Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo (third from right), reviewing the plans for the new site for the Barbados Youth Service with from left, Member of Parliament for St. Lucy, Ambassador Denis Kellman; Property Manager, Ministry of Housing and Lands; Nicky Smith; Deputy Permanent Secretary, Beverly Weekes; Permanent Secretary, Irvine Best; Acting Director of the Barbados Youth Service, Therese James; and Acting Director of Youth Affairs, Hally Haynes.
A 20 acre site of Crown land at Hopewell Plantation in St. Lucy has been earmarked for the new home of the Barbados Youth Service (BYS).?? The area was toured today, by a team led by Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo.
After pointing to the urgent need for a home for the development programme last Saturday while speaking at the graduation ceremony of BYS’ 2008 intake, Dr. Byer Suckoo, stated that she was pleased to ???kick start’ the process, after working on identifying land for the BYS with the Ministry of Housing, for some time.??
Dr. Byer Suckoo explained that the space at Paragon where the residential phase of the programme was facilitated, was no longer adequate.??
"At Paragon we are limited because it is not our facility.??That facility belongs to the Barbados Defence Force, which they have been kind to let us use, but given the many things they do as well… we are only able to get it for three months a year," she said.??
The Youth Minister outlined that now that land had been identified, there would be consultation among the relevant agencies to analyse the needs of the department.?? This would ensure that 20 acres would be adequate to accommodate the projects that the organisation always wanted to execute.??This, she said would also improve the programme and allow for an increased intake.??
"We are looking at [having] classrooms, [and] agricultural areas. ??We think that there is a potential area here for fish farming… and technical workshops where you can do woodwork and furniture repairs.?? So, we now have the opportunity to flex our minds around it and be able to develop a programme," the Minister stated.
Also involved in the tour were: Permanent Secretary, Irvine Best; Deputy Permanent Secretary, Beverly Weekes; Member of Parliament, Ambassador Denis Kellman; Property Manager, Ministry of Housing and Lands; Nicky Smith; Acting Director of Youth Affairs, Hally Haynes; Acting Director of the Barbados Youth Service, Therese James; and, Administration Officer in the Ministry of Youth, Family and Sports, David Kirton.
The BYS was established in 1991 to create an outlet for positive activity and development.??The one-year training programme primarily addresses the personal growth, as well as the development of professional skills and self-discipline of persons aged 16 to 22.?? It is open to male and female graduates and school leavers, and begins with a three-month residential phase.?? It is followed by two day-release phases, during which participants take part in skills development, work-orientation and job attachment.??