A Ganar leading social change in Barbadian Youth

by The A Ganar Team and Pamala Proverbs

4Photo courtesy of A Ganar Barbados

The A Ganar programme continues to be one of the highlights of the Skills for the Future programme being executed the Ministry of Education in Barbados and financed by the IDB. All persons involved in the coordination and execution of the program are very proud of the students enrolled in A Ganar who continue to make the most of this second chance and who continue to prove what was said to them at the first graduation ceremony, that indeed, “Nothing beats a try”.

A Ganar Graduation

December 10, 2014 marked a significant milestone for A Ganar Barbados, as over 40 students participated in the programme’s first graduation ceremony at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

This has been a very exciting time for Barbadian students enrolled in the A Ganar programme, which was launched in 2014. The completion of the standard elements of A Ganar that culminated in the graduation ceremony the students also demonstrated community spirit  and were involved in International Women’s Day  and International Sport’s Day.

A Ganar uses team sports to develop core and life skills  for at-risk youth.  It also promotes youth engagement in society and helps to combat youth unemployment in Latin America and the Caribbean.

At the graduation ceremony, student representative, Ramario Thorne, shared his views about the programme.  The Parkinson Memorial Secondary School graduate noted that he was truly grateful to be a student of A Ganar. It was a second chance for Ramario who left school without any CSEC qualifications but through A Ganar gained lifelong skills and exposure in his chosen area of Film & Media Studies.  He noted the technical training of Phase 2 was his favourite part of the programme and concluded his speech with the phrase “nothing beats a try.” Ramario, who was highly commended by his peers and facilitators, has been chosen to attend the University of the West Indies to pursue a short Film & Media Course.

The graduation ceremony was attended by the Minister of Education, Hon. Ronald Jones, representatives from Partners of the Americas and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), as well as A Ganar facilitators and coordinators, family and friends.  It was a major success, continuing into the evening with Barbadian artists Adrian Green and DJ Simmons who took the stage to celebrate the graduates’ hard-earned accomplishments.


Photo courtesy of A Ganar Barbados


A Ganar Supporting Women Internationally

The A Ganar programme is being executed throughout Latin America and the Caribbean by a  regional NGO, Partners of the Americas.  The programme in Barbados is special as it is the first time this programme is being implemented through the traditional education system in public secondary schools.  Currently the programme is being executed in six secondary schools in Barbados and is likely to be expanded in the near future.

An enthusiastic A Ganar Team volunteered on International Women’s Day (IWD) for the Women and Sports Commission of Barbados’  ‘Champion Your Cause’ events at the Barbados Olympic Centre.

The A Ganar team was out in full force supporting the annual community 5k Walk/Run with past and present students stationed at various points along the course, volunteering as marshals directing traffic, as well as providing participants with some much-needed fresh water throughout the day.

The enthusiastic A Ganar team also stayed on to be a part of the other IWD events (a Crossfit Challenge and a Zumba session), and took the time to chat to the various women’s groups that participated.

All A Ganar students indicated that they enjoyed the events immensely and expressed interest of giving of their services and time again.


International Day of Sports for Development and Peace

On April 6, A Ganar hosted an inaugural Team Challenge Fun Day to mark the United Nations International Day of Sports for Development and Peace (IWDSDP).  Team spirit and togetherness were high on the day’s agenda.

IWDSDP recognises the power of sports as a tool for social change which is closely aligned to A Ganar’s philosophy and the IDB’s goals to reduce social inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean region.

The Fun Day was the perfect opportunity to share in the global IWDSDP celebrations and for the students to put what they’ve been learning into practice.

All of the activities were team-based and teams participated in traditional relays and even a game of ‘extra points’ football to end the day on a high note.

The grand prize, being crowned Champions and receiving the Team Challenge Trophy, was highly sought after by all but in the end, St. Leonards Boys’ School won the title, with Parkinson Memorial Secondary School bringing home the runner’s up prize, and Frederick Smith Secondary School placing third.



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