Diaspora Youth Connect

Working to ‘Connect Youth Across Borders’

At the end of the Inaugural Jamaican Diaspora Future Leadership Conference held in August 2009, the UK, USA and Canadian delagations set several objectives. One of these objectives, was to develop a mentorship programme, in particular cyber mentorship, in order to engage youth in Jamaica towards personal development and the overall development of Jamaica. This project is a direct response from the Jamaican Diaspora Institute to assist Jamaican Diaspora Future Leaders to achieve these objectives.

With the assistance of CUSO International, the first phase of the project was launched in 2012 by the JDI and has already conducted Community Asset Assessments in each of the five participating communities. CUSO International Volunteer, Doudou Kalala, worked tirelessely on the project in 2012 and was responsible for the mapping exercise which identified the infrastructure; human; and financial capital that already existed and that could be enhanced or utilised, as well as the areas of needs of these communities. 

Participants in the mapping exercise were chosen from within each community. Utilising youth from the communities was important in ensuring that the future leaders of the communities owned the project. The exercise also increased their awareness of the assets and the needs of their communities so that could be mobilised and energised to make contributions and shape community development.

Working to ‘Connect Youth Across Borders’, the DYC Project intends to leverage human and financial resources that exist within the Jamaican Diaspora to strengthen the capacity as well as the entrepreneurial and business management skills of youth.




Help to sustain and expand the work in vulnerable communities accross jamaica by:


Activities since 2013

Youth Entrepreneurship Summit -  March 15, 2013 – Attended by 100 Youth

Launch Entrepreneurship Works - October 17, 2013 – Attended by 55 youth

Business Lab Workshops

·         March 10-14th, 2014; 20 inner-city youth trained. Host - National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD)  

·         September 15-19th, 2014; 16 inner-city youth from Trench Town (C&AE); hosted by DYC in support of Boy’s Town

·         November 16-22nd2014; 15 Trained Granville Business Lab Workshop; in support of SDC

·         November 24-28th, 2014Flanker Business Lab Workshop; 18 youth from Flanker (C&AE); hosted by DYC in support of SDC: Montego Bay

·         January 26-30th2015; 12 youth from August Town (C&AE); hosted by DYC in support of UWI Mona Social Services Township Project

·         February 23-27th, 2015RISE Life Management Business Lab Workshop; 21 youth in downtown Kingston; DYC and RISE

·         September 29-October 4, 2015; August Town 19 Youth Trained in support of UWI Mona Social Services Township Project

·         November 23-  27,  2015; 21 youth train Granville Business Lab Workshop; in support of SDC

·         January 18-22, 2016  7 youth trained from the Greater August Town Communities – Facilitated by Mona Social Services

·         May 25- 28- 2016, 9 youth trained from the Greater August Town Communities – Facilitated by Mona Social Services.

Train The Trainers Workshop

·         November 3-7th, 2014; YABT Training of Trainers Workshop; 18 persons from partner organisations completed the training.

Business Plan Competitions

·         October 23, 2014 - 5  persons participated

·         May 25, 2016 – 7 persons participated

Hair Show and Competition and Expos

·         SDC Hair Show and Competition, December 14th, 2014 Montego Bay; involved 30 youth from Flanker and Granville.

Participation in Trench Town Trade and Investment Fair

·         November 16th, 2014; organized by AIR Trench Town. A booth was set up with young entrepreneurs from Mountain View CDC and RISE; youth gained hands on experience in product pitching/marketing and social/business networking; attended by 55 persons.

Participation in ‘I AM Youth’ Expo

·         November 22nd, 2013; RISE organised a one day Symposium and Talent show celebrating Youth Month 2014 which included educational and interactional activities for over 1000 youth. The DYC hosted an informational booth. 

Micro Financing Forum

·         On March 17th, 2016, the Jamaica Diaspora Institute (JDI) and Cuso International, hosted a Microfinancing Forum, dedicated to improving the ability of young entrepreneurs from vulnerable communities in Jamaica to access micro and small loans. Over 40 young entrepreneurs and 12 individuals from supporting institutions were in attendance.

Youth Engaged in Business Ventures

·         Deeray – Jewellery Making – Flanker

·         Delano Campbell – Internet Café  - Boys Town

·         Jovan Ottey- Innovative Bamboo – Mountain View

·         Nekesha Gayle – Photo Studio – Boys Town

·         Renee Atkins – Reggae Rabbits  - Mountain View

·         Jodine Grey – Recycled Glass Beads and Crafts – Boys Town

·         Marceen Brown – Chicken Farm - RISE Life

·         Odell Marsh – Ginger Packaging and Ginger Oil Production – Jones Town

·         Ricardo Williams – Filming  - August Town

·         Sasha Burton – Production of Books for Basic Schools – Mona Commons

·         Tyrone Simms – Videography and Photography – Parade Gardens

·         Wayne Watson – T-Shirts Décor – Mona Commons

·         Delano Mullings – Fruit Baskets – Mona Commons

The UK Jamaica Diaspora 


The United Kingdom, and in particular London and Birmingham, have a strong Jamaican diaspora. An estimated 4% of Londoners and 3.5% of Brummies are of wholly or partly Jamaican heritage. Many are now at least second, if not third or fourth-generation Black British Caribbeans. Currently the fastest growing ethnic minority group in Britain is the mixed race category, with the mixed black & white Caribbean category (many of whom are half Jamaicans) being the single largest mixed ethnic minority.

One of the largest and most famous Jamaican expatriate communities is in Brixton, South London. More large Jamaican communities in London are Tottenham in North London,Hackney in East London, Harlesden in North-West London and both Croydon & Lewisham in South London. The highest concentration of Jamaicans are more precisely in the South London boroughs of Lambeth, Lewisham & Croydon.

On the last bank holiday of the year during late August the Annual Notting Hill Carnival takes place in west London which is the second biggest street party in the world after Rio Carnival. It spans areas of west London such as Shepherd's Bush, Ladbroke Grove, White City and of course Notting Hill. Many other Caribbean nations have large communities in this part of London such as Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Antigua. The Caribbean community including many Jamaicans are involved in the Carnival which starts on Saturday and finishes late on Monday. Jamaicans have many food stalls, soundsystems and floats involved in the procession. Well over a million Londoners come to Notting Hill on the Monday. There is also a much smaller carnival called the Tottenham Carnival which takes place in Tottenham during June, approximately 40,000 people attend. Other Jamaican communities include the areas of St Pauls in Bristol, Chapeltown in Leeds, Moss Side, Longsight and Hulme in Manchester, Toxteth in Liverpool, Burngreave inSheffield, Handsworth, Ladywood, Lozells, and Aston in Birmingham, and St Ann's, Top Valley, and Basford in Nottingham.