Strengthening Support for Salvadoran Youth through Local Policies
One way in which USAID Bridges to Employment works to improve the long-term training and employment opportunities for youth in El Salvador is by collaborating with national and local government entities to incorporate support for vulnerable youth and other marginalized groups into public laws and policies. Following the successful joint efforts of USAID Bridges to Employment and the Instituto Nacional de la Juventud (INJUVE) to assist Ciudad Delgado and Soyapango in updating their municipal youth policies last year, the mayoral offices of Santa Ana, Mejicanos, and Zacatecoluca requested similar support in creating or revising their own policies.
During the past few months, USAID Bridges to Employment and INJUVE have worked closely with the three local governments to update their municipal youth policies, establishing new legal frameworks for the rights of youth that respond to their specific needs – including training and employment needs – in each municipality. To ensure the process was youth-led and youth-owned, the project supported INJUVE in training young men and women in each municipality to facilitate a series of consultations with peers from different areas of each municipality to gather feedback on their needs related to employment, education, health, environment, security, recreation, and the rights of youth. Draft policies were shaped around the priorities of youth and presented to the respective town councils. This week, USAID Bridges to Employment received notification that the municipal governments of Santa Ana, Mejicanos, and Zacatecoluca officially approved their Municipal Youth Policies. USAID Bridges to Employment will help raise awareness of the new policies by printing and disseminating them to youth, the municipal governments, and key stakeholders.
Now adopted into municipal law, the policies will not only guide funding for youth programs, but they will also enhance the enabling environment for youth employment in key high-crime communities in the country. Responding to further requests for assistance, USAID Bridges to Employment and INJUVE will support San Salvador’s municipal government in the coming months in updating its policy, thereby strengthening support to thousands of youth across the nation’s capital.