Jamaica’s Diaspora movement will take another leap on October 17, with the launch of the Diaspora Youth Connect (DYC) Project, slated for the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), in Kingston.
The Jamaica Diaspora Institute, the operating arm of the Jamaica Diaspora Foundation, is overseeing the DYC initiative, which seeks to leverage human and financial resources that are located in the Diaspora to strengthen the capacity, the entrepreneurial and business management skills, community development skills, youth empowerment/mobilization skills, and Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills in a number of inner-city communities.
Already, some eight communities have been earmarked to benefit from the project – August Town, Trench Town, Mountain View, Flanker, Granville, Fletcher’s Land, Tower Hill and Parade Gardens. Volunteers have done asset mapping exercise, which sought to gather information on the assets of the communities that will benefit from the initiative.
Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, on October 8, at the agency’s head office in Kingston, Executive Director of the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, Professor Neville Ying, outlined that the DYC has sought to forge sustainable partnerships with community-based and youth empowerment organizations within the eight selected communities.
“We have laid the platform for a very exciting project going forward, and we want to maximize the use of partnerships that is very key to the success of the programme. We want to further test the models that we have come upon, and make sure that we refine them, so that they can be replicated to be used in a variety of communities across Jamaica,” he said.
The Executive Director pointed out that they will continue to encourage Jamaicans overseas who want to contribute to local community development. “We see this as another important means of them supporting Jamaica. Once you have something that sounds meaningful and impactful, the Diaspora gets very excited, and want to help,” Mr. Ying added.
Representatives from the Government officials, several overseas agencies, as well as the two main partners, the PIOJ and Cuso International will participate in the launch.
The DYC project was highlighted at the recently held 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, in Montego Bay.
By Garfield Angus, JIS Reporter