Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Dwight Sutherland, presenting Hally Haynes of the Division of Youth Affairs with a special award. (S. Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

Youth, sports, community empowerment, and the Community Independence Celebrations Secretariat go hand in hand, in achieving the mission and mandate of empowering the island’s youth and its communities.

This is according to Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Dwight Sutherland, who made this assertion while speaking at the Ministry’s award luncheon for staff, which was held at the Wildey Gymnasium last Friday. 

He noted that bringing these departments together created a synergy and harmony that would make the Ministry more efficient and effective at achieving its mission.

Mr. Sutherland said pivotal to achieving the Ministry’s mission was “building a unit that is respectful, that seeks to empower people, and make Barbados the best place to live, to raise a family, do business, and to have good vibes”.

Stating that the Ministry would have a very productive and successful 2021, and its work would transform lives in Barbados, he noted for this to happen “staff must stay united and committed in order to transition and do things differently, if the Ministry is to achieve greater results in empowering an entire nation”. 

Minister Sutherland congratulated those persons achieving 20 and 25 years of service within the Ministry, as well as the special awardees. 

Permanent Secretary, Yolande Howard, emphasised that it was important to commend and recognise persons who have contributed to the work of the Ministry, especially during the COVID-19 shutdown, when they tried to deliver the Ministry’s programme effectively.

She also encouraged staff to continue to remember how important their roles are in developing this country.

Mrs. Howard also spoke about the benefits of the synergies between youth, sports and community empowerment, noting that the departments are pivotal to the development of Barbados.

“If we don’t have social programmes, we can’t have economic development.  If we don’t invest in social programmes, we are going to spend more money in the justice system managing crime, and in the health system treating victims of crime,” she stressed.

Thirty-five persons received awards. They included Andrea Titus, Peter Skeete and Elizabeth Bowen for 25 years of service; Carolyn Garnes, David Denny and O’Brien Smith for 20 years of service; Basil Boyce, Kay Stoute and Winston Farrell for their work in the Barbados Youth Advance Corp.

Special awards were presented to the first members of staff at the Division of Youth Affairs – Richard Carter (Director), Hally Haynes, Colin Clarke and Ralph Walker. 

Also receiving awards of appreciation were Minister in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Water Resources, Charles Griffith; Selma Greene; and Shelly Scantlebury.

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