Indigo Project

Started: 2010, completed: 2012. 

The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities. To learn more please visit In 2008, IYF and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed an agreement that greatly expanded IYF’s ability to roll out youth employment programs worldwide. Called Youth:Work, this mechanism allows USAID missions and bureaus to directly support IYF’s youth employability programs and services. The first activity to be funded through Youth:Work was a three-year, US $2.5 million expansion of IYF’s flagship employability program, entra21 in three Caribbean countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and Jamaica. The goal of this program, called the Caribbean Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP) is to provide 1,100 youth at-risk (youth who live in rural areas, face particularly difficult situations, including have disabilities, live with HIV/AIDS, are at risk of joining gangs, are displaced by violence or are from historically marginal ethnic groups), ages 17-25, access to the job market and sustainable livelihood pathways that will prepare them to play positive roles within the workforce, their families and their communities. Recently, USAID approved an expansion of CYEP to train additional vulnerable youth in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Saint Lucia. IYF plans to offer two grants in each country for projects that together will assist a total of 1,100 youth in the three countries with training and job placement services, career counseling and/or entrepreneurship with a goal of placing at least 40% of the programs graduates in decent jobs, whether as dependents or self-employed. The SIMagination team will work to: -Identify potential funders to raise leverage commitments. -Draft an overall Fundraising & Leverage Plan, which will include country-level plans for each CYEP country, based on the initial scan of funders, the field visits, and teleconferences/meetings with potential funders in the three Caribbean countries, Europe and the U.S. -Produce materials to support fundraising efforts. -Pursue leverage opportunities identified in Europe, particularly Switzerland, as per the Fundraising & Leverage Plan. -Develop CYEP’s Communications strategy. -Conduct labor market assessments in each country to ensure that CYEP has updated and concrete data to help determine the economic sectors and occupations in which to train youth.