Application to the Rhodes Youth Forum 2014 Project Proposal: For The Development of Youth Diplomacy The Establishment of a Youth Leadership Development Programme in Trinidad and Tobago Submitted by Kieron Joseph Samaroo Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies Vision To establish a centre of learning and leadership development for potential young leaders in Trinidad and Tobago. This project is borne out of a vision that Trinidad and Tobago will benefit from a new, fresh, young, dynamic generation of leadership that will inspire changes, resolve challenges, pursue innovation and forward developments within our political system, our civil society, and our economy. Background to Trinidad and Tobago A developing country to the bottom of the Caribbean chain of islands Population: 1.3 million people Economy built on energy, manufacturing, commerce, agriculture, tourism. System of Government : Westminster. Aging population: 50 per cent of population is beneath age of 40 (Source: Trinidad Newsday) Since Trinidad and Tobago achieved Independence and Republicanism from the British Empire in 1962 and 1976 respectively, there has been much dependence on the state for development. Now, with increasingly limited human and economic resources, and increasingly available information and technological resources, there is the need for social , economic and political development to occur beyond the machinations of state and to be heavily developed by civil society, particularly the youth. There is the need for effective intergenerational knowledge transfer, modernization of practices and creative solution-finding to the issues causing the stagnation of development and underdevelopment in various fields of study. Young people must be equipped more and more to lead social, state, civic, economic, political sectors to ensure that the 'leadership mind' of the country and society in general is duly equipped to face 21st century challenges and to provide 21st century solutions for this small nation state nestled in a sea of competing international interests and crises. Aims of Project Establish a programme for youth leadership development, training youth to represent sectoral and community interests on a volunteer basis Create a network of young leaders who can inspire the development of civil society and government, To create a pool of youth volunteers who can lend technical and physical support to NGOs in developing their outreach, resources and profiles. Target Group The Youth Leadership Development Centre will seek to target young people – both male and female - between the ages of 15 and 19 years of age. This demographic will be targeted via the use of social media and direct interaction with youth-based organizations, schools and civil society. Five Broad Elements in Implementing Project Proposal STEP 1 : Creation of a Curriculum Development of training content based on the following fields: a) b) c) d) e) f) g) Policy analysis Policy development Public speaking and peer-to-peer interaction Volunteerism Fundraising Networking for success Use of social media to garner support and publicity Step 2: Engaging Facilitators Develop curriculum with and secure commitment of persons in the following fields as facilitators: a) b) c) d) e) Academics Technocrats Civil society leaders Media processionals Educators Step 3: Marketing Target demographic must communicated with, engaged, and inspired to participate in program. Must be convinced that leadership training offered will resound to their benefit. Step 4: Training delivery Establish a training schedule, and implement the modules. Each module to include a practical enforcement element, for the young participants to enforce what they would have learnt. Step 5: Practical Partnership Centre will establish partnership with NGOs that are willing to give program participants guided exposure in the field and the opportunity to implement what they have learnt in the training modules. At this stage, participants will be prompted to apply what they have learnt in a practical sense. Step 6: Ongoing Partnership Young people participating in the programme are nurtured into volunteering with various NGOs. Participants and facilitators alike are networked into a leadership and technical resource pool from which civic groups can draw. Conclusion The establishment of a youth development program/centre will focus on empowering young people to actively participate in matters affecting communities and causes. It will also network physical and internet-based resources for the benefit of social groups. It will provide a forum that will equip communities with new techniques, leadership training, skills development and other tools necessary in running a successful NGO/CBO/YBO/RBO. At the end of it, it will produce an empowered generation of young people who can volunteer their time and newfound skill towards developing communities and civic groups Last year, there was much support for this project Since then our network of technocrats, benefactors and volunteers has grown tremendously. We will have accumulated much support to put towards the implementation of these projects including this Youth Leadership Centre.