POETA: Partnership in Opportunities for Employment through Technologies in the Americas: The Eastern Caribbean initiative
- To address the challenges of youth at risk in the Eastern Caribbean.
- Leveraging and promoting the use of ICT to support knowledge sharing among young people from participating countries of the POETA eastern Caribbean initiative.
- Strengthening the integration of civic education and life training with ICTs skills training.
- Raising awareness among policy makers on the critical role that ICTs play in development.
People with disabilities
The larger POETA program was created by the Trust for the Americas in 2004. It was launched as a pilot project with funds from Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential program in Guatemala to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Thanks to its success, POETA now operates in twelve countries in Latin America and continues to expand.
The goal of POETA is to increase the socioeconomic inclusion of vulnerable groups within society. By equipping individuals with the skills necessary to acquire and maintain employment, POETA helps them become self-sufficient, enriching their lives and those of their family members. Training for individuals includes vocational guidance, ICT applications, and personal development. According to the beneficiaries’ needs, POETA also supports the development of small enterprises, social education, and civic responsibility.
The overall POETA program components include de development of digital inclusion opportunity centers, job-readiness and job-skills training, awareness and visibility activities and job placement and business development.
This specific project responds to the rapidly spreading crime trends in the Caribbean that pose a significant challenge to social stability and subsequently to sustainable development. This social problem is mostly rooted in the limited social and economic prospects of youth in the region, leading a number towards criminal activities.
This project worked towards reducing the number of at-risk youth between the ages of 16-30 in the Caribbean. It also aimed to raise the awareness of policy makers and local civil society actors on how ICTs can be leveraged to address youth training/labour insertion needs in the Caribbean region. The POETA project offered an intensive training program designed to facilitate entry into the workforce to populations at risk in six countries with growing problems of youth unemployment and crime.
Through its employment and civic skills training activities, the POETA project has established a network of local partner organizations and key stakeholders in the field.
In June 2010, POETA was highlighted as a best practice for contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
More well-informed youth with increased ICT and civic education skills.
- Almost 600 young people in the Caribbean region have been trained.
- 8% drop-out rate.
- 41% of participants going on to do further training.
Increased awareness among policymakers and regional partnerships.
- 99 regional stakeholder meetings participants.
- 42 new government and private sector partnerships.
- 5 civil society.
- 2 academic partnerships resulting from the project.
Strengthening of local implementing organizations.
- 45 staff trained.
- 15 new courses offered.
- The local organizations providing the services have updated their practices and uses of ICT tools and grown thanks to the program.
Youth citizenship, responsability and leadership
- 142 trained in online civic education.
- 71 student-scripted civic education videos.
- 19 POETA youth ambassadors.
- 3 youth development awardees.
Employment and further education opportunities.
- 100 youth participants placed in jobs.
- 246 pursuing further education.