Tackling crime and violence: CEBO training will definitely add value, says Barbados Youth Director
Speakers at the opening of a capacity-building workshop on Monday in Barbados underscored the value of entrepreneurship as a means of youth social and economic empowerment.
The capacity-building workshop, also marked the official closing of the Crime and Violence Component of the EU-funded CARIFORUM Crime and Security Programme.
The workshop is using the CARICOM “homegrown” Creative Entrepreneurship Business Opportunity (CEBO) model to build the capacity of 30 youth, including those who are characterised as `at risk’.
Delivering the feature remarks, Barbados’ Director for Youth in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Mr. Cleviston Hunte, touched on the issue of inequality, especially among youth whom he said remained the “most vulnerable in our society.” He noted that in the Barbados’ Youth Policy, unemployment was the first area of concern for young people, followed by crime and violence
Mr. Hunt emphasised the importance of the initiative to his government’s thrust to become the “entrepreneurial hub” within the Caribbean.
“… entrepreneurship has been a critical component of the country’s overall economic recovery strategy as Barbados tries to become the entrepreneurial hub within the Caribbean,” he said.
The Director stated that the training opportunity among other initiatives would support this strategy by “producing a cadre of young people with the knowledge skills and ability to conceptualise and start viable and sustainable enterprises in any of the creative disciplines…”
“The exposure to the training will definitely add value to this country” given that there would be an increased number of persons with skills and the capacity to have businesses within their communities that would drive economic activities from the grass root level and inspire peers to duplicate their actions, he added.
Ms. Helen Royer, Director for Human and Social Development, CARICOM Secretariat, also made remarks at the opening and provided the institutional context for both dimensions of the ceremony.
Noting that the workshop was one of a number of activities of the Crime and Violence component, she said “the strategic choices carried out under the programme were based on priorities established by CARIFORUM States…”
“The focus was on building sustainability within Member States through focused capacity-building, development of data collection platforms and assessments of the risks and resiliency factors that contribute to or reduce the involvement of key populations in crime and violence,” she added.
Ms. Royer underscored the importance placed on the Region’s youth “who are represented as both the main perpetrators and victims of criminality,” and noted that it was critical that capacity be built to ensure that institutional responses to crime and violence was developed from a prevention perspective.
She acknowledged the important role of the EU in facilitating the programme, which activities “seek to address the socio-economic and institutional conditions that have fostered organised crime and criminality, while also providing viable choices and alternatives to criminal activities.”
‘Your [EU] concerted efforts and contributions is a sign of your commitment to addressing the problem of crime and violence especially among our youth,” the Director said.
EU Representative, Mr. Felipe de La Mota, Team Leader, Regional Cooperation and Trade Support, in his remarks said that the EU “believes in a commonsense approach to protecting public safety moving, from systems focusing only on punishment and retribution with little emphasis on rehabilitation.”
“We prefer a model which does not simply warehouse offenders and take the more difficult approach and try to address the underlying causes of crime; an approach that is aimed at closing the revolving doors of recidivism. We know that spending money up front would save money down the line,” he added.
He explained that the crime problem could not be seen as just a law enforcement issue. “It is about poverty, unemployment, social inclusion and education,” he said, and added that the EU’s support to the Caribbean to help reform the security and justice sectors had not ended with these programmes.
Mr. Sherwyn Toyne-Stephenson, Programme Manager for Crime and Security, CARICOM Secretariat chaired the opening.
About the CARIFORUM Crime and Security Programme
Funded under the Tenth European Development Fund, the CARIFORUM Crime and Security Programme has three components: drug demand and supply reduction; crime and violence prevention and social development; and capacity building of law enforcement and security agencies and enhanced cooperation with Third States. Its overall objective is to contribute to the overall safety of citizens and improvement of the security environment in the CARIFORUM Region.
The Creativity for Employment and Business Opportunity (CEBO) Programme was developed in 2011-2012, through a partnership between the CARICOM Secretariat key stakeholders from the region, to design a CARICOM home-grown entrepreneurship project. The objective of the CEBO Programme is to engage, inspire and create entrepreneurial interest and action among young CARICOM nationals in and out of school and from all walks of life, as a means of countering youth unemployment, mitigating drug abuse, crime and violence and fostering economic resilience.
The CARICOM Secretariat worked in collaboration with Member States and development partners to roll out the CEBO Programme in thirteen (13) countries across the Community since the project was first piloted in 2012. The Governments of Italy, Japan and Spain, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have provided support for the Programme.
As part of the implementation of the CEBO Project, manuals for entrepreneurship training and workshop facilitation were developed and published and will be used in the current project. Some 346 youth and 100 facilitators have been trained since the commencement of the programme.
The CEBO workshop methodology is youth friendly, highly interactive and engaging, where participants over a period of six (6) days, establish and staff simulated companies, develop a basic business plan and create, market and sell products and services using seed money provided by the simulated “Bank of CEBO”. At the end of the workshop, companies prepare a profit and loss statement, analyze their mistakes and successes and share profits in accordance with criteria which they themselves develop.
 Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.