PARAMARIBO, Suriname, CMC – Suriname has launched a project aimed at providing jobs and training for young people as well as modernising the juvenile justice system.
The three-year “Youth Development and Juvenile Justice in Suriname” is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is being implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), the non-profit foundation of the Organization of American States (OAS).
A statement from the US embassy here said that the project will focus on providing youth access to employment and vocational education.
It said local organizations will be able to apply for grants for a wide variety of preventive and support services targeting youth. The project will also support the modernisation of the country’s juvenile justice system so it continues to be more responsive to the rehabilitative needs of youth offenders, the release.
US Ambassador Jay Anania, speaking at the launch of the project, praised the various stakeholders for their commitment to the programme.
“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.”
OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, who is also Vice Chairman of the PADF Board of Trustees, said, “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,” he added.
Activities under the “Youth Development and Juvenile Justice in Suriname” 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 component of the programme will include assisting in the development of key legislation and regulations, and the provision of grants to local groups working with youth who have been in conflict with the law to prepare them to successfully reintegrate into society as productive law-abiding citizens.
“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 this country,” said PADF Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Judith Hermanson.
“PADF is committed to working with the government of Suriname and other partners to focus attention and provide solutions to the challenges that at-risk youth face.”