PADF and USAID Celebrate Graduates of Suriname Youth Program

Paramaribo, Suriname (December 3, 2015) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) announces the graduation of 118 youth from a youth-led employment training and mentorship program. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by PADF, the Suriname Youth Development and Juvenile Justice Program—also known as Kari Yu!—brings together public and private partners to support the social inclusion and economic empowerment of youth.

The Kari Yu! Youth 2 Youth program identifies and trains youth leaders as career counselors and facilitators so that they can implement a basic life skills and pre-employment course to vulnerable youth in their communities. A Basic Life Skills training manual has been developed in collaboration with Suriname’s Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. In addition to the five-week training program, career counselors mentor and coach participants for at least three months after they have been placed in a job to enhance their ability to acquire and retain employment. To date, the Kari Yu! program has trained more than 1,600 youth and 310 youth have been placed in jobs.

The Youth 2 Youth program is implemented in the districts of Paramaribo, Wanica and Nickerie in the neighborhoods of Paramaribo Centre, Sophia's Lust, Latour, Lelydorp and Nieuw Nickerie.

A job fair took place following the graduation ceremony has found a various companies, at which the young unemployed could apply. The ceremony was dedicated to inspiring and motivating young people and included speeches from youth leaders in the program.

"Make good use of the knowledge and skills you have acquired during training and make use of the opportunities that are offered to you,” The chairman of the

National Youth Parliament, Priya Sital, told the graduates. “Your own commitment, will determine your future."

Representatives from the Surinamese business community also shared their experiences. Antusa Lim a Po, commercial Manager of Alupro, appreciated the guidance that Kari Yu! career counselors provided to youth employees. "If the graduates have personal problems or problems at work, we can always rely on the counselors,” she said. “They are always there."

The ceremony also included the premiere of"Stories of Kari Yu!" a short documentary that follows young people who took part in the program. The video shares their job search experiences and will be broadcast by several television stations in Suriname.

Results to date

  • 1604 youth have participated in the Kari Yu! program
  • 310 youth have been placed in jobs
  • 337 youth have completed an internship
  • 24 youth started their own business
  • 30 juvenile justice reforms introduced
  • 112 operators trained to implement these reforms