Minister of Labour, Colin Jordan chatting with executives of Rotary. From left to right are President (Barbados West), Jean St. John; Assistant Governor, Senator Lisa Cummins; District Governor, Trevor Blake; President of the Rotary Club of Barbados, Peter Williams and President (Barbados South), Brian Robinson. (GP)

Government is looking to better facilitate the Third Sector this year through reaching out to established charities such as the Rotary Club of Barbados, to partner in the effort.

This was emphasized recently when District Governor of the Rotary, Trevor Blake, paid a courtesy call on Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, at the Warrens Office Complex.

Mr. Blake was accompanied by Assistant Governor of Rotary, Senator Lisa Cummins, President of Rotary (Barbados South), Brian Robinson; President of Rotary (Barbados West) Jean St. John; and President of the Rotary Club of Barbados, Peter Williams.

Mr. Blake noted that he was the Governor of District 7030, which stretches from St. Kitts down south to the Guianas. 

Adding that he was essentially the representative for Rotary International Board of Directors, he said the District comprised 17 countries including the ABC islands, and has a total of 72 Rotary clubs.

Stating that his role was to ensure everything ran smoothly, the District Governor added that his job was to oversee and support. “Our job really is to support our clubs, making sure the clubs can do what they are meant to do, which is to serve their communities.”

Minister Jordan, in commending the work of the service club, said Government would be seeking assistance from such entities, as it looks to be more facilitatory and deeply involved in building civil society organizations (CSOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and community-based organizations that comprise the sector.

He added Government would be addressing among other things, capacity building, accountability and their governance structures.

The Labour Minister said: “One of the mandates we have is capacity building.  We recognize that government cannot do for a society everything that needs to be done, even in the best of times, and we are not in the best of times.  We are getting back there; we’re on course to do it. But even in the best of times, government is never going to be able to do everything that needs to be done.

Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan greets District Governor of the Rotary, Trevor Blake, at their recent courtesy call at the Warrens Office Complex. (GP)

“So, the model that you Rotarians have we would want to benefit from as it relates to doing training for Third Sector organizations in order to help them, and … that peer relationship is often more beneficial than someone from government trying to impose …. Government does not have a lot of money so we will be … asking for your assistance.”

Mr. Jordan said that government’s efforts to engage Rotary was also about assisting CSOs and NGOs with issues of financing and legislation, since several organizations lacked the capacity to write proposals and had little knowledge of legislation that govern different aspects of their operations. 

He noted too that government would aid them with the necessary audits and reviews and develop a register of these organizations.

Mr. Blake welcomed the potential partnership and highlighted the strength of Rotary in serving the community. 

He said: “We are the oldest and we’d like to think the most impactful, and increasingly we are doing a lot to partner with other organizations. We like to think that we make the biggest impact with 1.2 million persons across the globe and some 34,000 clubs in every region of the world.  We’re all volunteers committed to the same thing, serving humanity and putting service above ourselves.”

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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