VYBZING: CDB and Youth

VYBZING – CDB’s Communications with the Youth

CDB and Youth ‘VYBZING’ Outreach Programme is a platform for youth engagement with emphasis on youth empowerment and participation in the development process.
It facilitates communication among youth and with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) on social and economic development issues and challenges that are impacting their lives.


Youth Target Group and Gender Approach

The target group is youth ages 16-29. Deliberate efforts are made to ensure gender balance in representation.

Partnerships (institutions/youth organisations) and Funding

Government Ministries, Development Institutions, Youth Organisations and CDB


  • To enhance youth in civic engagement by strengthening the youth voice and aspirations
  • To promote youth-led initiatives to address high-risk youth issues and support the high level participation of youth to build youth resilience in communities
  • To engage youth in developing and implementing community-based interventions
  • To empower youth as agents of change to promote human development in their communities
  • To build forma l and informal networks among the Region’s youth that foster cooperation, networking and knowledge sharing in support of regional development and integration
  • To promote strategic engagement and social partnership with youth and development agencies in development processes


Main Activities

  • VYBZING Youth Challenge: a competition open to youth between the ages of 16-29 of CDB’s member countries on various development related topics. Prizes for winning entries from USD250 to USD1500.
  • VYBZING Youth Forum: a three-day, interactive forum to engage, inspire, and inform youth
  • VYBZING Youth Presentation at the Closing Ceremony of the Annual Board of Governors’ Meeting
  • Community-Based Project: a community-based project designed, implemented and supervised by youth. USD10,000 Grant provided by CDB.



  • Youth engagement through participation in youth fora and facilitated dialogues on development issues with hundreds of youth having participated in the programme throughout the Region since 2003
  • Creation of youth multimedia messages addressing development issues including high-risk youth issues through ICTs and multimedia
  • CDB’s Board of Governors, government ministers and regional and international development institutions sensitized to youth perspectives on youth issues such as citizen security, innovations and entrepreneurship, sustainable agriculture and food security, and ICTs and youth


Identified Issues

Issues identified by the youth as impacting their development include:

  • Increasing crime and violence in schools; the lack of guidance counsellors to manage this burgeoning trend; teachers not fully trained with methods to deal with crime, substance abuse and violence; and therefore the need for increased training and educational centres for problematic children;
  • Truancy that is driven by a lack of direction and motivation of youth and young persons to be part of the productive economy;
  • Lack of job opportunities after completing school, which gives rise to many young persons being unemployed and on welfare and therefore the need for more youth entrepreneurship initiatives;
  • The need to have continuous evaluation in school and information to assist students in understanding and preparing for the careers to which they are best suited;
  • Migration issues arising from the CARICOM Single Market and Economy and their need to find employment in other territories;
  • Sexuality, sexual activity and HIV/AIDS among young people (or among at-risk youth);
  • Living at home with abuse and domestic violence;
  • Unresolved conflicts between neighbouring Caribbean countries that impact on regional integration;
  • Migration and cultural differences of people living together in various islands;
  • The influence of American media and foreign cultures on Caribbean society in general and values held by the youth in particular;
  • Lack of spiritual guidance and the seemingly low impact of faith-based organisations;
  • Corruption in government, and greed, conspicuous consumption, and consumerism in society;
  • Rise of new technologies which can have an adverse effect on health, sedentary jobs, and the rising incidence of obesity and diabetes and other lifestyle diseases among young people;
  • Inter-generational issues and the amount of peer pressure at schools; and
  • Gender issues and the impact of peer pressure on the academic performance of male students.



Ms. Angela Parris

Manager, Information Services Unit

Caribbean Development Bank

P.O. Box 408

Wildey, St. Michael 11000

Barbados, W.I.

Tel: (246) 431-1780

Email: parrisa@caribank.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CDBVYBZING