Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett??

A Government Minister and past Kiwanis Club President has called on local service clubs to remain relevant to today’s youth; and he has suggested that they should seek to develop a mentorship programme for this vulnerable group.

Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett made this appeal last weekend during the Kiwanis Installation Ceremony and Dinner at the Hilton Barbados.

He opined that the greatest casualty of this country’s development had been the youth, "who no longer seek to find comfort in the home, family, school or church but rather the trappings of the foreign media."

The Minister suggested that service clubs such as the Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary and Optimists, had an even greater role to play than ever before.

He said these groups usually comprised individuals who had achieved some measure of success in business and he would wish to see them mentor young Barbadians.

"In the case of our young men, service clubs must be prepared to offer one-on-one mentoring, filling the void where the influence of a father-figure does not exist. Many of our young women need to be given the opportunity to interact with other women who have developed successful careers. This would enhance and give some strength to the very weak family structures that currently exist in Barbados," Mr. Blackett remarked.

He lamented that some Barbadians, having done well in their chosen fields, refused to give back to the community and he urged all Barbadians to work towards "developing citizens who are self-confident, resourceful, capable of and ready to play their part in the building of our nation."

Minister Blackett also took the opportunity to update the Kiwanis on his Ministry’s effort to have historic Bridgetown and its Garrison nominated as a World Heritage Site.

He revealed that the nomination dossier had been submitted to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on September 30, and Government would be informed in a year if its bid was successful.

According to him, Barbados stood to benefit tremendously from such a development; with research indicating that countries with a World Heritage Site attract an estimated 30 to 40 percent increase in visitor arrivals.

He appealed to all Barbadians to give support to the nomination process in the coming months.

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