Young campers visit House

Twenty-two campers from the recreational Unique Helping Hand Summer Camp, based at Harrison College, toured Parliament today, in keeping with their theme Learning Through Interaction.

Counsellor Laneisha Sargeant stressed that the purpose of the camp was for the children attending to have a different experience.

Campers engaged  in conversation  with Opposition MPs  Cynthia Forde  and Santia Bradshaw.
Campers engagedin conversationwith Opposition MPs Cynthia Forde and Santia Bradshaw.

“Instead of our just sitting down talking to them, they get to tour different locations in Barbados and meet different personalities, so that they will [grasp what is going on the island].”

When asked the reason for touring the historic Parliament Buildings, Sargeant told Barbados TODAY that Parliament was the heart of Barbados, where laws were made and social life was centred, and so the children need to understand and be aware of Parliament’s importance.

Acting camp director Beverley Moore pointing out one of the portraits in the Opposition Leader’s Office. 
Acting camp director Beverley Moore pointing out one of the portraits in the Opposition Leader’s Office. 

Eleven-year-old camper Zara Trotman, who would be heading to Combermere School come September, may consider becoming a parliamentarian, though not very interested in politics at the moment. Zara reads the newspaper and her dad explains to her the news, which she finds fascinating.

Opposition MP for St Thomas Cynthia Forde, along with Santia Bradshaw who represents St Michael South-East, greeted the campers, offering words of wisdom
and advice.

“When I was a child, we did civics in school; and it is amazing that we didn’t only know about local politics, but we also knew about the people in the Caribbean,”
Forde said.

The MP believes the emphasis is no longer on civics and letting children know who are the important people.

“Unfortunately,” she said, “our children don’t know who are the figures in Parliament, especially the ministers of Government.”

Participants of The Unique Helping Hand Summer Camp outside the historic Parliament Buildings.

Forde however said she was happy that young campers could come and see that Parliament was not a place where people grumbled at each other every week, or where there was a dislike by one person from a political party for the other, but where legislation was put in place for the social and political development of the country.

She also felt that by touring the Parliament, some of the campers might consider being a senator or elected member of in “a wonderful historic place”.

MP Santia Bradshaw said it was a good initiative to bring the kids to Parliament because it had a very important part to play in our history. Bradshaw said the campers were able to relate to the information and presentation in the museum.

It was critical they understood how Government really worked, she added.

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