EU to launch quarter million dollar grant fund for Barbadian NGO’s

Around ten Non-Governmental Organisations in Barbados stand to benefit from a $250,000 European Union funded grants programme with emphasis on human rights and human resource development.

L to R - Claude Bochu and Valeriano Diaz of the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean

This was announced by Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Ambassador Valeriano Diaz, who said the initiative will be co-ordinated by the EU-funded Non-State Actors (NSA) Panel, which is chaired by community and social worker Rodney Grant. Ambassador’s Diaz’s comments came during a cocktail reception on 14 December to commemorate World Human Rights Day, which was attended by various NGOs across Barbados.

Senator Kerri-Ann Ifill seated next to Wesley Worrell, President of the Paralympics Association of Barbados

In noting that the EU has made clear progress on such human rights issues as gender, sexual orientation and the abolition of the death penalty, the EU ambassador said there was no room for complacency.

EU envoy for this part of the world, Valeriano Diaz greets noted lawyer Andrew Pilgrim, in background is Taisha Carrington

The EU continues to fight racism, xenophobia and other types of discrimination based on religion, gender, disability or sexual. There are also particular concerns about human rights in the area of asylum and migration,” Diaz said.

During the reception Miss Barbados World Taisha Carrington gave an overview of her charity, while Grant provided insight into the work and scope of the NSA panel since its establishment in mid-2006.

A skit showing what exacty entailed Human rights was delivered after the speeches, they did not look in the audience - they ribbed a member present but it was taken in good sport (Re - Andrew Pilgrim attorney, and his recent sojourn in Africa, they asked if his roots he sought were that of a mango tree?)

Amongst the NGO’s in attendance were the Barbados Council for the Disabled which was represented by Senator Kerri-Ann Ifill, Deputy President of the Senate; the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP); The AIDS Foundation of Barbados; The Barbados Bar Association; the Learning Centre; Code Red Feminist Outreach; the National Union of Public Workers; the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations; The Hope Foundation; Pinelands Creative Workshop; the Myasthenia Gravis Association; the National Council on Substance Abuse, the Paralympics Association of Barbados and the Diabetes Association of Barbados.

Popular Bajan author Alvin 'Boots' Cummins of "Royal Palms Are Dying" fame shares a moment with BARP's Ed Bushell

Preceding the announced NGO grants programme the EU in association with the University of the West Indies Open Campus and the NSA Panel recently launched a certificate programme in NGO management, with the aim of providing a pool of trained persons who will be available to improve the management capabilities of NGOs.

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