Mariba in Jamaica

I will be doing my placement in Jamaica for nine months as a Cuso Volunteer with the Kingston YMCA. The Y is a family-centered organization that seeks to promote the growth of young people in spirit, mind and body. My position will center around community engagement, advising and reporting on youth programming, and creating the necessary tools, templates and modules for training to ensure the organization has the capacity to continue to serve their community. I was thrilled when the opportunity to work with this organization arose, because I strongly believe that youth should be a priority when considering development policy and trajectories. As young people move from being youth to adults, enter in the workforce, care for seniors and rear children of their own, the benefits of having invested in them will emanate through their communities. Thus, ensuring sustainable improvements towards local and national development objectives. Another motivation for pursuing this placement was focused around my sentiment that development should begin at home, and being as I am of Jamaican heritage, securing a placement in the Caribbean became my goal. The population of the Jamaican diaspora currently exceeds the number of individuals native to and presently residing in the country. Consequently, it has been recognized that the diaspora will prove key to Jamaica’s development, as it holds the potential for valuable academic partnerships, technical expertise and a significant networks of activists that have the power to affect change.