Minister of Social Care and Constituency Empowerment Steve Blackett has commended local and international charities, such as the Robinson Smiles and Hope Inc., for their commitment to the island’s children.
Blackett, who was the keynote speaker at the Robinson Smiles and Hope Inc. all-white charity event at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society on Sunday, lauded the organization founded by American-Barbadian couple Al and Julia Robinson for coming to the aid of hundreds of underprivileged and sick children here.
The charity, which was established in 2008, focuses on health, education and the social development of children. It helps children with rare diseases get emergency medical care, ensures that underprivileged children have access to the necessary educational supplies, and gives gifts to less fortunate children at Christmas.
“The growth or development of any country or region rests heavily on the wellbeing and stability of its youth. They literally represent our future, and any investment in a child can be used to be an investment in our very nation,” said Blackett.
Thanking the Robinsons for their strategic alliance with his Ministry, Blackett said it was the responsibility of adults to ensure that children enjoy their childhood.
“As adults, we are aware that life and its varied vagaries can catch us quite unaware. While we might have the ability to develop and employ various coping mechanisms to help us weather our storms, our children can sometimes find themselves in an unimaginable quandary when they should really be enjoying a safe, secure and stress-free existence.
“The impact of such unforeseen circumstances can wreak havoc on the young, impressionable eyes, and, without appropriate and timely interventions, their futures can be all but destroyed,” he said, adding that a child’s life can be likened to wet cement – “whatever falls on it will leave an impression”.