Britain’s Prince Harry has told Barbadian youth that the solutions to the challenges confronting this country lie in their hands.
Addressing a massive crowd at Kensington Oval last night at the start of the Golden Anniversary Spectacular Mega Concert, the royal said it was up to the young people to write the next 50 years of this country’s story.
“Like other young people around the world, the young people of Barbados face challenges. You look into the future and wonder how technology will change your lives, you wonder how you will obtain the skills and resources to compete in a rapidly changing world, and I know that you worry about the impact climate change will have on island nations like yours.
“What I say to you is this: the solutions to these challenges will not come from anyone else. The answers must come from you. Good things happen to good people; believe you can make change; and if you lead by example, others will follow.
“When Barbados marks 100 years of independence, it will be your contribution that will be judged,” he told the crowd in a message clearly meant for the youth.
The fifth in line to the British throne singled out young Barbadian Jamilla Sealy who he said has a passion for the environment.
Sealy, who is in the process of creating an online map to identify illegal dumpsites, has already secured a spot on the Queen’s honours list of young leaders for next year.
“Jamilla is already a strong Barbadian young leader, and . . . I am delighted to announce that she can now call herself one of The Queen’s Young Leaders for 2017. She has been selected as one of 60 exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth who are making an extraordinary impact in the lives of others. She will travel to London next year to build relationships with her peers from around the world and to be honoured by Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace,” the prince said.
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart also addressed the crowd, which included Barbadian superstar Rihanna.
He used the opportunity to congratulate the public for their support over the last eleven months, even as he took a subtle jab at critics of the golden jubilee celebrations.
“We have had a very fruitful year . . . but the year could not have been as fruitful and as successful as it has been had it not been for your cooperation and for the maturity which you have shown right through the year. You are the best advertisements that Barbados is in fact 50 years old as a nation.
“I feel assured tonight as Prime Minister of Barbados that Barbados is in good hands for the next 50 years and therefore the celebrations we had were quite justified,” Stuart said.