The Youth Empowerment Project in East End announced last month that it has been accepted as an international affiliate of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

BGCA, a youth development organisation, has been in operation for more than a century and its 4,000-plus affiliate clubs serve more than four million youths ages 4 to 18.

As part of its mission, BGCA has established a programme to associate with youth clubs abroad. Besides YEP, it now has affiliates in Haiti, Jamaica, Colombia, South Africa and other countries.

YEP’s affiliation with BCGA was enabled by the Asbury Park, New Jersey Boys and Girls Club, which agreed to sponsor the VI group, according to YEP.

Under the agreement, YEP will gain access to BCGA’s programmes, assessment instruments, online training and other tools.

“We are honoured and thrilled to establish this partnership with one of the world’s most impactful and respected youth development organisations,” said YEP Executive Director Stacy Mather, adding, “We are eager now to learn from BGCA, which has empowered millions of young people to realise their full potential.”

YEP founder Dr. Henry Jarecki, who owns Guana Island, said, “As a native son of Asbury Park, NJ, I was so pleased to see the BCGA of my hometown welcome into the fold this programme, which we established to aid the youth of my adopted home in the BVI.”

Glenn Permuy, the BGCA senior executive of international support, said the organisation is similarly glad to be affiliated with YEP.

“YEP is a proven programme that has been making a huge difference for children of all ages for a number of years,” he said. “We believe that this will be a great partnership and there is much for all of us to learn and gain from each other.”

Since its establishment in 2006, YEP has provided programming and support to more than

3,000 local youths, according to the organisation.

It recently concluded its 12th year of summer programmes, during which it provided 150 young people with 10 weeks of free educational activities.