Recruits of the Barbados Youth Service (BYS) will benefit from a three-month residential programme at the Barbados Defence Force as a result of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) between the two entities.
Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports Stephen Lashley said the residential training at the BDF’s Paragon Base is crucial for holistic development.
“Most of these youngsters are in need of various mentorship, counselling services . . . I believe having a dedicated period of time for which they are available to the programme and not going back to their home environment or their community, they are able to benefit,” he said at yesterday’s MOU signing.
Lashley said his ministry was seeking to find a permanent home for the BYS which received applications from 182 young people who wanted to enter the programme this year. The 2016 programme will begin on September 25.
The Minister noted that amid concern about deviance among youth, this programme and others within the Division of Youth could help tackle the issue.
“The ministry is very focused on ensuring that we can provide the opportunities for our young people to have a second chance,” Lashley said.
Commanding officer of the Barbados Regiment Major Wendy Yearwood, who signed the MOU along with Director of the BYS Hally Haynes, said the BDF was also committed to assisting young people.