Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Mottley’s call: Help guide troubled teens

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Prime Minister Mia Mottley has called on extended family members to take leading roles in guiding troubled teenagers away from crime and conflict in circumstances where there may be broken parental relationships.

The Prime Minister made the comments as she delivered the feature address at the opening ceremony of the 22nd annual conference of the Barbados Association of Office Professionals at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre

yesterday.

Prime Minister Mottley, who noted that a society could not be ignored “for the better part of a decade” without negative consequences, said there were children who were “just ambling along without guidance”.

She added there was a time when Government spent $5 million in cultural and sports programmes as a complement to that which was learnt in schools.

Now those children, the Prime Minister said, could go “anywhere” and, as a result, needed to be firmly spoken to.

“Often the relationship of intimacy between mother and daughter, or father and son, leads to that kind of difficulty. But there is usually an aunt or an uncle, a godmother or godfather who will take the role and be able to provide that guidance when that seeming conflict appears too difficult to break,” the Prime Minister said.

“We are paying the price in the way that we have to pull back and pulling back requires each of us to go beyond our duty to this country, to family, to self and to community,” she added.

Opportunities

The Prime Minister said a country could not go for years without providing training opportunities for its youth, outside of what opportunities could be provided by parents, and expect those children “to know where to go and how to go, what to do and how to feel”.

“I, through you, appeal to the parents of this country, to the aunts, to the uncles, to the grandparents, to the godmothers and godfathers that our country has not gone too far; that the group of persons who are badly in need of our guidance, our support and our love and discipline are those between the ages of 15 and 21/22.

“Many of [them] look like strong, strapping adults, but . . . we know [they] are full still of doubt, full still of wondering how to move from this step to the next step, but who would not show it, but who are thankful for the support in whatever way it comes,” the Prime Minister told the scores of office professionals.

She declared that all Barbadians had a duty to raise the “village” and “family” that was Barbados.

She also said those in communities and churches needed to step up and show leadership and commitment at every level, but also to demonstrate “a willingness to say I don’t know but I want to learn at every level”.

The Prime Minister went on to say that office professionals were critical leaders in the country and their profession was at the centre of change as a result of technology. ( HLE)

Prime Minister Mia Mottley (left) sharing a light moment with president of the Barbados Association of Office Professionals, Karen Carter.

Office professionals at the 22nd annual conference of the Barbados Association of Office Professionals at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre yesterday.

(Pictures by Sandy Pitt.)

Prime Minister Mia Mottley (right) receiving a gift from activities programme co-chair Rosalind Alleyne-Juba yesterday.

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