Belize Leads CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan – Love FM

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Belize joins the rest of the Caribbean Community in moving forward with what is called the CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan. The plan was finalized in October 2015 and on the seventh anniversary of that, Belize is piloting the program. The plan supports the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) by facilitating access for young people – aged 10 to 29 – to opportunities at different levels and encouraging full social, economic and political participation in society. as architects and catalysts of development. Director of the Department of Youth Services, Kevin Cadle, explained the importance of this.

Kevin Cadle, Director, Department of Youth Services: “Because Belize is actually climbing in the Global Youth Index rankings, we are currently at an average level. Previously, we were at the lowest. There are only three Caribbean countries that are ahead on us right now in youth development in the region and that’s Jamaica, Barbados and St. Lucia We’ve gone so far to be the big brother of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in terms of youth development work In terms of what we will be doing over the next two days this is an assessment to look at the CDAP and the purpose of this is to be able to see where we are as a country in terms of youth development and what we plan to go from 2022 to 2024 by adapting the CDAP and the assessments carried out under the CDAP by UNICEF and thereby charting the way forward, we have just completed our strategic plan 2022-2024 incorporating several important strategies, l ‘one being without a doubt the importance of youth inclusion and youth being at the center of the development stage in our work. This is the first time in the history of this country that we have been able to draft a cabinet document through the Attorney General for a youth act. There has never been a you act in the history of this country if you note that every other department has a law and is legislated but your services department is not legislated and the main thing behind what we want to do is to cement our policy and secondly, to ensure that youth integration is at the center of youth development in our country. So those are two of the biggest companies we’re charting for the future between 2022 and 2024.”

Michele Small-Bartley, Deputy Director of the CARICOM Youth Development Program, added that new realities are being considered given the impact COVID-19 has had on youth spaces.

Michele Small-Bartley, Deputy Director of Youth Development Program, CARICOM Secretariat: “The Belize Youth Department has played a very important role in the development of its youth strategy as well as the policy. CARICOM has therefore decided to use Belize as a pilot for the implementation of our youth action plan. The Youth Action Plan addresses critical areas of youth development, namely education, economic empowerment, health and well-being, safety and protection of our young people. We talk about identity, our culture, citizenship, governance, leadership and participation. The CDAP, which is short for action plan, is currently being revised, where we are using a more results-based management approach, where countries will be able to identify the inputs that will be needed to achieve the products, outcomes and impacts we want across the region. Also, we’ve actually realized that, especially since COVID, there are nuances and other changes that have happened in the youth space and so it’s become essential for us to not only continue to do what we were doing before, but how we can adapt to the changes that have really happened in our socio-economic space.

Financial and technical support for the regional program comes from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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