International Youth Day was celebrated in fine style as youth from various summer camps across the island gathered at the Sir Garfield Sobers Wildey Gymnasium for celebrations under the theme Youth Summer Explosion – Let We Build A Vibe.
International Youth Day which is celebrated annually on August 12 seeks to discuss the challenges faced by young people around the globe. One of the core mandates is to reduce childhood hunger and improve the lives of youth around the globe.
Youngsters at the Gymnasium demonstrated their talent and creativity. The Twisters Cheerleading Group performed a routine and Haynesville Youth Group, ABKD Arts Studio, Faith Marshall, Nicholas and Ocean, St Marks Primary School Community Band all performed creditably in song, rap dance, drumming and the showcasing of Kiddie Kadooment costumes.
Principal Youth Development Officer John Hollingsworth told participants the Ministry of Youth and Community Empowerment was seeking to grow the event, now in its inaugural year, from strength to strength.
“We hope that it is something that you can look forward in the future editions that we hope to have, and we also hope that this is the most exciting experience of your camp this summer,” he said.
Minister of Youth and Community Empowerment Adrian Forde told the gathering the Government stands committed to ensuring that the youth of Barbados have safe spaces.
“We have made a firm commitment to provide that safe space for you, that productive haven, that environment where you can succeed and be the best you can be in life. We are saying to you as young people, go and reach for the stars; the sky must be the limit. You must be able to represent Barbados as the new leaders. You are the most important cog in the development of this country. What we do here with you will determine the future of Barbados. We have made a commitment as a Government to ensure that we look after you,” he said.
Forde noted that Barbados has international commitments as signatories to the Declaration on Youth Policy and the country’s programme must reach international standards. The Minister added the Government has agreed to a sustainable development plan which involves people at its core.
“There are five basic tenants that will represent you and your future. One is people. How we involve young people and how we take care of your basic needs is an important conversation that we will have with you. Partnerships – how we form partnerships with other organizations, NGOs, persons that will be responsible for charting the course of the future for you. How we treat global warming, how that can affect your life, carbon [emissions] and petroleum-based products – those are the types of conversations we will have with you. Prosperity – as a Government we will ensure that you will be able to make a decent living in this country. These are the things that [this] Government is committed to,” he said.
Darian King and Terrell Forde received awards for their outstanding contribution to sports while Kevin Benskin, Shade Sealy and Raheem Waldron who are all members of the Haynesville Youth Group received awards for their service and contribution to culture in Barbados. (LG)