What our readers had to say…

Barbados TODAY’s lead story in Friday September’s edition about the national youth policy has been generating much debate.

Today we bring you more comments posted on our website as our readers continue to share their opinion on the story headlined All Must Serve.

Tony Webster: This will see the light of day, the same time we find ice-cream everywhere on Mars.

V: This man must have lost his mind. There is no way I will be forced to do mandatory

community service. No way DLP getting my vote.

PObajan: If this comes to pass then the government will be bringing back slavery on the youth of Barbados against the Constitution of Barbados.



14. Protection from slavery and forced labour.

Which is far as I am concerned an act of war against our youth.

Fred: Are we then effectively saying that National Youth service has failed … has completely given up on trying to motivate the youth into voluntarily making contributions and seeing the value in doing so on their own, so now we must make them by force ….? Is this what it has come to? It sounds really nice . . . giving back to your country and all, until you realise someone is standing behind you with a stick. At the end of the day this is bullying.

Bajanboss: This is not fair to the youth you can not just come and force the youth to do what you want them do that is like pushing the youth back in to slavery. I for one as a youth will not stand for this and am not going to be force to do anything

Andre: We will make a big fuss now about 200 hours of voluntary service over 14 years. The type of voluntary service so far is wide ranging and could even mean job attachments in a firm which has a focus in a career path that you are interested in pursuing. Something in mainstream society which is called internship. Some of us would not object if 200 hours of voluntary service was a requirement for admission into an ivory league university. We would not make much of a fuss if one of the prerequisites of our university degree was the

completion of 200 hours of altruistic service over two semesters.

Really what is being asked here is to volunteer 2 days a year of your time over 14 years (ages 15 to 29.)

Delano Hinds: Anne and those people who commented in agreement with youth service you, I would like to

slightly disagree. Now I don’t currently live in Barbados as I am away for school; within in this youth service what will be included as part of the duties of the civic service.

Because for example, if it is to go and clean streets, cut bush or tend to fields, I suggest instead of approaching or rather mandating the youth to do so try and get the people that are currently in Her Majesty’s Prison to do some hard work. Start back the chain gangs if you have to, because there is no way the youth between 15-25 are going to willingly to do that, you are going to have quite a bit of problems on your hand. Those who could afford to send their children out of the country to other places will most likely do so. Another thing is that this current Barbados government are jokes and I will NEVER take them seriously. I mean I’m graduating in two years and with my qualifications I’m looking at a proper pay cheque and my time is not being given to clean streets that could be done by someone who abused their freedom and is in jail.. .DLP=JOKES

Andre: Really if you are unable to do 200 hours of voluntary services over 14 years ages 15 – 29 you may be a bigger problem to society than you recognise. Any serious, productive, positive forward thinking individual can comfortably give back 200 hours to society over a five year period (ages 15 – 20) while gaining valuable life skills. That is one full week of voluntary service a year. This would definitely be a benefit to many of our youth. Many of whom seem out of touch with life in Barbados. Many of whom after they graduate from university are like square pegs in round holes in the working environment. Fish out of water because they have not had the opportunity to develop people skills which you gain from broadening your exposure to different environments.

Darlene: If this actually becomes law my first call will be to the Human Rights Commission. This is tantamount to slavery …. Our ancestors fought long and hard to ensure our freedom, and it will be a cold day in hell before I allow the likes of Lashley to trample my rights.

Instead of focusing on trying to enslave your own, why not spend resources on reforming the ridiculous services you call summer camps and youth groups.? Driving thousands of disgruntled youth into positions within these institutions WILL NOT solve any issues of inefficiency or apathy. Stop trampling on the constitution and stop trampling on my rights.

Kira: We have to work together so that Barbados will

benefit more. The spin off from such a mandate years later will be great. People forgetting that this is OUR government, yes they have to work for us but we also have to help. Although I agree that the age range is a little wide. If each person giving three hours a week in contributions will mean price reductions in certain necessities what’s the big deal.

People spend that same time on Facebook playing Farmville and all the other crap.

And as a Teacher, the youth needs something like this to change their perspectives from being ONLY materialistic and sexual. I remember in schools being in some club (interact, guides etc) was apart of school life but now, not so much. You almost have to beg people to get involved yet they want the benefits that those clubs would have brought to them and their school.

World Challenges aren’t making government’s tasks any easier so I think it should be tested and tried before being fully implemented. Started with certain age groups in secondary schools and each year, older age groups can be asked to participate.

And nothing wrong with being supervised. Why try to implement something and not have any protocols nor control? What sense does that make.

Any ways, I will wait on that call and see if this is really real.

Btw, Community service should not be ruled out or only placed in the category of giving youths an idea of what career path they should take. Life isn’t only about that. It will build character and develop youths on a more inter personal level. Who wants to work with selfish, obstinate, unmannerly, individualistic, competitive, nasty minded people?

You should be able to contribute to some cause without it having to benefit you pockets each time. Or knowing that helping someone doesn’t always = you have to get something in return.

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