UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, presenting the cheque to Director of Youth, Cleviston Hunte. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

The Digital Media Film Project of Government’s Youth Mainstreaming Programme will be expanded thanks to an injection of funds from the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Youth-IN Project.

That is the word from UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, who said the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth would be provided with $100,000 to support the expansion of the Project and host a Youth Talk Through Arts Initiative in Barbados.

She made the comments yesterday at a communications event for Project: Youth Innovation (Youth-IN) at UN House.

Mrs. Gyles-McDonnough promised that the UNDP’s support to the digital project "will not cease with these funds". She continued: "UNDP is committed to a joint resource mobilisation effort, to be coordinated with the support of staff from the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, to raise funds that will be used to purchase additional equipment needed to further expand the project to train more young people in Barbados in film production and expand to include other countries in the Eastern Caribbean."

She pointed out that the Youth Talk Through Arts Initiative would empower young people to participate in governance processes by using the performing arts to highlight areas affecting young people. She noted that the Youth Talk Through Arts showcase would begin in November with Barbados and St. Lucia and it would be launched in six other countries in 2013.

Director of Youth, Cleviston Hunte, said the Digital Media Film Project was introduced in 2004 as a response to the expressed need of unemployed young people, who were interested in the television and film industry, but had no formal training or financial support to achieve their career dream.

Mr. Hunte continued: "The project is a specific response to Government’s mandate for an increase in the percentage of local programming and the creation of an environment that would nurture and encourage the development of young independent professionals in the Barbadian television and film industry. These objectives fit in well with the provisions of our Cultural Industries Bill and the National Youth Policy."

He noted that several graduates of the project had secured employment, while others had become independent producers.

The Director added that Youth Talk Through Arts was an innovative project which provided a forum for the audience to engage in short dialogue with performers, choreographers or producers as they presented their pieces on issues that affect the youth.

"I am, therefore, happy to note that this production has now been extended and absorbed in the Youth-IN concept and that this production will now take on a regional character," Mr. Hunte stated.

??The Youth-IN Project: A Caribbean Network for Youth Development promotes Caribbean youth inclusion, innovation, interest and involvement by addressing their challenges and enhancing opportunities for them to make a difference in their communities and nations.

UNDP commenced implementation of the project in June 2011 and is working with a number of partners, including the CARICOM Secretariat and Ministries of Youth to achieve its objectives. The project has been made possible through financing from the Government of Italy.

Some of the achievements of the project to date are: the launch of the Youth Think Tank for the Caribbean and the Caribbean Innovation Challenge, which is a regional entrepreneurship competition; the promotion of youth volunteerism in disaster preparedness through the Spice it Up: Sing for Preparedness Song competition and the development of the Youth-In portal, a website and Facebook page.


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