A generous donation from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has partially refurbished three inner-city facilities currently used by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to facilitate a number of its youth outreach programs, according to Darron Turnquest, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary.
The locations which have been strategically placed in Fox Hill, Big Pond and Quakoo Street have been an asset to youth in the area, Turnquest affirmed.
The facilities are a part of a $20 million donation from the IDB to the Ministry of National Security’s Citizens Security and Justice Program (CSJP) that works in tandem with the National Training Agency (NTA) to target at-risk youth.
“When you look at countries like Australia, South Africa and Canada they have very robust youth centres and you look at the United States and their Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA and those particular spaces serve as safe spaces for young people, especially people between the ages of 15 to 29,” shared Turnquest.
Turnquest said that young Bahamians have access to courses in soft skills training, resume building and a general support system for career building and employment acquisition.
“So, what the centres will do and have been doing is that they serve as a hub within these communities as a safe space so that we can monitor, evaluate and do outreach and tracking with these youth,” he said.
“Rather than telling a young person that they have to go to the ministry headquarters, they now have a space that is close to them which has a friendly face that can provide them with current information and resources and support via our various initiatives and activities.”
The centres also offer comprehensive demand-driven training for employment with specific emphasis in getting at-risk youth from under the unemployment rug to employability.