???Family Pressure??? Major Obstacle For Young People

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Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo (FP)??

Young Barbadians have identified "family pressures" as one of their major challenges.

This revelation has come from Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who said they further pinpointed absentee fathers, domestic violence, poor parenting and the lack of an emotional support system as areas of concern.

She made the comments last evening while addressing the National Youth Awards Ceremony at Hilton Barbados.

Dr. Byer Suckoo told the audience some young people lamented that they were sometimes left to be socialised by their peers, and it had led to deviant behaviour. "One response to this concern is a 13-week television series called "Building Bridges" – a

programme that seeks to ascertain the perspective of teenagers and their role in the family, community and as members of society.

"Families function to nurture and protect youth, and when families break down, the persons most affected are the youth. For this reason, we have a responsibility to ensure our young people are raised in stable environments," she stated.

The Minister added that the Family Department was continuing its research in an effort to determine what further initiatives were needed in the area, so as to complement and provide feedback to the Parent Education Support Programme. However, she reminded all present that the protection of families and youth was not a role for Government alone, but it should engage the attention of the social partnership and all members of society.

She promised that her Ministry would continue to seek to ascertain the needs of the youth and disclosed that the Youth Development Programme’s sports training module would commence shortly at several communities across the island and offer a wide range of disciplines.

Dr. Byer Suckoo praised the nominees and awardees, stating that they had all found ways to contribute to their society and she encouraged them not to let any obstacle or inhibition prevent them from striving for success.

"You are to grasp all opportunities that present themselves because an opportunity lost may never be regained… Quitting is not an idea to be entertained in this competitive global environment. The reality is, your inner desire to succeed will be the only thing you have to sustain you in the difficult and testing times of life," she said.

Twelve special acknowledgement prizes and six national awards were presented during the ceremony.

saustin@barbados.gov.bb

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