Six Saint Lucian Youth Groups Awarded Grants Totalling US $12, 000Oct 19, 2015
After completing a process which in entirety took three months, the SocialINNOV4Change project ended on October 16 with six groups being awarded US $2,000 each.
The UNDP Subregional Office for Barbados and the OECS celebrated International Youth Day on August 12 with the youth of Saint Lucia by hosting an Ideation Workshop and a youth gala where the SocialINNOV4change Call for Proposals was launched. This event saw Deputy Resident Representative, Chisa Mikami noting during her remarks that, “today’s event is not simply a ceremonial commemoration, but it is an opportunity for us to reflect on whether our policies and programmes are strategically empowering youth and providing you with the space for active citizen engagement.”
The SocialINNOV4Change initiative sought to do just that – engage and empower youth. SocialINNOV4change presents an opportunity to engage with youth as agents of change in making that shift from national to citizen security, with an emphasis on social innovation. Empirical evidence suggests that Caribbean youth are both victims and perpetrators of crime, and in this regard, this initiative focuses on engaging youth not only as direct beneficiaries, but also as key partners in development.
Ideation workshop attendees saw a presentation from UNDP Barbados and the OECS Project Coordinator, Janine Chase where she revealed that youth crime data from Saint Lucia puts a conservative estimate of annual government expenditures in tangible costs which amounts to approximately US$25 million. Further, the Bordelais Correctional Facility was built to accommodate 475 inmates; at the moment the facility is 38.3% over capacity with a current complement of 646 inmates. The need for innovative solutions to crime in St. Lucia is evident.
Having received sixteen proposal submissions, the UNDP team returned to Saint Lucia on October 6 to assist teams with communication and the further development of their idea. On October 14 the teams gathered again for an Innovation Workshop and on October 16 each team presented their ideas to a panel of judges.
At the closing ceremony the below teams were awarded grants:
Violence is not my role
Vieux Fort Youth and Sports Council
Clendon Music Vibes
Fundamentals Dance Group
Babonneau Youth Syngery
Foundation for the Development of Caribbean Children
UNDP is committed to supporting all teams in the execution of their ideas. We look forward to these projects being implemented and positively impacting crime and violence in Saint Lucia.