Junior Achievement Worldwide is receiving a US$204-thousand dollar boost from FirstCaribbean International Bank to help provide resources and opportunities for the region’s youth.
“At FirstCaribbean, we recognize that, with changes in the global economy and the deleterious impact on fledgling regional communities, young people in the Caribbean, including The Bahamas, will be faced with the challenge of finding increased and viable avenues for business development in order to survive within this framework,” FirstCaribbean Bahamas’s managing director, Sharon Brown said while making the presentation at a luncheon in Miami.
The money covering a four-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), will see collaboration between FirstCaribbean and JA Worldwide as both parties work toward building a sustained partnership in support of regional development, a FirstCaribbean release said.
“We are so pleased and encouraged by FirstCaribbean’s generosity and commitment to developing the youth. These funds will go a long way toward enhancing what we do around the region and in The Bahamas,” said Linda Rimer, senior vice president Asia/Pacific and Americas Region for JA Worldwide, who accepted the cheque on the organization’s behalf.
The MOU covers financial support of JA Caribbean, capacity-building and member-start-up; joint pursuit of mutually beneficial business and corporate image enhancement opportunities; and collaboration in the decision-making process for the roll-out of Junior Achievement Programmes throughout the Caribbean.
JA Worldwide has committed to working with both the private and public sectors to combat unemployment in the Caribbean through early intervention. Although, JA has historically made an indelible impact on students in the Caribbean, including The Bahamas, many of its regional operations are struggling to survive.
Both parties have agreed that a mechanism will be established where FirstCaribbean employees/senior managers will be placed on JA boards in countries where both institutions exist to help with fundraising efforts and to provide direct support and service to JA in areas of board development. In addition, FirstCaribbean has committed to inviting JA professionals to conduct special in-house lectures and/or workshops for staff to help build a culture of volunteerism.
The MOU runs from 2008 to 2011 and will provide financial assistance to 12 countries in the region, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Netherland Antilles, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.
Junior Achievement is an institution that has provided solid business and economic education programmes to youth since 1919, as part of its overarching mission to inspire and prepare young people to succeed.