U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Funded Program Launches Second Phase of Support for Youth Employment

The USAID supported A Ganar program, implemented by Partners of the Americas, initiated its second phase on February 10, 2014.  This program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), provides a second chance for school dropouts and other youth between the ages of 16-24 to gain skills that help them find salaried jobs or self-employment.  A Ganar also uses team sports to teach life skills, and through partnerships with the government and private sector, provides vocational skills training and on-the-job work experience for youth.  Young men and women participating in the program develop a range of skills and gain practical experience necessary for their success in future employment and in life.  To date, 176 youth have completed the program and 42 have full-time jobs.

A Ganar supports six local organizations to assist youth to build life skills and to gain employment: Women’s Business Group; Stichting RUMAS; Stichting TANA; Pater Alhbrinck Stichting; Stichting Mati Fu Tego; and Stichting Cure Alternatief.  The second phase will run through 2014 and will train approximately 330 young Surinamers.

The success of this program is reinforced by partnerships formed with government Ministries, private sector companies, the Chamber of Commerce and local organizations that train, mentor, guide and counsel youth.  Private sector partners such as Kosmos Energy, which cooperates with Staatsolie and Chevron, support A Ganar’s skill training and employment initiatives.  Private sector involvement demonstrates interest in providing a brighter future for Suriname’s youth.  USAID support for the program will continue until September 2015, at which time maintenance of the activity will rely on local ownership through established partnerships.

At the launch ceremony, U.S. Ambassador Jay N. Anania remarked, “The presence here of leaders from government, civil society and private sector, shows a common commitment to finding and implementing practical solutions that support youth.”  He further stated, “…the U.S. government remains committed to working with you to advance our common goals.”