On Friday, November 14, 2014, 80 young men and women graduated from the Kari Yu! program, which is funded through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The graduation, which took place at the Olympic House, was the closing of a comprehensive basic life skills and pre-employment training program. The Kari Yu! program provides a chance to at-risk youth ages 16 to 24 to pursue a more stable and productive life and is also designed to combat youth unemployment.
U.S. Ambassador to Suriname Jay N. Anania emphasized that these young graduates need an opportunity to channel their talent and youthful energy so they can contribute to the success of various businesses, organizations, and ministries. He called upon employers to invest in these graduates by giving them an opportunity to utilize their newly acquired skills and continue to develop.
“The Kari Yu! program demonstrates that youth can be agents of change and contribute to a socially inclusive, economically competitive society,” said Ambassador Anania.
Attended by Ambassador Anania, First Lady Ingrid Bouterse-Waldring, ministers of the government and other dignitaries, the graduation ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating youth. Guest speakers took the opportunity to encourage and motivate the youth to continue utilizing both the life and vocation skills they have acquired for their future success.
The graduation was followed by an Opportunity Fair in which 16 companies and organizations provided information to the graduates on employment and training opportunities.