Minister of Social Care Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett. (FP)

Minister of Social Care Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett. (FP)

Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett, has reaffirmed his Ministry’s commitment to enhancing the lives of vulnerable groups within the Barbadian society.

And, to achieve this goal, the Ministry has developed a series of programmes to provide “new hope” and protection for such persons.

Mr. Blackett made this disclosure recently, as he delivered remarks at the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship (CBF) Baptists’ Gathering, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

In his address to the assembly, Mr. Blackett explained that the programmes offered a “higher level of social protection to our most vulnerable groups, as well as to empower them to enhance their existence”.

“These programmes include the I.S.E.E Bridge project, aimed at breaking the cycle of inter-generational poverty; Partnership for Peace, a domestic violence strategy; counselling for families through the Family Services Division of the Welfare Department; HIV/AIDS interventions for people afflicted and affected by this scourge; and other community development initiatives,” he stated.

However, in spite of the Ministry’s efforts to provide social protection for the less fortunate, Mr. Blackett stressed that these initiatives could not be undertaken by Government alone.

As such, he disclosed that the Government remained committed to forging partnerships with stakeholders such as the CBF, who were instrumental in fulfilling the social mandate of the programmes.

Mr. Blackett said: “In many areas, we depend on the support of faith-based and other non-governmental organisations, which may be better placed than the Government to provide guidance and support to the communities with which they have forged closer ties…

“Indeed, faith-based organisations play a significant role in our society.  Like Government, they serve diverse groups of persons with a range of needs,” he remarked.

The CBF is a voluntary association of Baptist entities from across the Caribbean, which converge for the purposes of worship; shared ministry in the areas of Christian Education and Stewardship; Disaster Response and Human Needs; Missions and Evangelism; Ministerial Training; and Communications.

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