Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson is calling on corporate Barbados to give back to civil society organizations such as the Substance Abuse Foundation (SAF).
Hinkson made his remarks Saturday at the graduation ceremony for 24 people from the Verdun and Marina House.
The SAF, which has joined the ranks of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Technical Institute and the Barbados Community College as a certified institution, congratulated the graduating class of the Solar Photovoltaic Panel Installation (Roofer/Fitter), level 2 Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ).
The ceremony was also attended by the Chief Justice, Sir Martson Gibson and Minister in the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Rural Development, Charles Griffith, who is the parliamentary representative for the constituency of St John.
Hinkson implored the private sector to offer assistance to charities, such as the SAF, which were contributing to the social and economic development of Barbadians.
“We call on corporate Barbados who are now the beneficiaries of reduced corporation tax . . . not to only think about the profit motive involved in your enterprises but to see how you could advance Barbados in terms of giving back,” he said.
“The calls of drug treatment and rehabilitation of those who have unfortunately found themselves in a challenging position in terms of illegal substance abuse must be one of the areas that both individual volunteers and corporate Barbados can seek to be involved in, so that we can continue this government’s ultimate goal to return Barbados to the kind of place it should be and ought to be in terms of our global structure.”
Hinkson reiterated that Barbadians must unite to offer financial and other forms of assistance that would benefit national development. He suggested that more volunteers were needed to perform civic duties such as helping the less fortunate in the country. He contended that “strong partnerships” between the Government and the third sector were critical as the island faced numerous social and economic challenges.
During his address, the Minister of Home Affairs announced finalizing of the Anti-Drug Plan for 2020 to 2025. The plan, which has yet to be laid before parliament, seeks to achieve interventionist methods for drug users.
Hinkson says it also seeks to “continue to advance measures, which enhance the capacity of our government and our people, minimize the entry into our country of illegal drugs and to curtail the use and abuse of the same drugs”.
He emphasized that the Government must protect its people from the negative effects of illegal substance abuse while promoting drug-free lifestyles.
While broaching on the low number of female clients at the rehabilitation center, the Minister urged females to come forward and seek assistance. He encouraged them to not only seek rehabilitation but also participate in the training programmes and CVQs offered at the centers.
“I urge more women to be part of this process because we understand the growing difficulty and challenges of more women being involved in illegal substance abuse,” Hinkson said. (KK)