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Department of Youth

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The Department of Youth Affairs (DYA) is the managing body for youth advocacy in Tobago. We are charged with facilitating an enabling environment for the holistic development of youth on the island. Tobago contains approximately 20,000 young people between the ages of 12-29.

We consult and partner with young people and youth stakeholders to address youth development matters in the following areas: policy development, conceptualising and implementing programmes, interventions and services.

The main functions of the Department of Youth Affairs are:

  • Planning, implementing, managing, assessing and monitoring of youth development procedures
  • Fostering youth involvement in development processes
  • Coordinating and monitoring youth-led initiatives

The objectives of the Department and sustainable development will be achieved through the Division’s various programmes by:

  1. Empowering youth through the Youth Policy, Youth Programme and other initiatives.
  2. Supporting youth-interest groups and organisations

The relationship between the Comprehensive Economic Development Plan (CEDP) 2013-2017 and the Division’s Strategic Mandate is presented below.

CDEP Priority Area V

Social Development and Resilience

GOAL: To improve the quality of life of young people in Tobago and ensure that they are empowered to function to the best of their abilities, through the provision of access to high quality youth-focused services and development programmes.


The Department of Youth Affairs consists of three units and they are as follows:

District Servicing Unit

The District Servicing Unit has served 100 registered and unregistered youth-focused and youth-led organisations across the island of Tobago. This unit facilitates the development of young persons by encouraging their involvement and participation in avenues such as:

  • Youth Organizations
  • Training
  • Governance and Leadership
  • Youth and Community Activities
  • Youth Council
  • Resilience Building programmes
  • School to work transition programmes

To effectively serve all young persons across Tobago, the unit has divided the island’s community into regions, districts and zones, with specific Youth Auxiliary Officers at various levels having responsibility to address the needs in the various areas.

Youth Development Centres

We have four Youth Development Centres established at Bethel, Signal Hill, Castara and Pembroke which further serve as youth friendly spaces. In this environment, young people can participate in programmes that facilitate the development of life skills and intellectual stimulation. The centres also provide leisure and recreational activities for young persons in the communities.

Tobago Youth Development Institute (TYDI)

The TYDI is responsible for the training, research, development, monitoring and evaluation of all programming within the organisation as well as externally with our stakeholders.

Programme Implementation Unit (PIU)

This unit is charged with executing large scale programmes and public education drives.

Youth Policy

The Department of Youth is guided by the National Youth Policy. Learn more about our vision for youth as outlined in the National Youth Policy. Policy can be found here: