As a direct result of the myriad of challenges impacting the youth in Western Kingston, the Boys’ Town Foundation 15-18 Youth Development Programme (YDP) was developed as a partnership project for empowerment targeting ‘at risk’ youth living within the area. It is a four year programme impacting a total of 180 persons in the 15- 18 year age group teaching participants’ social and life skills (to include sports and culture), remedial education (to include communication skills), job skills training and development, computer literacy and mentoring focused citizenry. The overall purpose of the project was to establish a mechanism between the key implementing partners, supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Democracy and Governance (D&G) Fund, with a view to developing, implementing and documenting this project for future replication with other at risk-youth. The project was a part of the Boys’ Town 5 Year Development Plan that aids in filling a gap in the national development plan and enhanced work currently undertaken by the Boys’ Town Foundation.
A partnership approach can provide a sustainable, structured and collaborative means of achieving any projects objective. The YDP partnership aim was to develop a sustainable multi-sectoral partnership with Boys’ Town, HEART Trust, National Youth Service (NYS), Jamaica For Lifelong Learning (JFLL), UTECH School of Public Health and Ministry of Education (MOE) for youth development that could be replicated at the national level. This project was implemented through the coordinated efforts of the above mentioned partners.
There five (5) main components of YDP are:
1. Social and Life Skills Training
2. Remedial Education
3. Skills Development
4. Mentoring Programme
5. Computer Literacy