Dialogue in Suriname Builds Trust Among Youth

PADF’s Resistance and Prevention Program (RAPP) works to build trust among community members and government officials through youth dialogues. These activities allow school-aged adolescents, their families, and community members to discuss issues related to social crime prevention. They also motivate people to create a safer community and generate a space for finding potential solutions. 

On December 11, 2015, RAPP hosted a youth dialogue in Moengo, Suriname, two hours outside the capital of Paramaribo.  More than 90 youth shared their views on social crime prevention and interacted with two special guests.

The first guest speaker, Regillio Hardjopawiro, gave a motivational speech by sharing his life story. He used to be involved in violent crime, and many of his friends had been killed. He realized he had to change his ways or he was going to be next. Regillio turned to the church and was able to change his path and become an example of positive life choices. Besides advising the youth about staying away from crime, he also encouraged them to continue in school and to use protection to prevent early and unwanted pregnancy.

After the speech, PADF staffer and popular Surinamese singer Byciel Watsaam, performed two of his inspirational songs and received the praise of all in attendance. Overall, the youth were very engaged in both the discussions and the guest presentations.