In these trying economic times, Barbadians are being urged to ???help the less fortunate.???

This plea has come from the Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who said she was concerned about the negative effect this crisis could have and was already having on large corporations and businesses on Broad Street.

???But, I am also concerned about the impact it is having and going to have on the ordinary Barbadian family and Barbadian youth in the villages across this country. The role of my Ministry must include lessening this impact. I believe that at this time all Barbadians should not only look out for themselves, while businesses and professionals secure their incomes, but we must all look for ways to help the less fortunate??? We cannot ignore it with the approach that the poor will always be with us,??? she stated.

Dr. Byer Suckoo made the comments over the weekend at the 2009 Graduation Ceremony and Gala Awards of the Certified General Accountants??? Association of the Caribbean at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

???? ?? She told the accountants that they could help the community understand the economic crisis, since people were feeling the consequences in their daily lives. She observed that many people were afraid that their hard-earned retirement or savings in a bank or insurance company might no longer exist.

??Dr. Byer Suckoo suggested that the accountants should use their communication skills to help people around them understand what was happening because ???often it is the fear of the unknown that causes people significant stress, depression, sleepless nights and suicidal thoughts???.

The Minister challenged the professionals not to ignore the small and micro enterprises, but to support them through training, the introduction of innovative and more affordable fee packages and other measures that would help to keep them competitive.

In difficult economic times, she explained, grass root communities across the world usually came together to form cooperatives and small businesses, which allowed mothers to support their families. She opined that single mothers and unemployed youth in Barbados must be encouraged to do the same.

She therefore called on the accountants to assist various communities, especially the youth and vulnerable groups. ???And use your problem-solving skills in the communities, where they are desperately needed.???

???I am also challenging you to demonstrate to your organisations the benefits of being community-minded. Show them the value of placing our communities first, providing services or funding grassroot businesses there. When governments and businesses alike put our vulnerable families, youth and communities at the core of the philosophy that propels us, we create a better society, not only for them, but for us all,??? Dr. Byer Suckoo stated.

The Minister lamented the disappearance of the volunteer spirit in the communities and encouraged the gathering to return to volunteerism.


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