The outstanding work of non-governmental organisations (NGO) in the development of society has come in for high praise from a senior government official.

Manager of the Public Investment Unit in the Ministry of Finance, Seibert Frederick, heaped accolades on the sector yesterday, during the official launch of the NGO Management Certificate Programme at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus, the Pine, St. Michael.

Despite the work of political parties and trade unions following the 1937 riots, Mr. Frederick stressed that the NGO movement had also made its mark in society with "little or no help from the resources of the state".

"It is, therefore, timely that this effort is provided by the European Union, through the instrument of grant facility to offer training in the management of NGO’s.?? We…wish to express our sincere gratitude to the European Union for this fine gesture especially in the most difficult economic and financial times," Mr. Frederick noted.

Meanwhile, Head of the Social Development Section at the European Union, Zissimos Vergos, stressed that even though the EU had been facing some challenges, the institution would be supporting the Human Resource Development Strategy over the next five years, to the tune of $130 million.

"We believe that human resource development is the answer to the future of this country and we are very happy and privileged to be part of it..," he added.

Mr. Vergos noted that the course, which was made possible through a public/private partnership, would result in greater empowering of the society.

Po-Vice Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Open Campus, Professor Hazel Simmons McDonald, described the programme as timely and a testimony to the value of partnerships.

"Our collaboration in bringing this programme to reality can contribute meaningfully not only to your personal and professional development, but more broadly, to the further development of the organisations with which you are associated with and also to the social development of the communities in which you work…,"?? she underlined.

Twenty one students will be undertaking the one-year certificate programme which is being offered in collaboration with the Barbados Government, the UWI Open Campus and the Non-State Actors Panel.

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