MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, March 2, 2023 – The Sandals Foundation has partnered with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Positive Pathways activity to launch and implement the Supporting Youth Development through Positive Youth Engagements (SYD-PYE) Project.
On Thursday, March 2, community, resort and programme stakeholders convened at Sandals Montego Bay Robert Daddy Stone Conference Centre to commence the youth centered initiative for which the Sandals Foundation is a grantee and project manager.
The 12-month intervention, valued at more than US $252,000, will focus on addressing some of the most pressing risk factors for crime and violence to which young people in the communities of Flanker, Norwood, and Salt Spring in St. James are exposed. The programme will target 240 youth aged 10 to 24, sharing critical life skills and supporting their relationships with their families, schools, communities and other state institutions.
“It is a widely accepted position that connection and engagement in social systems that promote positive youth development is a powerful protective factor that significantly reduces their risk of involvement in crime and violence. This activity proposes to engage youth through non-traditional modalities such as art and sports to address social and behavioral issues, as well as pursue traditional methods of workforce development training, community and family support,” said Paul Teeple, Chief of Party for the USAID-supported Positive Pathways Activity in Jamaica.
Sandals Resorts has a longstanding history of youth and community development, a role Director of Operations at the Sandals Foundation, Karen Zacca says the company will continue in this project.
“Our Training and Development Team at Sandals Resorts International will build the capacity of more than 100 young people to maximize their general job success efforts. For those interested in the hospitality industry and meet the criteria, they will be enrolled in the Hospitality Training Programme.
The company’s Human Resources Department will raise awareness to job fair opportunities and a mentorship programme will be developed for which resort team members can volunteer.
“We firmly believe that empowered young people, such as those here in Montego Bay, have the ability to shape their own destiny. By nurturing their passion for life and empowering them, we will create a ripple effect of transformation across the communities in which they live,” said Zacca.
Supporting Youth Development through Positive Youth Engagements (SYD-PYE) Project is funded by USAID under its Positive Pathways Activity in Jamaica and implemented in partnership with Youth Crime Watch of Jamaica.
USAID, through its five-year Positive Pathways Activity, seeks to reduce youth involvement in crime and violence in 12 Jamaican communities by building the resilience of youth, their parents and/or caregivers, while helping youth find positive pathways that deviate from the violent nature of their communities.