The RET, with the assistance and funding of ERRF-OCHA, has launched its preliminary programme in Haiti. The programme, ‘Social and Professional Reintegration for Youth at Risk’, has two objectives – social and professional development and protection, in ten centres and schools.
The RET has recognised the dire need for under-schooled young people to gain skills in literacy, vocational training, and social skills training, in order to give them better opportunities to recover from the negative impacts the earthquake and the widespread poverty has had upon them. The professional skills component aims to provide 1,200 youths who have been excluded from school with the required knowledge and professional skills to give them the opportunity for employment in construction, whereby they will benefit from training courses in masonry, plumbing or electricity. The social integration component of the programme will provide 4,500 adolescents and youth (aged 15 to 25), with leadership, citizenship and communication skills, problem solving and learning strategies, health education, and human rights education.
The situation is Haiti, though stabilising gradually, remains difficult. Many youth have been traumatised by the destruction of their homes, their displacement, and the loss of friends and family members. The risk of de-socialisation, however, can be avoided through involving youth in community service and education. Sexual and gender-based abuse is common in the camps, thus involving youth and girls in such a programme can not only ensure they are able to stand up for themselves, but also keep them from doing harm to others.