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Youthful human resource potential gives hope for future

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This weekend, Vincentians at home and abroad will be celebrating the 33rd anniversary of our country’s accession to political independence. Traditionally, it is a time when there is much introspection, dwelling on our path over the three decades, but also speculating on our hopes for the future. The chorus of our National Anthem is built on this theme, “What will our future bring?”, so perhaps it is fitting that the Independence issue of SEARCHLIGHT points in that direction.{{more}}

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, like all its neighbours in the Caribbean, even those endowed with richer natural resources, faces formidable challenges in its bid to raise and sustain the living standards of its people. The past few years have been especially difficult, in more ways than one, and it is all too easy to succumb to pessimism about our future. But any objective look at our post-independence history will reveal that, in spite of all our shortcomings, we have collectively, many achievements to our credit of which we can be justly proud.

While on the downside we must face up to shortcomings in the field of agriculture in particular, the areas of community health and education are positive examples. This by no means suggests that there are not still major hurdles to be overcome in these areas, but important advances have been made. One can best gauge this by the flowering of our human resource capital, the solid body of young professionals that we are steadily accumulating.

Never in our history have we been able to attain such heights-a core of Vincentian professionals in a wide variety of fields. We now have young engineers, nurses, doctors, musicians, economists, accountants, teachers, lawyers, technicians and IT specialists who can hold their own in the world. Not just at home, mind you, for in the Diaspora, there is a very valuable pool that we have not adequately tapped. Remember too, that, almost unheard of in pre-independence times, within our Police Service, we now have professionals qualified at the tertiary level, even though we are yet to appreciate their true worth.

Clearly this augurs well for our future. It is in this regard that we are featuring some young Vincentians of the post-Independence generation who epitomize the strengthening of our human resource pool. We are not especially gifted in natural resources so, for our country, our human resources hold the key to our future development. Those chosen – musician, teacher, engineers, economists, nurse and graphic artist/videographer – reflect in their various areas of endeavour, the achievements of that generation and point to our possibilities for the future.

Yet in order to maximize their potential and to permit the flowering of similar talents lying latent and not yet fully exploited in our society, we need to provide the enabling environment, to nurture, support and facilitate, to constantly be on the search for providing even more opportunities, and, above all, to give them the space to exercise their leadership. We must be mindful of inculcating a deep sense of patriotism and commitment to people and humanity, a spirit of solidarity and humanity, if those undoubted talents are to benefit our entire nation.

On this occasion, we salute our young people and look forward to their continued progress and development.

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