In partnership with local organizations throughout the hemisphere, The Trust provides people affected by violence with opportunities to improve their quality of life through positive social engagement in their communities.
“A New Path” is implemented in collaboration with the Trust for the Americas, a non-profit organization affiliated to the OAS, which promotes public and private sector participation in social and economic development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This project is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In addition, OAS has partnered with the Government of Chile, through the National Services of Minors, the Department of Correctional Services, and NGOs in Jamaica to enhance the rehabilitation services delivered to youth in conflict with the law.
Objective Contribute to reduce recidivism and, ultimately, crime and violence in Jamaica by improving the quality of, and access to, reintegration services, technical training, and individualized psychosocial/emotional services for juvenile remandees of the South Camp and Metcalfe correctional facilities.Context
- The Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS), have highlighted the need to “strengthen and establish policies and programs for the modernization of the prison systems in the Member States, as well as to the design of sustainable social reintegration models, especially for young people” (Consensus of Santo Domingo on Public Security, adopted during the Second Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas – MISPA II).
- As such, the OAS has provided technical assistance to Member States for the continuous improvement of prison management, including the development of policies to rehabilitate detainees. The OAS has also developed diagnostics of the prison systems of several countries in the Americas. In Jamaica, along with other 7 countries, the OAS has recently developed a methodology to monitor and evaluate programs of rehabilitation and reintegration to assess current and future initiatives that address these key areas: “Reducing Criminal Recidivism: Standardized Methodology for the Monitoring and Evaluation of Social Reintegration Projects and Programs Aimed at Reducing Recidivism”.
- Considering the challenges to the successful reintegration of juvenile offenders in Jamaica (such as the stigma among potential employers upon integration into a society whose youth unemployment rate is among the highest in the region at 30.3%), the OAS has been supporting the Department of Correctional Services through the implementation of “A New Path”: Promoting a Healthy Environment and Productive Alternatives for Juvenile Remandees and Offenders in Jamaica in South Camp and Metcalfe correctional facilities, with support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The success of POETA in Latin America enabled The Trust to leverage support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), CISCO Systems Inc., the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and Microsoft to expand the POETA program to the Caribbean. With support from these donors, the Trust adapted the POETA program to address the challenges facing youth in the Caribbean and Central America including an HIV/AIDS epidemic, high unemployment and increasing crime and violence.
POETA Youth works with local partner organizations to train youth who have often dropped out of school and are at risk for unemployment and gang involvement. Program includes components tailored for at-risk youth, including civic education and refusal skills. This program is currently operating in the Eastern Caribbean in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and in Central America in Guatemala and El Salvador.
In 2011, The Trust welcomed AES corporation as one of the main donors of the POETA Youth initiative. AES contributtion has allowed for the expansion of the program to El Salvador, Panamá, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Argentina and Chile. The POETA AES Youth program combines the elements of POETA youth with additional training on electrical applications for the energy industry.
An example of what we are doing could be found in this video produced by our beneficiaries in El Salvador
The Trust leverages support from public, private and civil society actors to increase social and economic opportunities for demobilized combatants, displaced persons and vulnerable communities affected by the violence in Colombia. Though the establishment of Mi Llave centers and collaboration with local partner organizations, The Trust provides job readiness and information and communication technology (ICT) training to beneficiaries, in addition to training in entrepreneurship and microenterprise development. As a result, the program better prepares people to enter the labor market while reducing disparities in technological skills. Coupled with civic education and training in other self-development topics, this program facilitates beneficiaries’ social and economic inclusion and ultimately, their reintegration into society. The program is implemented in partnership with Microsoft and the Alta Consejería para la Reintegración, the Colombian government agency responsible for the demobilization, peace and reconciliation process.
Armando Paz is a joint venture of The Trust for the Americas and the Organization of American States to promote a culture of peace among Central America’s youth. Through local partner organizations, The Trust/OAS trains young people in creative technologies and social media, and encourages their participation in a broad value promotion campaign by-youth, for-youth across El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama.
Thanks to the support of Radio Netherlands Training Centre and local media partners, participants throughout Central America will produce, submit, and disseminate multimedia projects and text messages to promote healthy lifestyles and violence prevention among their peers. Additionally, The Trust/OAS will provide unique opportunities for participants to engage directly with policymakers, making sure their voices are heard in the formulation of national and regional public policies to address citizen security.
Through Armando Paz, The Trust/OAS is also empowering youth to create and execute service projects to promote peace and in their own communities by providing small grants to youth organizations.
For more information about Armando Paz and to find out how you can participate, please visit http://www.armandopaz.com/