Culture, Sports and Youth Minister, Stephen Lashley in discussion with Development Executive for??WAGGGS, Rebecca Tye,?? (right) while Chief Commissioner of the Girl Guides Association of Barbados, Ruth Parris??looks on. (A.Gaskin/BGIS)

A call has gone out to the Girl Guides Association of Barbados to work with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth in implementing a National Youth Policy and restoring the National Youth Forum.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, made this appeal during a recent courtesy call from Development Executive for the Western Hemisphere of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), Rebecca Tye, at his ministry’s headquarters at Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael.

Lauding the work of the Girl Guides in Barbados and throughout the world, Mr. Lashley said his ministry considered the Association to be an invaluable partner, and one which was critical to youth development.

"The National Youth Policy, which is now in the implementation stage, is government’s key strategy to facilitate the development of this island’s youth.?? The National Youth Forum gives young persons a platform to discuss national issues affecting them such as unemployment, health and culture," the Minister noted.

"You have a catchment of youth and the Ministry is seeking to penetrate communities in an effort to reduce crime, violence and develop positive persons. We cannot do this alone.?? You are a voluntary organisation, we can work together to create a synergy based on what we both do well.?? Let us achieve our goals together," he said.

Ms. Rebeeca Tye, indicated that the objectives of the National Youth Forum were "in line" with the objectives of the international association.?? She confirmed that WAGGGS and the local Girls Guides group were keen to strengthen their relationship with the Ministry, particularly since the organisation partnered with the United Nations to accomplish selected Millennium Development Goals.

While in Barbados, the WAGGS Development Executive conducted training sessions with the Executive Committee of the local Girl Guides Association, as well as a very interactive leadership session with rangers between the ages of 15 to 25.

She outlined that the national association was seeing a decline in the number of rangers between the ages of 15 and 25.?? She said it was hoped that the "cadre of youth will increase in this area", adding there were numerous benefits to be derived from the Girl Guides Association of Barbados and encouraging the Ministry to be a part of its 95th Anniversary.??

Chief Commissioner of the Girl Guides Association of Barbados, and Chairman of the Caribbean Link, Ruth Parris, Member of the Western Hemisphere Committee, Grace-Anne Crichlow and International Commissioner of the Girl Guides Association of Barbados, Kurlyne Alleyne, were also present.??

Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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