Ten civil society organisations in Barbados have been presented with small grants of up to $25,000 from the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean to assist them in improving the delivery and scope of their programmes.
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, described the presentation as timely and the projects as important.
Sinckler told those assembled at the Courtyard by Marriott that the facilitators wanted projects that would “address those parts of our society that people may consider to be marginalised and those most heavily impacted by the current issues” in the society.
Sinckler disclosed that $250,000 had been allocated under the programme and while 19 non-state actors applied for the grants, 10 were successful. He listed them as: the Barbados Business and Professional Women’s Club, the Men’s Educational and Support Association, Pinelands Creative Workshop, the Diabetes Association of Barbados, the Centre for Counselling Addiction Support Alternatives, the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries, Trekvoy T.A.L.E.N.T, Bajan Culture Village, Mercy Me Empowerment Services Inc. and Afrika Hall Incorporated.
The Barbados Non-State Actors Small Grants Programme was launched last year and the minister explained that the initiative was directly linked to the Barbados Human Resource Development Programme 2011-2016, which has building capacity, promoting human rights and strengthening human resource development as its main objective.
He continued: “The programme also aims at strengthening human capacity development in the non-state actors sector, empowering those organisations to drive human rights in Barbados as a critical part of the development process, while strengthening the capacity of NSAs to improve participation in the delivery of their own developmental agendas and encouraging sustainable programmes.”
In addition to the grant, Sinckler pointed out that the EU had allocated over ‚36 million toward the Barbados Human Resource Development Programme 2011-2016.
The programme would, among other things, he said, create an enabling environment for human resource development by ensuring that relevant ministries have persons who could monitor and evaluate policies and programmes in human resources and skills development, and enhance the country’s capacity for research.
“We aim to have a method to finance all necessary training to especially improve innovation and entrepreneurship capacity. It is also expected that Government, private employers and trainees would contribute overall in some way to this training,” he stated.
Sinckler expressed the view that non-state actors played an extremely important role in the society, since they spoke on behalf of those persons who might not get the opportunity to participate in various fora.
Since 2006, the EU Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean has supported non-state actors in Barbados and most of the six independent member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States by encouraging networking among them in order to create NSA panels. The aim of the NSA panels is to enhance the participation of civil society organisations in the implementation of partnership policies and programmes carried out with the EU.