Barbadian youth have a lot of potential to be creative and need to continue to build on their talent.

So says Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, as he delivered remarks at a Digital Media Film Project Showcase and Presentation from students of the Youth Mainstreaming Programme at his ministry last Friday.

Mr. Lashley said the project was developed as a way to strengthen and expand the Digital Media Film Programme (DMFP) and ???provide more opportunities for socio-economically challenged young men and women to access training in an area of media and film- one of the emerging cultural industries in Barbados and the Caribbean.???

He described the programme as ???an innovative way to support capacity building amongst youth,??? and to provide them with practical commercial skills that may be used towards advanced training or entry into the video and film industry.

Mr. Lashley added: ???Today???s showcase and presentation by the students of the Digital Media Film Project is commendable and very satisfying, because the journey for this project started some years ago, but is truly now seeing the results and accomplishments in many areas of Barbados.???

He lauded the efforts of the Division of Youth in his Ministry for facilitating the ???needs and aspirations of young people??? who dared to dream about being film makers and join CBC???s camera crew and that of other video firms and agencies???.

The Minister noted: ???Just a few years ago, the idea that Barbadian youth with little or no knowledge in videography or film, could be brought into an environment created by a government agency and facilitated by the private sector, was unheard of.?????Mr. Lashley said the programme promoted opportunities for ???out of school??? youth and the expansion of a space established to support training of youth on emerging cultural industries and youth employment opportunities.

He continued: ???It supports directly Youth-IN Output 1: Culture, sports, arts and innovation. It supports a space that promotes youth development and youth involvement in the fields of art and culture linked to the creative industries and is considered a best practice in the region.?????Describing the development of the programme as ???phenomenal,??? the Youth minister said participants benefitted from a fully equipped training centre with qualified practising tutors that deliver theoretical and practical ???hands on??? training.

The programme received support through the United Nations Development Programme specifically was facilitated through the UNDP project Youth Innovation (Youth-IN): A Caribbean Network for Youth Development (Youth-IN), which is implemented by the UNDP Sub-regional Office for Barbados and the OECS.

Seven businesses were created by participants who were trained in the Digital Media Film Project. Twelve participants are now actively engaged in video and film production, while others work for the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation in production and editing and the Media Resource Centre at the Ministry of Education.

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