Saint Lucia signs Grant Agreement with USAID, aims to enhance professionalism

The Ministry of Youth Development and Sports of Saint Lucia signed a Grant Agreement with USAID on Wednesday.

Saint Lucia signs Grant Agreement with USAID, aims to enhance professionalism
Saint Lucia signs Grant Agreement with USAID, aims to enhance professionalism

Castries, Saint Lucia: The Ministry of Youth Development and Sports of Saint Lucia signed a Grant Agreement with USAID on Wednesday. The initiative is aimed at enhancing the professionalism among the young generation.

Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Youth Resilience, Inclusion, and Empowerment (Y-RIE), Dwynette Eversley, gave a speech on the professionalization of youth work in the Caribbean during the signing of the Grant Agreement.

The initiative to professionalize youth work in the Caribbean started in the 1970s and the Commonwealth Caribbean Youth Programme played an instrumental role in formalizing the standards for youth work by creating the Commonwealth Competency Standards for Youth Development Work in the Caribbean.

These standards were endorsed by CARICOM in 2012 as the basis for certifiable vocational qualifications in all CARICOM Countries.

The University of the West Indies used these standards to develop the curriculum for the first degree-level training program for youth development work, which is the BSc in Youth Development Work that is currently offered throughout the Caribbean via the UWI Open Campus.

USAID’s Regional Learning Director, Dwynette Eversley, announced that standards will be used to train MYDS youth workers. These standards will help assess and manage youth development practices consistently and measurably.

The standards certify Level 2 to Level 5 competencies, ensuring quality training for youth workers through national quality assurance mechanisms and monitoring processes. The Saint Lucia TVET Council is overseeing the latter aspects.

Mary Wilfred, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports, expressed the need for technical assistance to strengthen the strategic focus and effectiveness of the Division of Youth work programming and organizational coordination efforts.

Youth workers are often marginalized, limiting their ability to advocate for their clients. The MYDS seeks to professionalize youth services and secure opportunities for the upward mobility of youth workers. They are working closely with the Saint Lucia Council for Technical, Vocational, Education, and Training to validate the competency-based curriculum for the Level II CVQ standard for Youth Development Work.