The Junior Fire Cadet Programme has been described as vital to today’s youth.
Head of the National task Force on Crime Prevention, Cheryl Willoughby, speaking at the 12th graduating class of the Barbados Fire Service Junior Fire Cadet Programme this evening at the Arch Hall, St. Thomas station, said that courses they did provided them with the necessary skills and information that would allow them to make wise choices about their health, contribution to society and their future.
“The organsiers of this programme have indeed fulfilled many objectives, which include not only teaching life skills and fire fighting skills but also keeping young and intelligent minds actively employed. These skills are indeed important to your total development as productive adults with respect for self, others, and the law. I must encourage you to continue to be productive citizens with respect for the law.
“We live in a society where the emphasis seems to be on revelry and having fun at the expense of teaching our children morality and respect for self and others. We as a society have a collective responsibility as adults, as leaders, as care givers to protect our children from all harm and to encourage them to continuously give of their best. Parents ,you have that responsibility,” she said in her feature address.
Willoughby said she was pleased to see the number of boys in the programme and noted that she “strongly believed that men are and should be given the opportunity to be leaders in society and within the families”, but they could not fulfill that role if they were jailed.
“Out of a total population of approximately 1,071 inmates at Dodds, 1,032 of these are males, with the majority being under 45 years old. This is the most productive age group in our society. I cannot ignore the role alcohol and drugs play in the creation of the many social problems facing Barbados today,” she said.
Of the 27 cadets, Reniko Harte was the Best Cadet.
He along with the other cadets showed their parents and other relatives what they learned during the programme. (DS)