Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Cynthia Forde is pushing for the reopening of community and resource centres across the island to allow training activities for constituents to recommence.
Speaking during a Budgeting During COVID-19 workshop, held at the Sharon Moravian Church, St Thomas, today, Forde said she has sent a resolution to the upcoming Barbados Labour Party (BLP) conference, scheduled to be held at St George Secondary, next weekend, demanding that community and resource centres, pavilions and the schools, “that millions of dollars have been put into prepare our people for further training”.
Forde, who said she benefitted significantly from the educational classes held at these facilities, said it is a must that the centres become available to the public once again so that residents can receive classes in various CXC subjects at affordable prices.
“I want for the Government to pursue that again, because the continuing education classes are so expensive. And to get from up here to Springer Memorial or down to Frederick Smith Secondary, or wherever is bus fare and then a $300 a term. Where are you going to get the $300?
“Let the facilitators be given the stipends from the Government’s end, so that ordinary folks in communities can do just what I did, to empower me to bring me to this level. It is very critical,” she said.
Forde said if the resolution is passed, she is calling on constituents to utilize the opportunity and attend the classes.
“Do not let the tutor have to come and talk to the desks. Take advantage of it. You don’t have to dress up fancy to get there. You wear your jeans, you wear your t-shirts,” Forde said.
While sharing her life story with participants of the workshop, Forde appealed to women to make sacrifices to raise their children, including leaving out party events if they cannot afford to attend.
Forde told the women that in order to give their children the best life possible, they must engage in training activities to promote self-development.
“I want you to become like those proud women of the past. They were strong, they were resilient, they were creative, and most of the clothing that we wore, our mother came home with her little singer sewing machine … Be like your powerful fore parents and it is not something you are going to develop in a day or two or a month,” Forde said.
Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs Patricia Boyce, said the workshop targeting women, was designed against the background that many people are now unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are in need of being equipped with the basic knowledge on how to budget, while paying their bills and maintaining a healthy diet.
A nutritionist, and a counselor empowered the women with presentations. (AH)