Several residents the Cypress Street and Nelson Street area have been recognized for their participation in a project hosted by the University of West Indies (UWI) and the Barbados Vocational Training Centre (BVTC).
Project Equal, the brainchild of UWI student Juliette Hinds, gave residents the opportunity to learn skills in bar and restaurant services, jewellery making, weaving and braiding from. Courses were conducted by instructors at the BVTC.
As a requirement for the completion of her Social Work Bachelors degree, Hinds interacted with the residents over the course of a year to learn about the issues affecting them. She concluded that unemployment and the lack of skills to pursue employment or self-employment were serious problems for the small close-knit community.
“Being in this community, there is a stigma attached to the community. This is a wonderful community and being on the outside coming it has been totally different,” Hinds said. “I have learnt to keep an open mind and don’t judge from the outside,” she added.
Reverend Clive Thomas of the St Ambrose Church also called on the public and corporate Barbados to give the residents a chance.
“When you come into this community and you move around and you associate with the people, you realize how magnificent it is and how protective the residents are.”
“The persons here are looking for an opportunity to make life better for themselves and their families. If we don’t help them they are going to fall back again and we can’t allow that,” he added. (KK)