Our mission is to mobilize the youths of Jamaica and train them in areas of leadership to design and execute projects that will effectively empower disadvantaged youths through the arts, culture and civic pride.
To become the premier youth led organization in Jamaica that is sufficiently able to facilitate empowerment through volunteerism in all different spheres as a way of correcting our social errors.
Youth Helping Youth!
JAYECAN stands for Jamaican Youth Empowerment through Culture, Arts and Nationalism. It was established on November 27, 2013 by three university students. There is a need for empowerment among the youths of Jamaica. Although there are macro level policies to address youth development, a lot of these polices do not readily address the needs of various sets of vulnerable groups in Jamaica. The pioneers of JAYECAN believe that true empowerment is helping young people to realize and operationalize their inner resources and environment to make their own lives better. We use the performing arts, the Jamaican Culture and nationalism to deliver this message. We draw together young volunteers from across the island and train them in our own models of social planning and project designs. They are then placed into teams where they create and execute themed projects to reach specific groups of youth. Each project is carefully aligned with our three main tenets and we try to create effective evaluation tools and intervention strategies. Primarily, we want Jamaican youths to understand the role that they have to play in the advancement of our country by helping them to identify their individual niche and working within that niche. We have recently started to develop community outlets which we call “JAYECAN Extended Membership Organizations” or JEMO. With the JEMO, we encourage youth leaders to start JAYECAN groups within their communities. They are provided with an opportunity to gain the requisite training needed through our new online certification called
JSALP which is short for Jamaica Social Action Leader Programme. The training involves tips on effecting budgeting, conflict resolution and project design. After being trained, community youth leaders are sent our official start up tool kit. It is our hope that the change process will start at the community level where context influences the social problems of the youths within these communities. It is our way of fixing what is wrong with Jamaica with what is right with Jamaica. To date we have executed over 20 cost effective projects with a volunteer part-time staff that stands at 35 members. Our extended membership is slowly growing with the development of JEMO.
JAYECAN is youth community focused, working in partnership with a wide range of organizations to increase the integration of young people in Jamaica. Through volunteering and youth led projects our services reflect the identified needs with the Youth community and are predominantly based on 3 tenet:
- Intergenerational – Through intergenerational practice JAYECAN aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contributes to building more cohesive
Communities. Intergenerational activities build on the positive resources that the young, older and middle generations have to offer each other and are an effective way to address issues important to our society. JAYECAN’s Intergenerational initiatives fall into three categories, supporting each other, working together to address nation’s issues, and learning together.
- Active Citizenship – JAYECAN embraces the principles of Active Citizenship and this philosophy is integral to all our work. Young people are encouraged and supported to involve themselves within the community and engage in volunteering. All projects are youth led, gaining inspiration from the young people themselves and through service delivery young people learn and understand each other’s differences and to respect one another.
- Social Action – JAYECAN encourages social action by supporting young people to work together to effect change both in their lives and within the community, raising funds for issues they feel passionate about and organizing practical tasks.