“Give, and it shall be given unto you; …For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again”—Luke 6:38
Last week we developed the theme generosity and entrepreneurship and concluded that “We need more investors to be involved in the venture capital investment process. Initially, the investor will see no returns on his investment, but in the fullness of time the investment shall be returned in abundance. The security for the return is the CBET Shepherding Model™ where Shepherding mitigates the risk of business failure and therefore enhances the return on investment for the investor.
Today we continue with the theme of generosity as we focus on The Errol and Nita Barrow Educational Trust and on the potential development of a concept of “Friends of the Trust”. The Trust was established in 1989 in memory of two great Barbadians, Errol and Nita Barrow. Given their passionate belief in education as a tool of empowering all, the primary purpose of the Trust is to raise funds and make financial awards that will enable Barbadians and Commonwealth Caribbean citizens to pursue a course of study that will further the development of Barbados and the Caribbean. Initial contributions were made to the Trust to establish an Endowment Fund and the principle was established that, after operational expenses, most of the interest revenue from the endowment investment would be used to provide partial scholarships to deserving individuals.
Since the first awards were made in 1991, over 100 students have received awards in traditional and non-traditional subjects from engineering and forensic science to culinary studies and tourism management. Annually, potential recipients are invited to reflect on how developing their own skills can support the development of Barbados and the Caribbean and apply for an enabling grant.
Mrs. Dorothy Williams has recently retired as the Chairman of the Trust having served gallantly for many years. Professor Avinash Persaud (Chairman) has succeeded her as Chairman and the current Trustees are Mr. David Barrow, Dr. Jeannine Comma, Ms. Norma Holder, Mr. Clarrie Layne, Dr. Basil Springer, Dr. Ashwell Thomas and Ms. Shelley Williams. Ms. Roma Cozier serves as Executive Secretary/Treasurer.
A very elegant and gracious function was organised by the Trust on Saturday 16 June at the recently opened, very classy headquarters of the Cave Hill School of Business. The dynamic and entertaining Ms. Yolande Forde was MC for the evening. She has always been a pioneer of sorts. Not only is she the first criminologist in Barbados, but 20 years ago she became the first student to be awarded a scholarship by the Errol and Nita Barrow Educational Trust. She studied at the London School of Economics – Errol Barrow’s alma mater. Currently, she is the manager of the National Council on Substance Abuse.
Professor Avinash Persaud, in his opening remarks, described education as the stairway to development. Speaking at the 21st anniversary of the Trust two weekends ago, Persaud likened education to a stairway. He said “At the top of stairs lies the freedom to try everything, to achieve anything, to consider all, to choose the path less travelled, there is no development without freedom, development is freedom”.
He continued that “the lack of education and mental slavery were not only the shackles that prevented people from climbing the staircase but noted that discrimination continued to blight the future of far too many people of colour, women, those of different sexual orientation and others”.
Persaud lauded the efforts of the late National Hero Errol Barrow, former Prime Minister, and his sister the late Dame Nita Barrow, who also served as Governor General, for the important roles both played in the domestic and international arena.
He described the trust as a fitting memorial to these two great Barbadians, pointing out that people in Barbados, Britain, Canada and other nations had donated money to an endowment to the extent that, today, the Trust enables four students annually to advance their education.
Many very passionate and appreciative presentations from alumni punctuated the evening’s celebrations of the Trust. They told of how the educational fund had assisted them at a very critical stage in their development when all hope for a further education seemed to be lost for them to enter their chosen fields of endeavour.
During the evening’s presentation, past Chairperson Dorothy Williams, who served the Trust way beyond the bounds of duty, was heralded and presented with a gift from the Trust by Trustee Dr. Jeannine Comma, after which Dorothy was serenaded “with love” by Christopher Harper, on soprano sax for her tremendous contribution to the Trust. Chris is an alumnus of the Trust who studied at Berklee College of Music.
The vote of thanks was humourously presented by Dr Marcia Burrowes, in her inimitable style. Marcia is also an alumna of the Trust, an actress and is on the faculty of the UWI Campus specialising in Cultural Studies.
Given the success to date, the Trustees would very much like to expand its activities by helping more deserving students annually to benefit from higher education. To do this we need to expand the endowment fund so that the investment yield might become greater. We shall therefore soon be launching the Friends of the Trust to appeal to the generosity of those who are in a position to help based on the principle “Give, and it shall be given unto you; … For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again”.