Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steven Blackett, has expressed concern over the increased level of deviance and violence in this country, especially among the young male population.
He was speaking to members of the media last Wednesday after a tour of the soon to be completed multi-purpose St. Mark???s Community Centre, at Blades Hill, St. Philip.
Mr. Blackett said he believed that the current programmes being offered in the Community Development Department needed to be ???refashioned, retooled and recalibrated??? so they could reach this percentage of young men, especially in their own environment.
???Our programmes are traditionally those that are really aimed at the traditional kind of community impact programmes as we call them ??? such as basketry etc., but I believe that these need refashioning and recalibrating and we need to start offering something that is more human interest.
???I also agree that this is a concern for all Barbadians that our youth seem to be extremely deviant; however when I say youth I don???t want to say it on a broad scale because we have some wonderful young people in Barbados,??? he stressed.
The Social Care Minister noted that the facility, which broke ground in February last year, is set to be completed next month, at a cost of approximately $1.7 million. He also pointed out that the centre would be open and accessible to all members of the community, serving as offices for the constituency councils and the St. Marks???s Credit Union.
He further added that the one facility considered to be the flagship of the community centres, Parkinson in the Pine, St. Michael, will soon be re-opened after being rebuilt with the assistance of the Maria Holder Trust.