After a full weekend of Crop Over activities, Barbadians at home and those visiting the island are being encouraged to stay for the biennial Barbados Network Consultation (BNC) 2012, 2nd Diaspora Conference, which officially starts on Tuesday, August 7, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC) and concludes on Friday, August 10.

Under the theme Linking Generations, Embracing Our Youth, the BNC 2012 will feature daily exhibits of Bajan products and services and an array of activities. While the admission to the general event is free, patrons will be required to pay a nominal fee of $20 for some activities.

On Sunday, August 5, at 10:00 a.m. the public is invited to attend BNC 2012 Multi-Denominational Church Service in the Hibiscus Room of the LESC.

The conference, which officially commences on Tuesday, August 7, at 9:00 a.m., will include a speed networking session, an ancestry research workshop, a donation to Barbadian students from the overseas-based National Association of Barbados Organisations (NABO) and a Speed Networking Session for the Creative Economy.

Bajan Road Tennis demonstrations will take place in the LESC car park in the afternoon and later that night, the festivities will move to the Jolly Roger for the NABO Boat Ride – Hospice Fundraiser.??

Wednesday, August 8, promises to be quite busy.?? The Opening Ceremony will take place at 9:00 a.m., with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart delivering the feature address. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, will give remarks.

Local creativity will be fused with international appeal when the Creative Economy showcase takes place at 11:00 a.m.?? This event will highlight a series of short Bajan films, spoken word artists, fashion designers, dancers, a live band and local music artistes.??

Also on that day will be speed networking sessions, road tennis demonstrations, and the Youth Career Forum.?? The latter event is hosted by the Young Barbadian Professionals Society and will see business persons from the USA, Canada, the UK and Barbados sharing their professional experiences with Barbadian youth.??

This event is a must for students between the ages of 15 and 25, as they will receive the opportunity to be exposed to local and international careers through one-on-one discussions and displays.

At 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 9, there will be ???A Review and Preview’ presentation entitled The Road Ahead for Tourism by Averil Byer. At 10:00 a.m. the Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Maxine McClean, will moderate a discussion under the theme: The New Philanthropy: The Diaspora and Development.

In addition, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., another Ancestry Research session will be held.?? Persons interested in participating will learn basic skills in tracing their family history.?? Speed Networking will also take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. under the theme: Professional and Financial Services and Investment.

Other highlights on that day will be the Bajan Cultural Immersion – Cooking the Bajan Way at 11:30 a.m., and the screening of the Bajan movie: Hit for Six at 2:30 p.m.?? The culinary session will be hosted by Chef Peter Edey, who will demonstrate how to prepare traditional Barbadian meals in 40 minutes or less.

On the final day, Friday, August 10 at 9:00 a.m., a documentary entitled: Forward Home – The Power of the Caribbean Diaspora will be shown.?? This dynamic film was shot in nine locations around the world and it explores the economic power of the Caribbean communities outside of the region.

Resettlement and related issues will be the centre of discussion at 10:00 a.m. and patrons will learn about Customs and Immigration procedures.

Minister McClean will host a Town Hall Meeting and Closing Session at 11:45 a.m. This event is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to provide feedback on the BNC 2012 and other matters of interest.

The final event of the 2nd Diaspora Conference is the Awards and Recognition Reception.?? It will be held at the Villages at Coverley, Christ Church at 7:30 p.m.?? This promises to be a night of fun and will feature a live performance by Red Plastic Bag, and mouth-watering local cuisine.??

Persons interested in receiving further information on the full schedule of activities for the BNC 2012 should visit the website www.foreign.gov.bb/barbadosnetwork or contact the LESC at 467-8200.


Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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