Created on Wednesday, 31 May 2017 16:07:22


Request for Proposals:
Safe Space and Service Access for Marginalised Youth in the OECS

The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition is pleased to be able to offer a cycle of community grants via the OECS Multi-Country Global Fund project to support local NGOs and CSOs who are working to keep marginalised youth out of risk and move from vulnerability and risk to resilience through funding to support three to four model safe spaces for marginalised youth in the OECS.

The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition is conducting a background paper on service provision to marginalised youth focusing on Safe Space approaches. This includes a review of existing programmes throughout the Caribbean as well as consultations with young people in the OECS.


The desk review component of this paper, demonstrated that peer-based youth programs are extensively used throughout the Caribbean as a means to reach and engage marginalised youth. There is a diversity of approaches being used that include peer education, peer mentoring and peer support. Their common feature is the active participation and involvement of peers to enhance well-being and influence positive development among young people. Existing programming in the region relies heavily on peer education for behaviour change as the core approach.

However, in the small Island context of the OECS where the numbers of marginalised youth are small, and isolation and lack of confidentiality is great, peer education for behaviour change may not be the optimum approach. Marginalised youth in the OECS frequently report experiencing rejection and being victimized within their community and when accessing services.

Studies show that providing a safe space can be key in engaging and retaining marginalised youth in programming. By encouraging feelings of acceptance and a sense of belonging, safe spaces allow youth to forge new ties with a community of helpers who can provide valuable support. However, the concept of a safe space can mean different things for at risk youth:

  • a safe space is somewhere young people can learn and practise new skills and receive constructive feedback - for those who lack social skills;
  • a type of refuge where young people can be assured of physical and psychological safety - for those who experience bullying, abuse, harassment or negative and unsupportive peer and adult influences,
  • a safe space is somewhere young people can access information and support without fear of being judged or having to face the consequences of disclosure - for those who are fearful of accessing mainstream support services, based on their own or others’ negative experiences or inaccurate perceptions and beliefs of what they may encounter e.g. a family physician or school counselor.

The provision of a safe space is thus an essential component of effective community youth development programmes aimed at health promotion. Peer programmes seek to create a safe, supportive and experiential learning environment for marginalised youth.

The model safe spaces should seek to create a “youth-friendly” physical or virtual environment, or a combination of both, for marginalised youth in alignment with features that have been identified to likely promote a successful safe space in youth community programs including:

  • Physical and psychological safety (e.g. Mental and physical safety from harassment, bullying, violence);
  • Sexuality and sexual health promotion (e.g. facilitated access to SRH services); Clear and consistent structure and appropriate supervision (e.g. guidelines for managing emotional, physical or professional boundaries between peers, and staff/volunteers;
  • Supportive relationships (e.g. good communication and counselling); Opportunities to belong (e.g. opportunities for meaningful inclusion regardless of a person’s gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc., opportunities for sociocultural identity formation etc.);
  • Positive social norms (e.g. group behaviour rules such as respect for others, constructive feedback, inclusivity, culturally sensitivity, recognition of ethnicity, non-judgmental);
  • Opportunities for skill building (e.g. opportunities for physical, intellectual, psychological, emotional, and social skills building;
  • Ethical practice (e.g. youth participation approach that supports autonomy and increases empowerment);
  • Anonymity (e.g. no requirement to disclose personal data, measures to ensure confidentiality); and
  • Behaviour management processes (e.g. expectations of behaviour are communicated and reinforced).

To develop and document model safe spaces for marginalised youth with innovative and effective communication components that can be scaled-up throughout the sub-region as a central complementary approach to existing peer education programmes.


CVC will award one year grants up to a maximum of $20,000 renewable for a second year as follows:

  • US$15,000 to support safe space interventions
  • US$5,000 to support innovative communication/information platforms and/or create and disseminate innovative IEC material associated with the safe space proposal.

The component of the budget related to the supplemental communications grant should be clearly identified in the budget. Grants will be eligible for renewal for a second year depending on future availability of funding and demonstrated success.

CVC is a community-based coalition committed to transparency. All submissions are subject to a review process and selection panel approval as follows:

  • CVC administration will review submissions to the RFP to ensure completion and determine whether the submission meets RFP requirements.
  • Next, an internal committee will assess and rank each proposal by assigning a score to each of the criteria for review outlined below.
  • Proposals, ranking, and scoring are submitted for review by CVC Project Unit.
  • The successful proponent will be notified before the end of June 2017.

The criteria identified above will be assigned scores out of a total of 100 as follows:


Review Criteria                                                        Scoring
Service Model                                                             25
Organizational Credentials and Capacity                        15
Alignment with Program Philosophy and Practice            20
Inclusive Services                                                       20
Budget                                                                     20
TOTAL                                                                    100


The complete application form (Click here for application form) and budget (Click here for budget template) must be submitted in Word and Excel or PDF.


Applications must be submitted by email to, marked “Safe Space RFP” in the subject. Applications sent by any other means (e.g. by fax or by mail) or delivered to other addresses will not be considered under this Call for Proposals. Incomplete applications will be rejected.

The deadline for the submission of applications is 15 June 2017, midnight (AST hours) as evidenced by the date of receipt of submission email. Any application submitted after the deadline will be automatically rejected. Only applications from OECS registered civil society organizations in good standing and with a record of achievement in the community and a record of financial probity will be eligible for funding.

This Call for Proposals forms the basis for applying for Caribbean Vulnerable Community grants (CVC). It must neither be construed as a grant agreement, nor be regarded as a confirmation of a grant awarded by CVC to any entity. Consequently, CVC is not liable for any financial obligations, or otherwise, incurred by any entity in responding to this call for proposals. Such costs will not be considered as part of the grant budget in the event that a grant is awarded to an applicant.


About the CVC


Stay Connected on:

About Us

Caribbean Vulnerable Communities (CVC) is a coalition of community leaders and non-governmental agencies providing services directly to and on behalf of Caribbean populations who are especially vulnerable to HIV infection or often forgotten in access to treatment and healthcare programmes.

Support the work of CVC with Vulnerable Communities    Donate Now


For general information about the CVC, please contact us at:

  • info (@)
  • +876 631 7299
  • +876 631 7219
  • Suite #1 1D-1E Braemar Avenue
    Kingston 10
  • Jamaica
  • West Indies