Casheda Dottin, the inaugural winner of Baje to the World, performing at the launch of season two of the event. (GP)

Season two of Baje To The World, a Community Development Department (CDD) sponsored programme, was officially launched virtually, last Saturday evening.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Dwight Sutherland, speaking during the launch, explained why the Ministry through its CDD is hosting a second season.

Baje to the World is a prime example of our intention to build resilience of our nation’s youth who are still our greatest resource, and just as importantly, build resilience in the communities where they reside. Our aim is not to help our young people to just survive but to thrive and become global citizens,” Minister Sutherland stated.

He noted that within the competition there was a built-in training and mentoring programme which would “lend much needed psychosocial support for its competitors, … and give contestants lifelong skills that they can use wherever they may go.” Communication, presentation and personal growth are some of the areas included in the training and mentoring programme.

Minister Sutherland further added that: “Participants will walk away with skills that they can take into their everyday lives, and back into their communities, which can help to stabilise these areas, generate higher levels of community awareness, create employment, participation, cohesion and a deeper love for country.”

In addition to providing an outlet for youth to showcase their talent, the minister noted that the competition would also generate employment for practitioners whose income had declined because of the pandemic; and could also contribute to the reignition of the local entertainment sector, by broadening opportunities for national recognition outside of traditional times, dedicated to festivals and events.

Minister Sutherland thanked the Ministry of Culture and its National Cultural Foundation department for assisting in putting the show together.

He told future competitors: “Do your best and give of your best. Take advantage of this chance which can put you on the right track to realising your dreams, know that while you’re achieving, you can do well, and do good at the same time. Help those in need even if it is just with an encouraging word, this will help you create lasting relationships, which can hold you in good stead as you travel this journey called life.”

The pilot edition of Baje To The World was officially launched in August 2019 and came to an end in March this year, after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry, Yolande Howard explained that: “Despite the continuing challenges we are experiencing with this public health crisis [COVID-19], our team within the Ministry and the Department [CDD] were adamant that this programme, added value to the communities and people of Barbados and set about to organise this second season.”

She pointed out that: “Each one of us has skills and talents that when on earth redound to the total development of the person, and we know that the development of people plays a major role in the development of communities, hence the importance of programmes like this.”

Both Minister Sutherland and PS Howard encouraged persons to show their support to contestants whether on social media or when face-to-face opportunities are presented; as Baje To The World Season Two seeks to re-energize, empower and showcase communities at large.

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