Some 66 young people have graduated from the USAID’s Basic Life and Employability Skills (BLES) programme.

“Through sheer determination and commitment, 66 of you have completed five weeks of intensive training in life skills, employment skills and reproductive health,” said US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, in her remarks to the graduands at a ceremony held at the St. Joseph High School on Tuesday evening.

The youths were selected from five communities across the country for the programme. The aim of the programme was to bolster the participants’ ability to perform in any workforce.

All of the graduates were excited to take their new communication and practical skills into the world of work.
Lynch, in her remarks, said the young people learnt how to work in teams, maintain a positive attitude and manage stress and finances.

These skills, she said, will not only serve the graduates well in the workplace, but will help them to lead empowered and successful lives.
Through the Community, Family and Youth Resilience (CFYR) Project, which BLES falls under, life-changing programmes such as after-school opportunities, workforce development programmes, leadership training and family counselling are available to youth right here in 20190405 9

“Like all of you, we believe that investment in the lives of young people will accelerate our progress toward a safer, healthier and more prosperous world. For this reason, we partner with communities like yours to develop inclusive programmes and support systems,” she said.

For more than a decade, USAID has partnered with regional governments, local stakeholders and members of the private sector with the goal of creating a safer, more prosperous Caribbean. In that regard, they have placed high priority on youth development.

“We want to create an environment where Guyanese youth can thrive, grow and move on to do ground-breaking things for their communities,” said Lynch.
In order to create such an environment, she believes that there needs to be more partnership with the private sector and other stakeholders who will invest in innovative and developmental programmes.

The CFYR, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, supports family networks, communities, service providers and government agencies to implement successful approaches to reduce crime and violence and increase opportunities for youth in St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and Guyana.

The programme uses community crime and violence prevention plans that strengthen data-driven observatories to conduct hotspot crime and violence mapping, adapt a public health approach to reducing violence, connect the community to the police and other service providers, to support at-risk youth, and build linkages with the private sector to support youth employment.