The U.S. Government is increasing cooperation with the government of St. Lucia to reduce youth involvement in crime and violence via the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Project.
On June 16, USAID Supervisory General Development Officer Ted Lawrence and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth Development, Sports, Culture and Local Government Donovan Williams signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to govern the YES Project’s implementation in St. Lucia. The MOU deepens an ongoing partnership between USAID and the Government of St. Lucia, and brings strategic focus to youth crime and violence prevention. It highlights the importance of timely information sharing, effective cooperation, and sustainability planning.
In addressing the signing ceremony, which followed a YES Project National Advisory Board meeting, Mr. Lawrence said, “Today’s meeting and subsequent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between USAID and the Government of St. Lucia represents a significant step in the YES project that was launched last November and represents a comprehensive response to the problem of youth violence. The National Advisory Boards are critical vehicles and platforms for collaboration and change as we continue to work with at-risk youth across the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, with particular focus on Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, and here in St. Lucia.”
The five-year, $64 million YES Project, which was launched in St. Lucia in November 2016, covers 10 Caribbean nations. It is organized around identifying and targeting the risk and resilience factors facing crime affected communities, at-risk youth, and youth in the juvenile justice system. It emphasizes community involvement at all levels; ensuring continuity of care; and institutionalizing data collection, analysis, and use for policy, programming, and evaluation.