Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Stephen Lashley (FP)????

The Girl Guides and Girl Scout movement has been a tower of strength for young girls since its inception in 1909.

This was the view of Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Stephen Lashley, as he addressed the launch of a tree planting project at the Girl Guides Association, last Saturday, which coincided with the celebration of 100 years of Girl Guiding.

Minister Lashley lauded the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), as well as the local Girl Guides Association, for their excellent leadership, and their ongoing vision of bringing about "meaningful change with a view of overcoming and eradicating many of the societal ills prevalent in our society".

He asserted: "It is evident that a key focus of the Girl Guides movement continues to be on the serious social problems confronting young girls and women… [including] poverty, hunger, inequality and injustice… In this regard, my Ministry, in conjunction with the Bureau of Gender Affairs, is working on creating a National Policy on Gender, as well as taking action to eradicate human trafficking and to curb incidents of domestic violence."

Mr. Lashley further stated that his Ministry would soon set up a National Youth Forum which would give young people in Barbados an opportunity to voice their concerns and assist in the shaping of a national youth policy.

"I expect that…both the Girl Guides and the Scouts will take their rightful place in that forum, once it is formed. I believe that Girl Guides and Boy Scouts have an important role to play in youth development in Barbados. You are already playing a big role, but I expect you to play a much wider role," he said.

WAGGGS will be celebrating its 100th anniversary over a three year period under three distinct "Global Action" themes: Plant in 2010; Grow in 2011; and Share in 2012.

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