“1.5 per cent”. That is the figure given by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Community Development, Yolande Howard, for the number of young persons who are incarcerated or involved in deviant behaviour.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony held this morning at UN House for 20 young persons who successfully completed a five-week training programme entitled Videography 246, the Permanent Secretary lauded the successful graduates, reminding them that people are a country’s most valuable resource and when the older generation is no longer around, it is them who would have to take charge.
Mrs. Howard urged the media to make a better effort to showcase the achievements of Barbados’ youth, charging them to find more prominent spaces to highlight the achievements and good being done by young people.
“I do not need to see young people coming down the stairs of the magistrate’s court, when I know that it’s a small number – 1.5 per cent of young people who are incarcerated or involved in serious criminal activity. 1.5 percent. And I know there are several young people out there who are doing things – major things – some who have charities, involved in private endeavours, and they are not showcased, like those of you who are here today, who are doing positive things.”
She appealed to the young graduates to grasp the opportunities presented to them through the five-day videography workshop, encouraging them to “keep doing what you are doing”.
Permanent Secretary Howard pledged that the Ministry of Youth would continue to engage with its partners to be able to continue to provide opportunities for young people, and she encouraged graduates who were interested in pursuing careers in digital media to speak to representatives from her ministry about its digital media programme.
“Whatever you do, don’t sit back on your laurels. We recognize that you have talent; we recognize that you have skills and we are here to help you.
There is a lot that is going to be happening over the next few years, in terms of training programmes, developmental programmes for young people. It is really a lot that is happening in our ministry and across other government agencies, and we are saying to you parents and also young people look out for these opportunities and grasp them. Grab them as tightly as you can and make use of them so that we can help you to develop. You are the future of Barbados,” Mrs. Howard appealed.
The Videography 246 workshop was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Youth and Community Empowerment, UNICEF, and the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation.