resources and tap into suitable methodologies that could assist and lead in the mandate towards the empowerment of our nation’s youth,” said Herbert.

He explained that many of the issues speak to a decline in morals and an increase in criminal activities amongst youth, as well as an increase in unemployment. understands that in excess of 20 persons from twelve groups participated in the programme, while only 5 groups were selected to receive funding under the programme. 




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