Minister of Family, Youth, Sports and the Environment, Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo

Government has done the necessary preparatory work and a National Youth Consultation will begin next Monday.

This disclosure has come from Minister of Family, Youth, Sports and the Environment, Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, who said the consultations would be held during the months of August and September. 

The community-level consultations will be from July 28 to September 5, while the national youth consultation will be held on September 19 and 20.

She made the comments today at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Youth Programme Capacity-Building Workshop for some 30 youth leaders at the Savannah Hotel.

Dr. Byer-Suckoo further stated that the report for the consultation should be submitted in October and the information used to shape a National Youth Policy for Barbados.

“One of the facets of this national youth consultation is that young people will be engaged within their communities to ascertain from them what are their dreams and aspirations (and), the challenges and issues confronting them today. In addition, the focus group sessions with young people will seek to find out from the respondents what programmes or projects they would like to see implemented to meet their needs,” she explained.

The Minister told the gathering that the results of these community consultations would then feed into the national consultation where representatives from the communities would participate in the refining of the issues, challenges and possible solutions.

She therefore urged the public to support the young people who would be visiting districts and organisations to collect the valuable information which would redound to the benefit of young people in Barbados.

Dr. Byer-Suckoo pledged her ministry’s commitment to building the capacities of youth leaders. “I believe that empowering our youth and demonstrating that we believe in their ability to do the tasks will provide the environment for them to grow and contribute to society.

We will ensure that all of our youth leaders in Barbados are equipped with the relevant skills to build their respective organisations, as well as to function effectively at the national, regional and international levels.”

Stressing that youth leaders could go places and reach young people that adults could not, the Minister expressed the view that government’s role was also to empower the youth.

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