Youth charity appoints new member to National Council
At The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Barbados’ recent Annual General Meeting (AGM), Elizabeth Riley was elected to the National Award Council. She will serve a two-
year term and joins an a previously all male team. Elizabeth is the Executive Director (Ag) of the Caribbean Disaster Management Agency (CDEMA) and has more than 20 years of experience in disaster management.
Herself, an award alumni, she understands the value of the Award for young people. Coming on to the Council she wants to play her role helping to see the Award grow to be the leading programme for youth leadership and development in Barbados. She went on to acknowledge that this goal is achievable with increased volunteers, greater visibility, partnerships and more participants. She will join other executive members: Jamar Odwin (Deputy Chairman), Jeremy Devonish and Ajani Daniel. The Council is led by Chairman, Mr. Stephen Smith. Looking to the new year, the Council will conduct a strategic review in order
to better support youth to reach their full potential.
Those attending this year’s AGM were updated on how the youth programme has adjusted to continue operations with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A series of online training modules were unveiled to help leaders and participants prepare for the Adventurous Journey section. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Award leaders started having online meetings when face –to – face became impossible. These resources will help to make those meetings even more meaningful.
For the second time, the title of Most Outstanding Volunteer went to a male. This accolade was introduced three years ago to highlight the dedicated work of the volunteers who make the Award possible. The 2020 winner, Mr. Vasco Lynch has been actively volunteering over the last four years. Vasco is Secretary of the panel responsible for assessing participants on their Adventurous Journeys. He is a Bronze award holder and completed his training as an assessor while accompanying participants to complete their Gold Award in St. Lucia in 2019. He is also leader of an award unit. Speaking after the announcement, Vasco stated that one of the reasons he is so passionate about the Award is because it gives young persons an environment in which they can grow into themselves. He continued by saying that
“the Award definitely facilitates young people finding out what they’re good at, what they can improve on, and through talking to either older members in the Award or to their peers, they can understand what they want to do in life and I love that about the Award”.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a global framework for non-formal education and learning, which challenges young people to discover their potential and find their purpose, passion and place in the world. It offers youth aged 14-24 years old the opportunity to earn three levels of awards: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The awards are achieved by regular activity in Voluntary service, Skills, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey. Participants of the Award benefit from improved self-confidence and team working