Three outstanding Barbadians who have been presented with Commonwealth Awards in 2018 were recently recognized by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason.
They are Ronelle King, a 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders Awardee; Kemar Saffrey, the recipient of the 7th Commonwealth Points of Light Award; and Corey Lane, the recipient of the 57th Commonwealth Points of Light Award.
The Chairperson of the Royal Commonwealth Society Barbados Branch, Cheryll Belle, and the Commonwealth Affairs Committee were present to celebrate the fact that these young Barbadians have not only embraced but also visibly demonstrated the values of the Commonwealth through their voluntary endeavours and service to the community.
Ronelle King, accompanied by her mother, Hazeain King, received her award in recognition of her work in establishing ‘Life in Leggings’, an organisation that advocates against violence against women and girls in Barbados and across the region. First launched in 2016 as a social media campaign to raise awareness, ‘Life in Leggings’ has since grown into a regional body with an NGO office in Barbados working with volunteers in 14 Caribbean countries. King says that this new level of communication throughout the region has increased the effectiveness of protection for vulnerable women in our society.
Kemar Saffrey, well known for founding and managing The Barbados Vagrant and Homeless Society, was the recipient of the 7th Commonwealth Points of Light Award for his voluntary service in reducing homelessness in Barbados. Saffrey told the gathering that BVHS is now in the process of acquiring a building for the shelter and rehabilitation programmes for the homeless. This new phase in their development is aimed at meeting increased demands on the society.
Corey Lane, accompanied by his wife and business partner Latoya, was recognised for assisting ‘at risk’ youth through his Nature Fun Ranch, a facility he set up in St Andrew to provide respite for children in need, while also teaching them animal husbandry and team work, working especially with horses. Located in Dark Hole, St Andrew, the facility lights up the lives of scores of young people from troubled homes. Lane expressed his gratitude for the great support that corporate Barbados, diplomatic missions and many individuals have given the facility as it strives to improve.
In expressing the exceptional pride she has in our young people, Dame Sandra noted that despite occasional negative reports, with the right kind of support, Barbados’ future is in good hands.