Cultural Youth Exchange between the Government of Barbados and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana
The overall objective of the cultural exchange was to demonstrate the role of culture in addressing issues of youth development and youth engagement.
The workshop in the short term the sought to:
- provide alternative ways of addressing dysfunctional behaviour amongst youth
- export Barbadian culture in dance and positive youth activities and music and to import the same of a Guyanese orientation.
- heighten awareness on the importance of culture among youth.
- provide an avenue for our youth to experience Guyanese hospitality.
In the long term the workshop sought to:
- contribute to the process of regional integration.
- foster harmonious cultural relationships between Barbadian and Guyanese youth and the exchange of best practices in youth development.
- develop corps of youth who will preserve their cultural traditions and heritage while strengthening and enhancing their communities.
The Haynesville Youth Club’s cultural youth exchange focused on developing the entrepreneurial skills of young persons in at-risk communities, while at the same time using the performing arts as a tool to empower and engage marginalized young persons. In keeping with the Club’s overall goal of youth empowerment, the exchange sought to develop the skills of its members through the exchanges of best practices and the development of innovative ways of addressing the socio-economic issues affecting young persons in Barbados. The workshops also included sections for training in Afro/ Indo Guyanese and Amerindian dance forms and drumming techniques.
The exchange consisted of a workshop in Guyana from March 31st – April 6th, 2016. While in Guyana the Haynesville Youth Club conducted training workshops in Barbadian and African traditional dance moves and drum beats, for Guyanese youth and performed at a cultural event identified by the Department of Youth in Guyana.
The workshops’ objectives were achieved. The key outcomes and achievements were:
- Learning and identifying new and innovative ways of addressing youth engagement and outreach through contemporary art forms.
- Promoting the role of the performing arts as a way to positively engage and empower young persons
- Learning new dance routines to diversify Barbadian dance productions
- Increased awareness of the importance of cultural entrepreneurship as a way of addressing youth unemployment
The members of the Haynesville Youth Club exuded confidence on their return to Barbados. They were proud not only to promote the activities of their Club but also to be given the opportunity to realize the value and importance of what their Club does. Their excitement was witnessed in their willingness to demonstrate on their return to Barbados the various dance movements and techniques they learnt from the Guyanese youth. These new dance techniques would allow them to diversify their cultural performances throughout communities in Barbados as well as in the hotel circuit. They are also interested in choreographing a dance performance for the National Independence Festival of the Creative Arts (NIFCA).
It should also be noted that this cultural exchange was reciprocated by Guyana when their youth visited Barbados in June 2016.