Address By Dr. The Hon. Esther Byer-Suckoo, M.P. At The Launch Of The 2010 Kiwanis Silver Dollars For Children

On Saturday September 11th, 2010 At Divi Southwinds Hotel

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Master of Ceremonies

  • Distinguished Lieutenant Governor & Chairman of Silver Dollars for Children, Kiwani Lennox Prescod
  • 1st Vice President, Kiwani Natalie Phillips
  • President Designate, Kiwani Jennifer Hinkson
  • Managing Director and CEO Barbados National Bank, Mr. Robert LeHunte
  • Honorary Secretary Barbados Cancer Society, Dr. Dorothy Cooke-Johnson
  • President UWI Circle K, Mr. Rashad Brathwaite

I am honoured to be part of the launch of the 2010 Kiwanis Silver Dollars for Children Programme.?? I must first convey greetings from Mrs. Mara Thompson who regrets that she and Prime Minister Thompson cannot be present to share in this special programme this year.?? She has asked me however to extend their best wishes for a successful launch and she hopes that the programme reaps even greater rewards than last year.

The simplicity and effectiveness of this programme reminds me of the thrift that many of our parents and grandparents would have practiced over the years in pursuit of advancement for their families.

I wish therefore to congratulate the Kiwanis Club of Bridgetown for devising this innovative programme to help the less fortunate children in our society.

I am told that the 2009 programme recorded a collection of over $100,000.00 for the first time in the five-year history but what was even more heart-warming was that a contribution of over $26,000.00 was made by the Primary and Secondary school children in Barbados.?? This was certainly a most positive response by our children and clearly shows that this generation can be sensitive to the concept of giving, and can be taught that indeed "it is better to give than to receive".

Kiwanis International is dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.?? The work being done by the local Kiwanis Clubs is testimony to this.??

The 2009 Silver Dollar for Children Programme organised by the Kiwanis Club of Bridgetown was able to assist eight (8) local charities namely:??

  • AIDS Society of Barbados
  • Asthma Association of Barbados,
  • Barbados Cancer Society,
  • Barbados Council for the Disabled,
  • Caribbean Dyslexia Association,
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados
  • Hope Foundation
  • The Learning Centre

Service to children is the hallmark of the Kiwanis and this is a very noble cause.?? We are all keenly aware that there are many children in Barbados who require assistance of one kind or another.?? We know that it is impossible for Government to meet the needs of everyone and this is where we must appreciate the vital role that service organisations like Kiwanis play, in offering assistance to those in need.??

I must commend the Kiwanis for extending their family to include our young people – the KKids Clubs in primary schools; Builders’ Clubs in the junior forms of secondary schools; Key Clubs in the upper forms of secondary schools and Circle K International Clubs in tertiary institutions.?? These serve to expose our children from an early age to the concept of service to others in an effort to improve their lives. I believe that they serve to make our young people aware of how fortunate they are and to be more prepared to empathise with others who are less fortunate. In a society where we spend all our time focussing on individual pursuits, our children need the opportunities offered by your organization to learn true humanity.

To the Kiwanis of Bridgetown, I salute you for giving of your time and effort to help those in need.?? In this fast paced world in which we live, there is always the tendency to believe that we do not have the time but you make the time, contribute the resources and set out to make things happen to improve the lives of our children.

This project demonstrates what happens when we each contribute the little time, money and effort we have. It is usual to take a dollar for granted and you have shown what one dollar given by thousands of person with love can achieve.?? In a way, this brings to mind the biblical story of the poor widow and the two mites – it’s not what you have to give, but the attitude of giving.??

I must spare a moment for the major sponsors of this programme, the Barbados National Bank Inc. and Barbados Shipping and Trading Company Ltd.?? I must congratulate these companies which take their role as responsible corporate citizens very seriously.

I must also thank the local charities you have supported, indeed all local charities, for the vital service that they are giving not only to children but to all members of the community.?? This Silver Dollar Programme clearly demonstrates that by working together great things can be achieved.

I look forward to Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. when, with members of the general public, we will meet for the Opening Ceremony and laying of coins around Independence Square and the Inner Basin of the Careenage. It therefore now gives me great pleasure to launch the 2010 Silver Dollar for Children Programme.?? Let us give a dollar to change the lives of our children in need!

??Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you.

Author: Dr. The Hon. Esther Byer-Suckoo, M.P.

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