Government is forging ahead to create a National Youth Policy for Barbados.

That is the word from Director of Youth, Hally Haynes, who said the policy would be inclusive and relevant to the dreams and aspirations of the country’s young people. "In addition, this policy will demonstrate in tangible ways the Government’s commitment to the young people of Barbados," he stated.

Mr. Haynes made the remarks last evening during the National Youth Awards Ceremony at Hilton Barbados.

In a wide-ranging address, he maintained that despite the global financial crisis, those involved in youth development here and in the region were in the midst of exciting times. He pointed out that the CARICOM Commission of Youth Development recently completed a comprehensive situation analysis of young people in the region and the report would be presented to the Heads of Government in January 2010.

The Director of Youth told the gathering that if Barbados was going to achieve world-class status, it must be the collective efforts of the Government, private sector and civil society, and the young people must be in the vanguard of this movement.

"… The hosting of this National Awards Ceremony demonstrates the value and importance that the Government of Barbados has placed on youth development and this augurs well for building the foundation for the future growth and development of our beloved country," he suggested.

Mr. Haynes congratulated the winners and encouraged them to "develop the spirit of being your brothers’ keeper" and give back to those persons who laid the foundation for independence and the marginalised and less fortunate in society.

Some of the winners of the national awards were Petra Ramsey (Minister’s Award), the Leo Club of Bridgetown (the Ficus Award), Sasha Mapp (the Bambusa Award), the Environmental Club of Coleridge & Parry School (the Hope Award), Rhea Mapp (the Conrad Hunte Award) and Andwele Boyce (the Challenge Award).

Twenty businesses also contributed prizes to the winners.

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