Last week, the Suriname Youth Development and Juvenile Justice Reform program launched a multimedia awareness campaign to encourage the private sector to hire young people. The program, known locally as Kari Yu! is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation.
Titled “Open the door: Give Your Business A Future and Offer Youth a Job,” the campaign was developed to encourage the private sector in Suriname to employ Kari Yu! program participants.
Working with the Ministry of Education, PADF developed a 60-hour training course, certified by the Ministry of Education, for youth who have dropped out of school. Since the program started in 2013, more than 1,110 youth have participated in trainings and more than 200 youth have secured full-time employment.
In addition to spreading the word about the program, the six-week media campaign also serves as a call to action for the government, local industries and vocational institutes to work together to create jobs for young people.
“Kari Yu! aims to place at least 700 youth in jobs in 2016,” says Program Director Carlo Arze, “but we need the support of local businesses. Every young job seeker needs just one employer to take a chance on him or her. The first employer is of paramount importance when starting a career.”
In addition to training youth, the Kari Yu! program carries out activities to reform Suriname’s juvenile justice system and help youth offenders re-enter society when they are released. The program has introduced 30 juvenile justice reforms to the penal code and trained 112 juvenile justice operators to build awareness of new and existing juvenile justice laws.