In the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, international donors and other stakeholders called on YouthBuild International (YBI), and its NGO partner in Haiti, IDEJEN, to respond quickly in engaging the most marginalized young people in Haiti. With funding provided by The MasterCard Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, YBI and IDEJEN launched a five-year initiative designed to improve the livelihood prospects of Haitian young people and to mobilize young people in Haiti to play a significant leadership role in rebuilding the earthquake devastated country.

Through the resulting JÈNKA program, YBI and IDEJEN have established the largest national livelihoods and leadership training system for out-of-school and unemployed youth in Haiti. From 2010-2014, this initiative has served and benefitted over 9,597 young people, with IDEJEN placing over 61% of students into jobs, self-employment, or continuing education/training, and 85% of students receiving vocational certifications in their chosen trade. With technical assistance from YBI, IDEJEN has constructed seven new, multipurpose training centers throughout the country, providing services to young people and their families and serving as examples of tangible and vital community assets. All JÈNKA students organize and implement volunteer projects to benefit their community, with the young people conducting cholera prevention efforts and hosting community workshops on topics ranging from human rights to promoting non-violence in the community. Parents of program participants said that JÈNKA “greatly benefits the community” and “improves livelihood prospects of Haitian Youth.”

In 2016, YBI began a new initiative in Haiti, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, to collaborate with the community of Arcahaie on the implementation of regional development plan. YBI will partner with multiple organizations, including the citizen’s group ECODA, Haiti Development Institute, Hope on String, AME-SADA, the Rose Court Foundation, and the State University of New York, on this multi-year effort. YBI’s focus will be on meeting a critical priority of the community - increasing employment and income-generating opportunities for marginalized youth in Arcahaie, through the development of new training programs and planning of a new multi-purpose, vocational training center.

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