Diaspora Youth Connect Project Launch

Yesterday marked the launch of the Diaspora Youth Connect Project, an initiative that a few other volunteers are working on. I was the official photographer. Here is more information about the Project:

The Diaspora Youth Connect (DYC) Project is being implemented by the Jamaica Diaspora Institute (JDI) in collaboration with Cuso International. Some key partner organizations and investors in the project include: Mona Social Services, UWI Mona; Social Development Commission, Montego Bay, St. James; Agency for Inner-city Renewal (AIR); RISE Life Management; the Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Jamaica National Foundation. The project has also received support from USAID and CIDA who have provided volunteers from the USA and Canada to assist in the implementation of the project.

The DYC Project has three main purposes:

To connect youth in vulnerable communities in Jamaica with young persons (Future Leaders) in the Jamaican Diaspora; and
To develop a cadre of persons in Jamaican communities and in the Diaspora who are or will become volunteers in assisting the development of vulnerable communities in Jamaica.
To assist youth in vulnerable communities to convert their creative ideas and talents into business ventures.

The morning session was full of speeches from dignitaries. We broke for lunch and the youth were then engaged in workshops and short talks from entrepreneurs who have achieved success despite difficult odds or who have conducted academic research on entrepreneurialism. The day concluded with the youth being matched with the entrepreneurs who coached them on how to give an elevator pitch. Once it was perfected, three group members presented a 90 second pitch to judges. The winning group chose to try to sell contact lenses.

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