Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steven Blackett, believes that Barbadian youth have strayed from community groups and instead “are now assembling on social media”.
Speaking at the launch of the 45th Anniversary Celebrations of the Community Development Department this morning at the Warrens Office Complex, Mr. Blackett urged: “We need to reconfigure our thrust in terms of reaching out into the communities, because groups are no longer assembling…and we ought to target our thrust in that area”.
The Minister, however, acknowledged the work which the Department has done in communities throughout Barbados, and congratulated it on reaching its 45-year milestone.
“We ought to congratulate the Community Development Department, for staying their course over the years, and for achieving what they have achieved, sometimes with little resources,” he affirmed.
The duties of the department were previously executed under the Welfare Department; however, as a result of an increase in community activities, the Community Development Department was established as a separate entity in 1971.
“Forty-five years later, the agency continues to strive to be the leading provider of high quality professional social work and community services and works towards building strong, vibrant cohesive and sustainable communities,” Mr. Blackett noted.
He then highlighted three of the department’s programmes – the Community Technology Programme, the Community Arts Programme and the Community Dance Fest – which he believed “fall squarely within the theme of sustainable development”.
To mark its 45th anniversary, the Community Development Department will host a Community Development Day on Saturday, July 9, and a Community Contact Day on Saturday, July 16.
The department will also stage a community day in St. Lucy entitled: A St. Lucy Affair, on Saturday, October 22, as well as the Inter-Centre Games Finals and Song of the Jubilee.