YouthBuild Bahamas Students distributed books at Kemp Road.
Through a cooperative agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), YouthBuild International began working in the Bahamas in 2015. With input from government officials from various ministries, including the Ministries of National Security, Youth, Sports & Culture, and Education, as well as with stakeholders from over 100 NGO, community, faith-based, and private sector organizations, YBI with its implementing partner, the Bahamas Urban Youth Development Center (BUYDC), designed and launched the YouthBuild Bahamas Pilot program in January of 2016. The nine-month pilot program was designed to respond to entwined challenges related to citizen security and youth unemployment in the Bahamas. The adapted YouthBuild model in the Bahamas focuses on providing a pathway out of violence and social exclusion for young people ages 17-25 who are low income, out of school and unemployed, with a focus on youth who are at-risk, court-involved, and/or at-risk for gang involvement.
Accomplishments from the first YouthBuild Bahamas program include (among others):
* 58 at-risk young people benefitted from training in vocational trades, leadership and civic engagement, counseling and case management, education classes, and placement support;
* 79.3% of the students completed and graduated from the program;
* 100% of the hospitality students received at least one market-recognized certification from the Coterie of Caribbean Butlers training institute;
* 80.9% of students in the construction training have received Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certificates;
* 5 students increased their overall employability through completing their driver’s test and gaining their drivers licenses;
* 11 students completed internships that led to employment or increased work experience;
* 80.4% of graduates have been placed into jobs, internships, or further education and training;
* The young people participating in the program organized and completed over six community service and community asset building projects, benefitting neighbors and residents in their local communities.
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