Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley. (FP)

After 12 years, the Barbados Youth Service (BYS) will soon have a permanent facility.

Youth Minister, Stephen Lashley, made this announcement over the weekend during the graduation ceremony of the September 2016 intake of trainees, at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium.

While he encouraged the young graduates to “press forward” to achieve their goals in life, Mr. Lashley indicated that as Government remained committed to the development of the nation’s youth, approximately 357,362 square feet of land had been secured at a Paragon, Christ Church, west of the Barbados Defence Force, to facilitate the construction work on the BYS’ new home.

With construction scheduled to commence on Monday, December 18, the Minister said: “The Barbados Youth Service has designed nine pre-fabricated buildings, which as a facility could accommodate the Barbados Youth Service and facilitate the residential camp on that site. This facility would accommodate 120 persons per intake.”

Mr. Lashley further noted that BDS $750,000 were approved in the   2017/2018 Estimates to begin the construction of the BYS’ permanent home.

“As a consequence, the project will be executed on a phased basis with Phase 1 involving the completion of the Administrative Block, the Medical Block and the Security Hut. It is anticipated that this phase of construction will be completed on or before June 2018,” he explained.

According to the Youth Minister, the establishment of a permanent home “solidifies the excellent work the Barbados Youth Service has done in transforming young people and providing them with options to improve their own development”.

He went on to thank the Ministry, the Director and staff of the BYS for their “dedicated attention” to the project, while also underscoring the need for the graduates to persevere in life, as they leave the programme. “Continue to conquer the battles that you are likely to face; never accept defeat even when things seem insurmountable. Utilise your skills and knowledge you have and stand tall,” he urged.

Fifty-seven males and 23 females graduated from this year’s programme.

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