Four year project signed to reduce crime in five targeted communities

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Youths in five communities in Georgetown and one in Berbice will benefit from a four-year programme which seeks to provide long-term solutions to crime, violence and other social ills.

The Government of Guyana and United States Agency for International Development today (Thursday, May 11, 2017), signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide support to five target communities. The communities are Corriverton, East La Penitence, Sophia, Lodge and East Ruimveldt.

According to Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, these communities were selected based on the findings of societies which show that they had “the highest representations of high-risk behaviours such as incarceration, high levels of youth involvement of crime and violence, teenage pregnancy, youth unemployment, high number of dropouts, and significant use of drugs among others.”

Minister Jordan also noted that work will be done simultaneously to advance innovation and creativity within the young people

Building on that, USAID’s Mission Director for the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, Chris Cushing said the project will strengthen protective factors to build youth resilience to the factors which lead to criminal activities while also reducing those that influence them in becoming perpetrators.

The project will collect data to understand where and why crime is happening, and will also support Juvenile justice reform.

Cushing added that “the project uses a community centred and Public Health model for crime and violence prevention to identify, analyse support project interventions.”

Supporting services will also include individual and family counselling, behavioural therapy, expanded education, internships and job placement.

Guyana, St.Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia are the three “focus group countries” out of 10 listed to benefit from the project.

The YES programme was founded on the successes of the Skills and Knowledge for Youth Employment (SKYE) programme which provided at-risk youths with new opportunities to further their education and become employed.

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