The hard work of many young people and organizations did not go unnoticed Sunday as Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, publicly commended them at the official launch of National Youth Week 2017 which will be held under the theme Forging Sustainable Futures through Youth Participation.
At a church service at Carrington Wesleyan Holiness Church, Lashley said as a result of the hard work and initiative of young people through the coordination of his ministry, many essential supplies to hurricane-ravaged Dominica as well as Barbuda were already dispatched. “I believe that their response to the disaster occasioned by the last two disasters is a positive thing, because it was the young people who mobilized, who created the drives. Our young people wanted to help and that is a positive thing,” he said.
Lashley said one important aspect of the National Youth Week programme is to encourage volunteerism. “During this National Youth Week, the young people of Barbados are mobilizing and they are asking fellow young people to join them in providing even more assistance to our brothers and sisters in affected Caribbean islands,” he said, noting that it was important to be our brother’s keepers.
CARICOM Youth Ambassador, Zuwena Perry, described the week as ‘necessary’ especially within the current social uncertainty the country faces. “It is with too much frequency, that one can pick up a newspaper and see the front page plastered with youth who have been charged with committing some atrocious act, being marched away from the courthouse in handcuffs,’ she said.
Perry added that it was just as important to recognize and celebrate young people doing positive things. “The youth are a force to be reckoned with. A point which has become increasingly evident in the wake of the ordeals faced by our neighboring countries, after the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria,” she said.
“While our nation has been fortunate to have been spared experiencing the full effects of a hurricane – I am proud to say, that instead of relying on the old colloquial adage of “God being a Bajan’ and continuing as though everything was fine, our youth have stepped up to the crease and have organized several donation drives and relief efforts to provide hope and more importantly, to reassure our Caribbean family that they do not have to face the daunting task of rebuilding alone,” Perry stated.
National Youth Week continues Tuesday with National Youth Volunteer Day.