The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the new Youth Engagement and Empowerment Activity (YEEA), implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) of the Organization of American States (OAS), to help 3,000 vulnerable youth from some of Haiti’s most marginalized urban communities.
“Haiti cannot move forward without youth empowerment and civic participation. This USAID partnership supports youth in advancing positive change in their communities, increasing their economic opportunities and helping them to become informed and engaged citizens,” said United States Ambassador to Haiti, Michele Sison.
The activity financed to the tune of US$1.9M will work to build youth capacity and improve economic opportunities by teaching them critical life skills, literacy, and socio-emotional learning skills. They will also receive mentoring that will enhance their civic participation and engagement.
The activity will also support and strengthen youth groups and youth-oriented community-based organizations operating in target communities through a limited number of highly-targeted small grants.
These grants will kick-start youth employment and community programs that facilitate entrepreneurship, provide civic education, and promote civic participation and social inclusion.
Through this activity, OAS/PADF will fund proposals for eligible activities that empower youth and address the constraints they face through a competitive selection process.
This activity that started on January 29, will support between 12 to 15 local organizations.
The Youth Engagement and Empowerment Activity will work with local organizations to help vulnerable, at-risk youth from disadvantaged communities facing challenging situations such as homelessness, domestic servitude, juvenile delinquency, or school dropout, those repatriated from the Dominican Republic, and young girls at risk for teenage pregnancy, among other challenges.
According to USAID, by building literacy, life skills, civic participation and engagement, and economic opportunities for the most vulnerable and marginalized youth, it can help them become more active citizens with a better knowledge and understanding of democratic life and civic responsibility.
“USAID is proud to work with civil society organizations to train and provide literacy and skills training for at-risk youth, so that they can live a life away from violence. They are the future of Haiti, and USAID is here to help them reach their potential,” said Christopher Cushing the Director of the USAID/Haiti Mission.