CHIEF Executive Officer of the Volunteer Youth Corps, Ms. Goldie Scott, recently returned from the United States embassy-sponsored International Visitor Leadership Programme (ILVP) exchange, and is now poised to use her garnered experiences in rehabilitating delinquent youths.
Ms. Scott participated in an IVLP exchange on the “Caribbean Basin Security Initiative -– Engaging Underserved and At-Risk Youth” — from September 7 to September 28, 2013, under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).
The United States, CARICOM member nations and The Dominican Republic are working together to help reduce the number of young people imprisoned in the juvenile justice system. CBSI is also working with youth already being held in juvenile facilities by supporting their transition back into communities and towards establishment of productive lives.
Ms Scott recently shared her IVLP experience with US Ambassador Brent Hardt, and discussed how she intends to apply the insights gained from her experience to the benefit of her organisation and to Guyana.
Ms. Scott is presently coordinating a sub-agreement between the Volunteer Youth Corps Inc. and Education Development Centre under the USAID/Skills and Knowledge for Youth Employment (SKYE) project, to deliver ‘work ready now’ training to at-risk youth in Region 4.
In interacting with Ms. Scott, Ambassador Hardt encouraged her to build on the many professional linkages she has established with U.S. institutions and other IVLP participants from countries within the Caribbean, to strengthen the work of her organisation in communities throughout Guyana.
Ambassador Hardt noted that the IVLP offers one of the best means to build capacity and strengthen institutions, as it fosters an exchange of new ideas with leading U.S. experts and organisations, while establishing lasting professional connections among IVLP participants.
The ambassador commended Ms. Scott for the work her organisation has done in developing and strengthening the capacity of Guyanese youth to help them make positive choices and lead productive lives.
The IVLP, which also included participants from the Bahamas, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, examined primary prevention programmes for at-risk youth, including programmes for family support, after-school activities, truancy and drop-out prevention, and job training.
Participants were given a first-hand look at support services for gang-involved youth and their families, aimed at helping vulnerable youth make positive choices. As the Chief Executive Officer of a local non-governmental organisation which addresses the social and economic needs of children and youth, Ms. Scott was able to gain perspectives on methodologies used by community-based organisations and faith-based groups to intervene early before problem behaviours turn into delinquency and gang involvement.
The International Visitor Leadership Programme is the flagship professional exchange programme of the Department of State, which annually brings to the United States approximately 5,000 foreign nationals from all over the world to meet and confer with their professional counterparts, and to experience the United States first-hand.
The visitors are current or potential leaders in government, politics, the media, education, the arts, business and other fields.
Among the thousands of distinguished individuals who have participated in the IVLP since its inception, almost seven decades ago, are more than 290 current and former chiefs of state and heads of government, 2,000 cabinet-level ministers, and several other distinguished leaders from the public and private sectors.