What We Do

Guided by the Federal Youth Policy 2017-2022 and its Youth Mainstreaming thrust, the Department of Youth Empowerment’s Strategic Framework of Programmes seeks to progress the realization of the policy objectives .

The Department of Youth Empowerment’s Strategic Framework provides a roadmap that guides focused programming as it executes its Federal Youth Policy mandate. This strategy recognizes the demands outlined by the Policy and reconciles these with the Department’s capacities for optimal results. The Strategic Framework outlines the Department of Youth Empowerment’s existing and critical programming and seeks to bring greater clarity to their policy rationale, interconnectivity and anticipated results.


The Department’s Strategic Framework features six Thematic Areas and corresponding Strategic Goals identified as priority through extensive stakeholder engagement and research.

These areas inform the basis of our youth mainstreaming agenda, priority focus and resource allocation. They also articulate with and respond to the imperatives for the Department of Youth Empowerment under the Federal Youth Policy. Further, they reflect integral public sector,

legislative and policy mandates, and the concerns and aspirations of stakeholder youth, while building on some of our existing initiatives and comparative advantages.

The Department of Youth Empowerment’s Thematic areas and Strategic Goals are as follows:

THEME 1: – Youth lifelong learning and wellbeing

GOAL 1: All youth have adequate access to opportunities to improve their wellbeing, competencies, skills and lifestyles.

THEME 2: Youth equipped for decent work

GOAL 2: Youth access decent work and livelihood opportunities that provide them with long-term economic security and meaningful lives.

THEME 3: Youth as agents of change and development. Volunteerism and intergenerational partnerships

GOAL 3: Youth access opportunities and play an integral role in community and national development.

THEME 4: Youth excellence and achievement

GOAL 4: Youth have a strong sense of national pride and belonging, and are valued and recognized for their talents, competencies, and efforts that contribute to development.

THEME 5: Evidence-based youth work development and youth mainstreaming

GOAL 5: Youth work is conducted according to professional standards, and a body of knowledge and good practice that mainstreams quality youth development in all spheres of social and economic development, is built.

THEME 6 : Youth in ICTs and mass media

GOAL 6 : To equip and empower young people as digital citizens, and to use and innovate ICT to improve their lives and communities


Each of the Department of Youth Empowerment’s programmes fall under a specific Thematic Area and Strategic Goal. However, given their dynamic nature of the programmes, most have inherent overlaps with one or more Thematic Areas. The Department of Youth Empowerment embraces these as they provide greater opportunities to realise the holistic development of our youth into well-rounded citizens.

Programmes are designed to be engaging, participatory and empowering while addressing the capacity gaps of various youth and youth-serving organizations. Our programming provides opportunities for meaningful youth engagement in all processes. Programmes are outlined below under their respective Thematic Areas.

Shine Programme: This programme engages school aged-youth in a year-long series of initiatives designed to build up and enhance their protective factors while reducing their risk factors. Participants are regularly engaged by the Department of Youth Empowerment and other key partners across a number of engaging initiatives collectively designed to improve their capacities to make good decisions and lead healthy and productive lives.

The Shine Programme is led by Ms. Guevelle Pemberton and Ms. Kristen Hendrickson.

Volunteer Corps Programme: This programme enhances youth employability through experiential learning while bridging the gap between the expressed desires of youth to play an integral role in community development and their exposure to opportunities to do so. The programme enrolls and trains volunteers who are subsequently deployed to aid in a wide number of fields and activities. Volunteers serve across a number of programmes within the Department of Youth Empowerment as well as programmes and activities executed by other stakeholders. Organisations interested in securing volunteer service must register their request with the Department of Youth Empowerment. Eligible initiatives must be in service to the community and of experiential benefit to the volunteer. Please review programme guidelines carefully.

The Volunteer Corps Programme is led by Ms. Sharon Cannonier.

Summer Youth Development Programme : This programme comprises a number of projects including the popular Annual Residential Summer Camp held at the Beach Allen Primary School; The Leadership and Capacity Building Trainings; The Non-Residential Creative Camps, Internship Programmes and Costume Making Workshops. These initiatives provide opportunities for youth of varying interests to be productively engaged toward improving their wellbeing, competencies, skills and lifestyles.

The lead for this programme is DYE Officers and Ms. Sharon Cannonier.

Theme 2: Youth Equipped for decent work. Youth Economic Participation

 Youth Enterprise Programme: This programme is designed to enhance the capacity of our youth to access decent work and livelihood opportunities.

The programme engages numerous public and private stakeholders to provide opportunities to secure long-term economic security and stability. The programme includes CEBO Trainings, Entrepreneurship wrap sessions, Annual GEW activities, and the annual Youth Art Exhibition.

The Entrepreneurship Programme is led by Mrs. Sahira Joseph and Ms. Guevelle Pemberton.

25 Most Remarkable Teens Programme: The goal of the programme is to recognize young people’s positive and productive lifestyles and their contributions to development at the personal, community, national and global levels.

Since its inception in 2011, each year this programme identifies and awards the top twenty five (25) remarkable teenagers within St. Kitts and Nevis during a special sitting of the Federal House of Parliament. These awardees are nominated by persons familiar with them and subsequently interviewed by a panel of qualified persons. Following the official award ceremony, awardees receive capacity building training and are charged with the development and execution of projects that addresses a need in a community of their choice. Annual teens execute an average of ten (10) projects that greatly contribute to different communities across both St Kitts and Nevis.

The 25 Most Remarkable Teens Programme is Led by Mrs. Sahira Joseph and Ms. Guevelle Pemberton (St. Kitts) and Ms. Lanisa Burke (Nevis).

Youth Ambassadors Corps Programme : Comprising our Caricom Youth Ambassadors and Corps Members programme this facilitates youth leadership capacity development and access to meaningful participation in the decision making processes. Through training and experiential learning, the programme is designed to develop a cadre of young diplomats charged with progressing a positive youth development and engagement agenda. Members of this Corps are charged with understanding and articulating the youth perspective on matters of significance to the youth. Further they are charged with educating their peers on matters of national and regional priority.

The Youth Ambassadors Corps Programme is managed by Mrs. Sahira Joseph (St Kitts) and Ms Lanisa Burke (Nevis)

Youth Led NGO Engagement, Development and Empowerment Programme: This programme is designed to improve the quality and effectiveness of youth work while empowering youth to play an integral role in community and national development. Youth groups registered with the Department of Youth Empowerment attend a series monthly meetings for capacity building and networking. The programme seeks to identify prioritise and address the capacity gaps of youth groups as they group into sustainable and effective agents of youth and community

development. Through this programme registered groups may also access a variety of resources and development opportunities.

This programme is led by Ms. Shenisia Puran, Mrs. Maluska Douglas & Ms. Kristen Hendrickson

Youth 4 The Environment. Youth and Sustainable Development Programme : This programme actively engages young people in the up-keep of our environment and the conservation of our natural resources. Youth are also trained on and charged with educating their peers on climate change impacts and actions that can benefit current and future generations. This programme comprises a number of initiatives that tackle issues both on land and sea, each of which actively engage volunteers, youth groups and a number of key partner agencies.

The Youth 4 The Environment Programme is led by Mr. Steven Gilbert.

Youth Month: Youth Month occurs annually in St Kitts during the month of November and comprises a series of initiatives that provide our collective society an opportunity to recognise and celebrate our youth for their energies, talents, achievements and contribution. The month also allows for greater focus on our youth while encouraging and facilitating greater youth empowerment through engagement across numerous disciplines. Stakeholders are encouraged to develop and execute their own initiatives in celebration of youth month.

DYE Youth Month initiatives are led by various youth officers.

25 Most Remarkable Teens Programme: See Theme 3 outline.

Youth Service Reception and Awards: This initiative serves to recognize and express appreciation to our valued partners who were integral to the success of the Department’s programming during the year. The initiative also offers special recognition and commendations to the most outstanding stakeholders in youth development for the year.

A team of officers and volunteers led by Ms Sharon Cannonier is responsible for this initiative.

Youth Worker Capacity Development: This programme is designed to build the capacities of Youth Workers including Department of Youth Empowerment (DYE) Staff and non-DYE Youth Development Practitioners. The goal is to strengthen national capacity and systems for mainstreaming youth development and for the management of professional youth work consistent with industry standards and practices.

This programme is led by Mrs. Diane Dunrod-Francis

Digital Youth Media & Public Relations: This programme seeks to equip and empower young people as digital citizens, and to use and innovate ICT to improve their lives and communities. The programme comprises a number of initiatives designed to build youth capacities to effectively utilize available forms of media to reach their targets with relevant information. The programme engages a cadre of volunteers to serve media needs of the Department of Youth Empowerment and key partners.

This programme is led by Ms. Suelika Creque.

Our core Values

Our actions with and for young people in St Kitts and with key stakeholders and partners at all levels are governed by the following key values and principles:

1. Integrity: Our work with all stakeholders is values-based and ethics based. We will do the right things always, and work to uphold and protect the rights of young people as human rights.

2. Good Governance: – We will work to be relied on as sound, dependable and trust-worthy and adapt our internal systems and strategic interventions with all publics on this basis.

3. Accountability/Responsibility: We hold ourselves answerable to young people and stakeholders in public sector, private sector and civil society. In all efforts, we will implement robust procedures and strategies that guarantee transparency and efficiency.

4. Knowledge and Learning: This is our commitment to being a learning organisation that works to refresh our skills and competencies to ensure quality and cutting edge knowledge, competencies and good practice to produce maximum impact for young people

5. Continuous Improvement: We will continue to assess and improve our professional work in youth development, and hone our people and communication skills in an effort to remain relevant and timely.

6. Effectiveness: Our brand will be associated with effectiveness- producing quality outcomes and maximum impacts, consistently.

7. Respect: We recognize the equality of place and worth of our young people and embrace their dynamic talents and assets in shaping our work. We respect the diversity and the unique advantage of all our stakeholders as indispensable to our work.

8. Trust: We will execute our mandate in the advancement of youth with compassion, loyalty, and honesty, deeply mindful of how pivotal privacy and confidentiality are as pillars of all trust-based relationships.

9. Cooperation: The Department believes that the practice of youth work lies in strong cooperation with partners and allies at all levels in communities, families and varying institutions across St Kitts. We welcome the chance to work as a flexible and reliable partner in the development and empowerment of our youth.