News Releases

EU, UWI, NGOs team up for Youth Speak UP Project

For Release Upon Receipt - February 24, 2021

St. Augustine

The St. Augustine Campus of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has partnered with civil society organisations - Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Jabulous, and the Rotary Club of St Augustine - to implement an innovative project for youth – Youth Speak UP.  The project is funded by the European Union (EU).

Under the project, selected participants, aged 16 to 29, will engage in a 30-month programme designed to improve their capacity to participate in development issues that affect them and their communities. At the same time, the programme will strengthen the ability of civil society organisations (CSOs) to increase their participation in addressing issues of irregular migration and forced displacement.

Professor Indar Ramnarine, Deputy Principal of the St. Augustine Campus, under whose office the project falls, noted: “When youth are empowered, they have a lot to say. Civically engaged youth help to transform organizations and create change through their energy, drive, and innovative ideas as well as their skills and talents. The UWI is delighted to be the Lead Coordinator for a project that dovetails with its commitment to create a sustainable and socially just region. We are grateful to the EU for their unswerving human and financial support.” 

Acting Head of the EU Delegation to Trinidad and Tobago, Mr Sanjin Soldatic noted: “CSOs play a critical role in the development and decision-making processes of any country, and they are important partners for the EU as well.  Our support to CSOs is to ensure that they have the skills and resources necessary to perform their roles effectively. This project provides a good opportunity to strengthen, in particular, youth activists, ensuring that their voices are heard and taken into account in public life.”

UWI Project Manager, Lynette Joseph-Brown, notes that “some 300 participants will engage in education and training sessions which will expose them to social development issues that pose challenges to youth in Trinidad and Tobago. At the end of which, participants will come together to participate in community engagement projects using the skills acquired to achieve set objectives related to advocacy”.

The training, she said, will inform them about existing opportunities and resources to support their development and give them insights into their leadership styles and personalities. Youth Speak UP will also offer training in the ethical use of information and computer technology as well as social media platforms.  Some of the participants will be selected to undergo training in leadership and advocacy.  In addition, 30 youth migrants will be selected to undergo training sessions which will help to promote their voices and provide them with opportunities to articulate to their host society, the challenges that exclusion and invisibility create for them.  

As partners in development, CSOs will provide the structures and the base from which Youth are able, with guidance and mentoring, to contribute to their communities and societies. Anyone aged 16-29 and resident in Trinidad and Tobago can apply. For further information, interested persons can email and visit the website at




About The UWI

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with approximately 45,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

Ranked among the top universities in the world, by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. In 2020, it earned ‘Triple 1st’ rankings—topping the Caribbean; and in the top in the tables for Latin America and the Caribbean, and global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the top universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

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(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)