Minister of Youth and Community Empowerment, Adrian Forde. (FP)

Minister of Youth and Community Empowerment, Adrian Forde, has commended the Girl Guides Association of Barbados for rendering yeoman service over the years of its existence.

Speaking recently at the Girl Guides Association of Barbados’ Centenary National Camp held at the Frederick Smith Secondary School, Minister Forde acknowledged the work done by the association, which he said often went unnoticed. 

“Your work may not be given the kudos it deserves, as a meaningful contributor to positive youth development and a partner in nation building, but as you celebrate your 100th anniversary of service, know that our nation is grateful for your presence and my ministry is aware of your commitment and contributions.”

Pointing to the association’s emphasis on volunteerism, the Youth Minister stated that this practice must be encouraged.

“Volunteerism is an excellent way to give back to your family, friends, community and nation. We all have gained and received from someone or institution, therefore we should be willing to give selflessly.

“But even more, volunteerism is a way that you as teenagers and young adults can gain valuable work experience; strengthen team work and negotiation skills; build communication skills; and expand your network of human resources, in other words, build your connections,” he said.

The Youth Minister also praised the badge system used by the Girl Guides, and noted its numerous benefits.

“I think your badge award system is an amazing approach to credit achievements, but moreover, it teaches goal setting and skills building; exposes participants to explore new environments and take calculated risks under the organization’s motto ‘Be Prepared’. Your model has worked.  It has stood the test of time and all of you are proud products of its success.”

Minister Forde also appealed to adults, especially men, who benefited from their involvement in associations such as the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, to come forward and assist with their rejuvenation.

“It is through these institutions that we as a society can brighten the future of our youth, and mould them into the type of citizens who will guarantee the development of leaders for our national development,” he said.

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