Hundreds of Barbadians living here and abroad are expected to converge at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC) next week to attend the Barbados Network Consultation (BNC) 2016, also known as the Diaspora Conference.
The biennially-held conference will take place from Wednesday, August 3, to Friday, August 5, under the theme: One Nation, One Family – Celebrating 50 Years of Independence – Shaping Global Citizens. It is designed to allow Barbadians at home and abroad to network and contribute to the overall development of Barbados.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, told the Barbados Government Information Service that the conference was expected to provide an opportunity for the interaction of Barbadians and friends of Barbados, to allow them to share ideas, solve problems and build partnerships.
She added that the conference would also be used to commemorate Barbados’ 50th Anniversary of Independence and that a period of time would be set aside for reflection.
“One of the early things in the conference will be a multimedia presentation which allows us to celebrate being Barbadian and to capture, using multimedia, etc., many aspects of Barbadian life. It will set the tone of the conference,” she stated.
The Minister also highlighted a session on philanthropy. “There will be discussions on how best to structure oneself in terms of philanthropic activity [and] there will be a dialogue on how persons could best prepare themselves to access and utilise the resources that are mobilised on a voluntary basis and in a philanthropic way.
“One of the critical issues that Barbados has to wrap its head around is the issue of regulation. A charities commission is something that is envisaged; it is something that I certainly promote and it is consistent with Government’s efforts to maximise transparency and good governance in all aspects of Barbadian life,” Senator McClean explained.
The BNC’s opening ceremony will be held at the LESC on Wednesday, August 3, at 9:00 a.m. The feature address will be given by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, while Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean; and Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, will also deliver remarks.
Prior to the official opening ceremony, there will be a church service on Sunday, July 31, at the Cathedral Church of St. Michael and All Angels. Other activities during the BNC include a Youth Career Showcase, a Bajan Rum Café, a Genealogy Extravaganza, a cultural heritage bus tour and a screening of local films.