The Bahamas

YouthBuild Bahamas Students 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.

For more information and updates about YouthBuild Bahamas: Follow YB Bahamas on Facebook.