Just 19 years of age, but I have already entered the professional world as an intern at the Inter-American Development Bank, Barbados Country Office. Previous to my internship I had never heard of the IDB. I knew of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations. However, I knew nothing of the Inter-American Development Bank, far less that there existed a country office right here in beautiful Barbados. Then as if telepathically aware of my ignorance the Country Representative informed me as we chatted for the first time that IDB’s presence in this little island of mine went way beyond my years. What a shock that was!
There is a plethora of young adults out there who are just as blissfully unaware of the presence and work of the IDB in Barbados as I was before my internship. I know this because during and after my internship period and even to this day, a year and a half later, I have had to explain to clueless university colleagues and friends alike who we are and what we do.
My friends and I frequent the South coast and every opportunity I get I tell them about the wonderful work financed by the IDB in shoring up our coastlines. I’m sure they have grown tired hearing me say, “We’re walking on IDB’s boardwalk,” as I reference the one kilometre-long boardwalk between Rockley and Coconut Court in Christ Church. Whenever I hear mention of our project with the Barbados Water Authority or the Energy Smart Fund, I would immediately acknowledge IDB’s part in the project. Thus, I do my little bit to ensure that there is recognition among the youth of the phenomenal work of the Inter-American Development Bank in this little island in the middle of the sea.
Whatever advertising of the projects I have done, it pales in comparison to the raving reviews of the staff and the terrific environment at Country Office Barbados. Exceptionally professional, wonderfully co-operative, going beyond the call of duty in support of each other, the IDB staff for all intents and purposes is a second family. Add to this nurturing atmosphere a picturesque location with a fantastic view of the Atlantic Ocean. Magnificent! I can truly say that I have enjoyed every minute that I have been working at the IDB.
I hope that my never-ending endorsement of the IDB, both as a developmental agency and a place to pursue a career, has placed the IDB on the map for many of my colleagues. Now there is a glimmer of hope that an institution widely unheard of among my generation is coming to recognition. Those that know me are keenly aware of the tangible results of the IDB’s work in Barbados and the exhilarating working environment here. However, I believe there is a whole lot more work to be done to make my generation aware of IDB’s work in Barbados. Ultimately, they are the ones who will benefit from the projects we finance; they are the ones who will lead the change in the future.