Director of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Cleviston Hunte, speaking at the official start of the Community Empowerment and Environmental project, yesterday. (GP)

The Community Empowerment and Environmental project in association with the United Nations Development Programme which is funded by the Global Environment Facility Small Grants is officially ready to commence.

Yesterday, 11 organisations were selected to present their projects at the United Nations’ House, Marine Gardens, Hastings, Christ Church, for the Grantee Inception Workshop.

Director of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Cleviston Hunte, in giving his remarks noted that every person who attended the workshop should place themselves in a position to give back to the community.

“I am really pleased to see the many young people who are here in this room and to say, that you’re representing not only yourselves, but also your communities, and I think that is something that’s really, really significant. And I want you to give yourself a round of applause for that, because the community we have seen in recent times has declined in community spirit, and this type of initiative is one that will allow us to recapture that community,” Mr. Hunte stressed.

He acknowledged that Government was indeed looking to return to community based projects as a way to revive that sense of community: “In Barbados now, you will see that what we are advocating in the Government and across the various ministries of Government, is that return to community, that sense of the collective, let’s do things together as opposed to individually. And, I think that you are well on the way because I am certain these initiatives that you will provide and these projects that you have developed, will bring not only yourself along, but also the communities in which you live.”

The Youth Affairs Director also extended the services of the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme and other key services that exists within the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment to the participants.

UN representative Limya Eltayeb, indicated the project, which was launched last June, was one “which was to identify partners throughout the parishes of Barbados and identify specific projects that contribute to the environment but also contribute to the social good and social justice of their community, as well as the sustainability of livelihoods and transparency.

The grantees will receive US $5000 dollars as seed money for the start of their projects. They include Elaine’s Caribbean Crochet; Rotary Club of Barbados South; The Barbados 4H Foundation; Barbados Coalition of Service Industries; the Leap Programme; The Nature Fun Ranch; Barbados Boy Scouts Association and The Prison Fellowship Programme.

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