The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is funding a three-year initiative that aims to provide jobs and training for young Surinamese people as well as modernize the juvenile justice system in the country. The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), the non-profit foundation of the Organization of American States (OAS), will implement the program.
The project is called “Youth Development and Juvenile Justice in Suriname.” United States Ambassador Jay Anania, at the launch of the project, expressed gratitude to the various stakeholders for their commitment to the program.
“We appreciate your commitment and engagement to work with us to advance the Youth Development and Juvenile Justice Project. We need to be an example to our youth of how to work together because we are always much more effective than working independently.”
Activities under this program include mentorship and internship opportunities for at-risk-youth, engagement of employers to develop networks for “matchmaking” jobs with unemployed youth and tailored training opportunities.
The juvenile justice portion will include assisting in the development of key legislation and regulations, and the provision of grants to local groups working with youth who have experienced conflict with the law to, successfully, reintegrate them into society as law-abiding citizens.
PADF Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Judith Hermanson says, “Investing in Suriname’s youth and addressing some of the main issues that affect them will directly impact the role they play in the future development of the country.”
OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, who is also Vice Chairman of the PADF Board of Trustees added, “This is a concrete initiative which can tangibly improve the quality of life, and future opportunities for the youth of Suriname.
“We are committed to working together on this.”