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OECS Youth Empowered Society (YES)


The OECS Commission, through the Human and Social Development Unit, has been working with the Member States and donor agencies to ensure that youth are given the opportunity to engage in a national dialogue to shape the future they will inherit. One way this is being achieved is through the OECS Youth Empowerment Strategy (OECS YES) which engages youth predominately in the digital space.   

OECS YES was created with the goal of fostering the development of a Youth Empowered Society. Youth of the Eastern Caribbean account for over 30% of the population of our region and have the potential to make a significant impact on it. Through OECS YES, the OECS hopes to encourage, support and propel youth innovation and development to create a brighter future for our region. The OECS Youth Empowerment Strategy targets all OECS Member States: Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint-Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Objectives of Youth Empowered Society


We have identified 7 areas of focus for the OECS YES movement:

Click the areas of focus for more information

OECS YES Pillars

Yes I Earn - Employment and Entrepreneurship

One of the most liberating parts of being a young person is the transition from being financially dependent to financially independent. We all dream of starting our careers and being able to support the lifestyles we envision for ourselves. The first step in living this dream, begins with employment. 

In the OECS, we are unfortunately plagued with tremendously high unemployment rates, especially among the youth. YES I Earn is dedicated to preparing youth to combat the tough economic climate through professional development initiatives and encouraging youth entrepreneurship opportunities.

In order to combat this trend we intend to focus on:

  • Improving employability of the youth
  • Encouraging entrepreneurial ventures
  • Connecting youth with training opportunities
  • Providing avenues for mentoring

YES I Matter - Children & Youth Protection

Our children and youth of the OECS will never truly feel empowered if they do not feel protected. Our youth face many difficult life situations which require protection from individuals in their lives as well as protection from ills of society.

Issues of domestic violence, rape and physical violence are especially areas of concern for our young people. In addition, many of our young males are at risk of falling into lives of crime. Another area where protection is much needed is in improving the rights of LGBT individuals and women. These are only a few areas of concern for Child & Youth Protection - but it is evident that as an OECS region we need provide interventions and support for our youth to overcome the difficulties they are facing.

This initiative would focus efforts on:

  • Revising or enacting legislation protecting children and youth
  • Providing support for at-risk youth to overcome issues
  • Community education on Child & Youth Protection and Intervention

YES I Move - Healthy Lifestyles

One of the most important aspects of our lives is our health. Living a healthy lifestyle involves more than regular physical activity, but includes mental and emotional health and wellness as well. With YES I Move we want to help young people focus on their holistic health both in terms of their bodies and their minds.

Through this initiative, we want to encourage more young people to live healthy lifestyles. By developing a greater awareness for overall health, we can fight issues that plague our society such as undernourishment, diabetes, HIV/AIDs. Education in healthy lifestyles also holds the potential for numerous employment opportunities for youth in sports, medicine, nutrition management, health care outreach and more.

YES I Move, focuses on:

  • Highlighting and supporting youth involvement in sports
  • Promoting healthy nutrition choices
  • Encouraging testing and awareness of diseases and illnesses
  • Reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues.

YES I Inherit - Environment & Sustainable Development

The world that we live in has been passed down to us. We have inherited a world that is suffering from the effects of climate change and man made actions. While we may not be directly responsible for the environmental situation, as the next generation, we have a responsibility to take care of the world that we have inherited.

Through YES I Inherit we want to encourage youth action for environmental improvement and sustainable development. Do you have an idea for an environmentally conscious business? We want to connect you with resources to support you. Are you or your peers taking action against pollution or other environmental issues? Let’s help you spread the word! Through OECS YES - YES I Inherit let’s work together to improve the future of our OECS.

Through the YES I Inherit movement we want to:

  • Promote educational initiatives on the environment and sustainable development
  • Encourage and support youth action to reverse negative environmental action
  • Support eco friendly businesses and sustainable development

YES I Learn - Education & Training

It is often said that education is the key to success. For this reason, we want to ensure that our OECS Youth has educational opportunities that prepare them for a successful future. Through OECS YES we want to understand the educational needs of young people in the OECS and formulate plans to ensure these needs are met.

Are you interested in Web Development? Have a passion for Fashion Design? Want to develop your skills in an up and coming field? Let us know the areas which you believe need more Education and Training emphasis.

Areas of focus for Education & Training include:

  • Providing new educational opportunities
  • Developing partnerships for scholarships and educational exchanges
  • Creating workshops for areas of interest
  • Transforming existing education structures to fit modern-day needs

YES I Express – Creativity & Culture

Creativity and Culture is what sets us apart from everyone else. Creativity and the creative industries dare us to be different, they encourage innovation, expression and diversification. Culture is what makes us innately who we are. It is something that should be protected, passed down and shared amongst our communities but also to the wider world.

We believe that Creativity and Culture are an essential part of the OECS identity and should be embraced by the youth. Through OECS YES we want to promote and support young persons interested in creative artforms. We see the creative industries as avenues for development of our young people, our identities, our economies and our region.

Through this initiative we would like to:

  • Facilitate Cultural Exchanges across the OECS member states
  • Celebrate OECS drama, music, film, art and more through regional competitions, festivals and awards
  • Improve availability of scholarships and opportunities in creative disciplines
  • Encourage and support creative and cultural business ventures

YES I Belong - Citizenship & Identity

As a young person, do you feel like a citizen of the OECS or a citizen of your country? Are you up to date with regional changes? Do you feel like you are able to make a contribution to your country and your region?

YES I Belong is focused on developing a sense of belonging and regional pride amongst the youth. Through this initiative we want young persons like you to feel connected to the wider OECS community. Being an OECS citizen involves having a greater awareness of regional issues and understanding the impact that these issues have on daily life.

Developing Citizenship and Identity revolves around three main areas:

  • Know Your Region - Have an understanding of regional issues and what part you can play in advocating change.
  • Know Your Country - Be an active citizen participating in community oriented programs and developmental programs.
  • Know Your People - Connect with individuals in your country and in the wider OECS to work together towards common community goals

Building Citizenship & Identity would involve:

  • Developing National Community Service Initiatives
  • Building Regional Connections Through Student Exchanges
  • Providing Internship Opportunities in OECS institutions and member states
  • Education and Dialogue on Regional Issues and Events

Resources in the area of Youth

Access more resources on Youth in the Eastern Caribbean via the OECS Library.  


OECS YES In Action, is an extension of the OECS YES Campaign created to foster the development of a Youth Empowered Society (YES) through support, networking and innovation


Youth account for over 30% of the population in the OECS and, as such, have the potential to make a significant impact on the future of the region. OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules, gave the initiative his full support noting the significance of youth empowerment as the region battles against high levels of unemployment.

The campaign will highlight one exceptional OECS young person 'to watch' on a bi-monthly basis and aims to encourage the region’s youth to open their minds to extraordinary career possibilities through the inspiring success stories of their OECS peers.



is an extension of the OECS YES Campaign created to foster the development of a Youth Empowered Society (YES) through support, networking and innovation. The programme seeks to recognise aspiring young persons to look out for on their path to great achievements.


OECS YES Blog features articles by, about and relating to the youth of the region. Read their stories, advice and essential tips.

Regional Opportunies

Resources in the area of Youth

Access more resources on Youth in the Eastern Caribbean via the OECS Library.  

Contact our OECS Social Inclusion and Social Protection

Aretha Darcheville
Project Manager Social Inclusion and Social Protection
Tel: +1 (758) 453-0669

Tracy St. Claire
Programme Assistant Social Inclusion and Social Protection 
Tel: +1 (758) 455-6300

Shahini Gravillis 
Technical Specialist (OASYS)
Tel: +1 (758) 455-6330

Sharon Jacob
Senior Administrative Assistant 
Tel: +1 (758) 455-6727

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