The Youth Facilities are community-based, multi-purpose, safe, youth-friendly spaces in which young people, between the ages of 12-29 years within a specific catchment area meet and participate in a range of youth development programmes and activities, e.g. cultural, recreational, sporting, educational, technical vocational, social, entrepreneurial, religious, health related/prevention activities, etc.
The Facilities, which serve the needs of the target group of young people, youth leaders, youth workers, and persons interested in youth development within a specific catchment area, are located in the following geographic areas; St. James, Basilon Street, Laventille, Malick, California and Los Bajos.
The Facilities are also available for conferences, seminars, workshops, training, meetings and other programmes and activities conducted by youth and community organizations e.g. Graduation Ceremonies, Award Programmes, Achievement Functions etc.
Refurbishment work was recently completed on the six Ministry Youth Facilities:
- St. James
- Basilon Street
- Los Bajos
The Basilon Street Youth Facility was re-opened/recommissioned on August 25, 2014. St. James and Malick on December 15 and Los Bajos on December 17, 2014 respectively.
Most of the Facilities are located mainly in urban densely populated areas except for California and Los Bajos.
Young People often state that there are not enough youth-friendly spaces exclusively for youth.
The Youth Facilities therefore are community-based, multi-purpose facilities in which young people between the ages of 12 - 29 participate in a wide range of activities that are aimed at the positive development of our youth.
The Ministry seeks, through these Facilities, to provide a safe, secure, non-judgmental youth-friendly space which is youth-centred and youth-focused and one which will ultimately contribute to positive youth development.
With respect to the physical space, all efforts will be made to ensure that the space is friendly and welcoming, reflective of youth, with posters and vibrant colours, and that there is adequate space for different activities catering to the varied interests of youth.
The current Programmes (cultural, recreational, sporting, educational, technical vocational, social, entrepreneurial, religious, health (prevention) are developed based on consultation with Youth, Youth Leaders, Youth Workers and other Stakeholders within the community in which the Facility is located.
In order to ensure that these refurbished Facilities are fully utilized and maximized by the young people (students and out-of-school youth), youth leaders, youth workers and civil society organizations with a special interest in youth development, the Ministry intends to partner with several entities including East Port of Spain Development Company (EPOS), YTEPP, UTT, TTHTI, etc.
There are specific benefits to be derived from involvement by young people in the Programmes, Activities and Initiatives of the various Youth Facilities which include:
- Exposure to a caring, nurturing, non-judgmental, supportive, safe, learning environment that contributes to the positive development of youth.
- Having a voice in the Programmes, Services, Projects, Activities and direction of the Youth Facilities (membership on the entity that represents the voice of youth at the Facility).
- Involvement in issues of the community (civic engagement) in which the facility is located.
- Productive and constructive use of leisure time.
- Exposure to healthy lifestyle (a Health, Fitness and Wellness focus: Gym, Aerobics, Dance, Football, Basketball, Netball, Table Tennis, Boxing, Gymnastics).
- Portrayal of the positive aspects of youth, thereby contributing to the restructuring of the negative perceptions of young people.
- Recognition and celebration of Youth involvement and achievement (Youth Recognition/Award Programmes).
- Self-Employment (Micro entrepreneurship) options and opportunities.
- Provision of a safe haven for vulnerable youth to socialize while receiving coaching, counseling and acquiring information on civic responsibility.
- Access to Service and Referral Agencies that provide help and support to youth (Health and Social Services Referral).