In their memory
A scholarship/apprenticeship programme is to be established in the memory of the Campus Trendz victims, says director of the September 3rd Foundation David Comissiong.
Speaking at a media briefing this morning at the Clement Payne Cultural Centre, called to discuss the plans for the fourth anniversary of the Campus Trendz tragedy, Comissiong said he was hoping to institute the programme as early as next year.
He said after several discussions, members of the Foundation agreed that the initiative was one of the best ways of memorializing the lives of Nikkita Belgrave, Tiffany Harding, Shanna Griffith, Kellishaw Ollivierre, Kelly Ann Welch and Pearl Cornelius.
He said the group was focused on ensuring that “something constructive, something positive for this society must come out of this tragic loss”.
“For us that positive is that this country will be called upon and will be compelled to focus seriously on this very vexing and critical social issue. It is our dream that every third of September we should be able to announce that a scholarship is being awarded to a young Barbadian.
“We believe if we can do that, not only will we keep their names alive, but we are sure that young people benefit from the fact that these young women were taken so tragically,” Comissiong added.
The scholarships/apprenticeships are intended to cover a range of disciplines and not solely university degrees. For example, areas of interest to the deceasased women, such as cosmetology, culinary arts and banking.
The Foundation has written appeal letters to several institutions and organizations, but Comissiong said that so far, only the O’ Level Institute’s Ishmael Roett had responded favourably. He is therefore appealing to other organizations, both corporate and educational, to support the effort.
“If every year we can ensure that six young Barbadians are given new careers or life opportunities and these can be traced back to these six young lives, then we have given added value to those lives, we have said that the people who are responsible for cutting short those lives did not win.
“We, by what we do . . . can add value to those lives because they lived; we can ensure that, in the years to come, hundreds of young Barbadians benefited,” Comissiong stressed.
This year, a minute’s silence will be held for the victims of the Campus Trendz tragedy, as well as the 28 persons, including 17 under the age of 30, who lost their lives due to violent crimes since September 3, 2013.
Prior to that, on August 31, all churches are being asked to dedicate their Sunday sermons to the topic of crime and violence in Barbados.
The September 3 commemoration begins at 11 a.m. in Heroes Square, the City with performances from John King, Adonijah, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles and the Richard Stoute Teen Talent choir.
There will be a We Remember segment, zeroing in on the lives lost. It will be followed by a roll call of all victims of violent crime and at noon, the minute’s silence.