The new home for the Barbados YouthAdvance Corps (BYAC) is scheduled to be completed before the end of this year, Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Charles Griffith promised on Friday.
Delivering remarks at the Passing Out Parade at Paragon, Christ Church, Griffith said the nearby construction project was progressing well.
“We are in the process of fast-tracking the construction of a home for the Barbados YouthAdvance Corps and I fully expect that by the end of this calendar year, if not before, that we will be moving into a new home just down the road,” he told the 182 graduates of the development programme.
“Our target for that residential [aspect of the programme] and our target for the calendar year, is 1 000 trainees during that period, 250 per cohort. This is important for me because 2023 has been designated the Year of the Youth and you will continue to see initiatives coming from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment that put young people at the forefront. That is our mantra, that is our mandate… to ensure that we have quality youngsters coming on the scene in Barbados.”
Griffith praised the young people for their achievements and outstanding efforts over the past several months of training and mentorship.
He advised them to put the skills and discipline they had acquired during that period into practice when they returned to their home environments.
“You must be able, when you move from here when necessary, to hit delete, because you will come across persons, you will come across situations, and you [will] have to make an immediate decision on … if I should take this within or if I should get rid of it.
“You need to hit delete for all the negativity that will be swirling around you, because you have been instilled with values here at the Barbados YouthAdvance Corps that will allow you to hit the delete button quite easily,” he advised.
The Youth Minister also encouraged the BYAC graduates to stand firm in their beliefs when they seek to do the right thing within their communities, even when others try to persuade them otherwise.
“You need to be dreamers in this life if you want to achieve because persons will say to you repeatedly [that] it is not possible.” (SB)