17 Youths Now Empowered Under Governments' Zero Hunger Fund

Seventeen young Vincentians have successfully acquired skills in computer networking and repairs after completing the CompTIA  A+ and CompTIA Network+ courses.

The young people completed the courses under the Rapid Training and Skills Development Programme, a component of Government’s Zero Hunger Trust Fund Initiative (ZHTF).

The computer certification courses lasted approximately 13 weeks, and successful participants then went on to participate in a six-month paid apprenticeship programme which allowed them to benefit from critical on the job training.

Director of Economic Planning Laura Anthony Browne, explained that the project aims to develop skills which are essential in improving the employability and potential productivity of the population, noting that this is an important tool in reducing poverty and exclusion.

Browne further outlined that the ZHTF currently executes three programs aimed at poverty reduction and correctly ridding St. Vincent and the Grenadines of hunger. The programs include the ‘adopt a classroom’ initiative where the ZHTF has adopted seven Kindergarten classes in six communities in SVG and provided for them everything they need to attend school consistently.

The second programme offers nutritional assistance to older adults throughout the country. Under this initiative, the ZHTF committee distributes food baskets to the vulnerable elderly who are eighty-five years of age and above.

The third programme seeks to fight against unemployability the primary contributing factor of poverty. It is under this particular initiative that the young persons were equipped with the skill-sets to increase their employability.

The Republic of China on Taiwan has provided some sponsorship for the programme. Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador His Excellency Baushaun Ger said that it is an excellent tool to help in the reduction of poverty.

The Ambassador added that the Embassy supports the project and believes that youth employment is an issue of top priority to address adding that it is a challenge that every country must seek to address.

The Zero Hunger Trust Fund Initiative is being administered by the Ministry of Economic Planning.

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