When the Community Development Department conceptualised the Baje To The World competition, the goal was not mainly to have a talent show, but also to enhance communities socially, culturally and economically.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Dwight Sutherland, highlighted this today, as he addressed contestants, their family, ministry staff and organisers of the finals, at a press briefing held in the ministry’s conference room.
He noted that the competition, which was officially launched in August 2019, was designed to “unearth talent across the various communities in Barbados and showcase that talent to the world.
“Government has recognised as we foster international and bilateral relations with the African nations and other nations, culture is one area that we believe Barbados can compete globally, and contribute…as one of the key economic pillars and drivers in this country,” he stated.
Pointing out that there are over 600 young people in prison under the age of 35, Minister Sutherland said: “We believe the best way to attack some of our social challenges is to go into our communities, whether it’s through sports…through culture, we need to get into our communities and address these issues.
“Not only within our youth but within the family structure. So Baje To The World is just one of those projects by the Government aimed at building global citizens among our population.”
He stated that the inaugural Baje To The World project had achieved its objectives of mobilising communities and showcasing the myriad of talented Barbadians.
The competition attracted over 332 registrants, ranging in age from four to 104, and eventually came down to 24 semi-finalists and 12 finalists.
Singing was the number one talent showcased. Other performances included pianists, dancers, spoken word artists, mimes and jugglers.