Members of the Jamaican diaspora have been given the chance to engage with young entrepreneurs from inner cities through yesterday's launch of the Diaspora Youth Connect (DYC) project.
The DYC launch, which took place at the offices of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, represents a collaborative effort among the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, Cuso International, and the University of the West Indies Township Programme.
Arnaldo Brown, state minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said the project symbolises a synthesis for the growth and development of Jamaica's youth, particularly those at risk in vulnerable communities.
The project involves youth from inner-city communities such as August Town, Trench Town, Mountain View, and Fletcher's Land in Kingston, as well as Flankers and Granville in Montego Bay, St James.
"The objective is to utilise the skills and talents of youth in the diaspora in assisting vulnerable and ambitious youth in Jamaica to realise their potential in entrepreneurship," Brown said.
"The Government of Jamaica acknowledges the challenges in ensuring the gainful engagement of our youth in national development, the solutions to which have been identified in our long-term development plan, Vision 2030, and the medium-term socio-economic framework," he added.
Brown said addressing these challenges requires a partnership among the Government, the private sector, civil society, and the diaspora.
"In keeping with our national youth policy, we must press on in ensuring that Jamaica's youth realise their full potential, through access to opportunities to develop, participate, and contribute as responsible citizens to a peaceful, prosperous and caring society," he said.
"This projects will deepen and strengthen their connections to their roots, thereby inculcating in them a sense of pride at being Jamaican. This project will also foster mentorship and loyalty towards their motherland, an outcome which is critical to the sustainability of the Diaspora movement," Brown continued.