Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo
Barbadian families have been urged to hold on to those values such as respect and good manners that have brought them thus far, while continuing to work earnestly and steadfastly to reach greater heights.
This encouragement has come from Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who said families should "not put aside those values and become complacent in our quest to achieve developed nation status".
She made the comments in a message to observe the International Day of Families, tomorrow, Friday, May 15. This day is set aside to highlight the importance of families and aims to foster equality by bringing about a fuller sharing of domestic responsibilities and employment opportunities. The theme is: "Mothers and Families: Challenges in a Changing World," and it focuses on the important role of mothers in families and communities around the world.
Dr. Byer Suckoo pointed out that over the past five years, the world had encountered a myriad of challenges, including a tsunami which claimed the lives of hundreds, rising oil prices and now the current global recession.
"These challenges, while daunting, have not been insurmountable, and the unswerving fortitude of mothers across the globe has allowed for families to remain intact, however shaken and scarred. While this is not an attempt to negate the role of fathers, there must be full recognition of, and commendation for the work and efforts of all mothers," she said.
She noted that many Barbadians could recall growing up in households primarily headed by females, and how those women were able to "stretch" their dollar and put aside money for a rainy day.
The Minister stated that these were exciting times in her Ministry, as it introduced programmes to propel the continuous and positive development of Barbadians, particularly young children and adults. "Let the Family Unit, while acknowledging diversity, be always first in all our plans, strategies and initiatives. For it is only where people are seen at the forefront of policies that true development can ever be achieved, measured and sustained," she stressed.
Calling on parents to leave a positive legacy for their children and future generations, Dr. Byer Suckoo observed that the journey never ends. "We as parents, care givers and mothers can pass a baton signalling that while we have finished the race, we have left a true and meaningful gift to each and every child that we have encountered," she said.
She described it as: "A gift that cannot be weighed or counted, but one full of love, an appreciation for life and self, structure, discipline and the ability to make sound decisions to ensure that each person can indeed reach his or her fullest potential and fulfill his or her purpose."