Portal de la Cultura de América Latina y el Caribe
UNESCO's Global Priority Youth: Strengthening Youth Development in the Caribbean
RESTORE Belize "Nowhere to Fly"
13 February 2015/ UNESCO Office in Kingston

"More than ever, it is now time to improve investment in research, policies and programmes to create an enabling and rights-based environment where youth prosper, exercise rights, regain hope and a sense of community, and engage as responsible social actors and innovators."

So begins UNESCO's Operational Strategy on Youth, 2014-2021, which aims to ensure that young women and men are engaged in policies and programmes affecting them and lead action to promote peace and sustainable development in their countries and communities.

In keeping with the strategy and contributing to its outcomes, UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office has recently initiated support to youth development initiatives in both Belize and Grenada.

In Belize, efforts are being carried out in targeted communities as part of a joint UN Programme on Strengthening the Resilience of Southside Belize City to Enhance Citizen Security and Development. UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office is partnering with the organization RESTORE Belize to carry out gender sensitive, youth empowerment initiatives as part of RESTORE Belize's Peace in the Parks programme. RESTORE Belize has supported young people to produce an original theatre piece which will be performed in the local kriol language by community youth groups. The play deals with social issues including gangs, violence, drug abuse and poverty as well as the gender-specific experiences of these issues; the community performances will include youth engagement and audience participation through moderated, topical discussions during and following the performance. RESTORE Belize shall also collaborate with a Belizean drama group and the Kriol Council of Belize to implement a workshop to build the capacity young people (ages 14 to 20) to write and perform social dramas as an innovative means of engaging in conversations and exploring personal, cultural and social issues that are relevant to them. Activities commenced in November 2014 and are scheduled to be completed by July 2015. The Peace in the Parks Programme has previously been supported by UNESCO's Participation Programme as coordinated by the Belize National Commission for UNESCO.

In Grenada, UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office is collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment & Lands, the Grenada National Commission for UNESCO and the local NGO, People in Action (PIA) to implement the "Greenz Movement" initiative for "Educating & Awakening the Youth to a Sustainable Tomorrow". The project is aimed at developing young people's transferable skills and capacity for mapping community potential for green economy and green collar jobs. The Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with partners of an inter-agency project oversight committee for the Greenz Movement project will carry out knowledge and skills-building workshops with twenty youth leaders, aged 25 and younger from across Grenada, on issues of sustainability, climate change, citizens' roles, rights and responsibilities in development and community mapping. The project shall develop online community data collection, analysis and planning tools to guide the community mapping process to be carried out by the youth leaders; conduct a pilot on Climate Smart Agriculture in the Mt Moritz community and document results through participatory videography, producing a video tutorial and training manual on community mapping. Activities will be carried out throughout 2015 with joing technical and financial support of the ILO Office of the Caribbean, who will focus on skills building for entrepreneurship, green jobs and small and medium enterprises.

UNESCO's Youth Programme is coordinted by the organization's Social and Human Sciences sector.

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