Participants in The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award made an extra effort to give back to their community on National Youth Volunteer Day 2018; one of the key events in National Youth Week 2018.
Participants pursuing all three levels – bronze, silver and gold – took to work in some form to assist others on Tuesday. The Barbados Poppy League was one of the direct beneficiaries as participants at Deighton Griffith Secondary School, Queen’s College, The St Michael School and Graydon Sealy Secondary School assembled poppies.
The small familiar flowers are a symbol of the sacrifices made by those in the military on behalf of the island. As Remembrance Day approaches in November, there will be a financial appeal using the poppies to collect funds to assist those retired soldiers most in need.
Renee Forde, a gold participant from the Graydon Sealy group, was at the Main Guard on Tuesday helping with assembly work. In addition to keeping you busy, she commented that volunteering is fun, and exciting to help people in need.
Giving service to others comes naturally to ‘dukers’. Every participant in the programme must do at least one hour of voluntary service each week and even after completing the Award, many award holders continue volunteering.
The programme is facilitated by volunteers who mentor young people as they pursue the Awards. In 2017, these volunteers helped 77 young people to earn awards. While 1,365 service hours were logged by participants in Barbados in 2017, this is merely a portion of the total as participants often volunteer for events outside of their core service activities.
The Award is dedicated to providing young Barbadians with chances to engage with their community and make a difference in the world around them.