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Children in Jamaica are among the most vulnerable groups affected by rising poverty levels and account for almost half of those living in poverty, according to the National Policy on Poverty, a White Paper tabled in Parliament on Tuesday. The...

Gov't moves to refine sugar imports
The introduction of fundamental changes to the regime on refined sugar importation for the retail trade announced by Karl Samuda, minister ofindustry, commerce, agriculture, and fisheries, on Wednesday, awaits his signature on a Ministerial Order...


The last time former Barbadian cricketer Shirley Clarke spoke with his son Kyle Mayers, there was reason to worry about his son’s safety.

It was in the early hours of Tuesday morning and Hurricane Maria was battering Dominica, to where Kyle had travelled last week to join the Windward Island cricket team for a training session ahead of the West Indies Professional Cricket League scheduled to begin at the end of the month.

Professional cricketer Kyle Mayers

The professional cricketer had told his dad he was “a little bit scared” because the winds were strengthening and the conditions were deteriorating.

Not having heard from the 25-year-old since, Clarke told Barbados TODAY he was desperate to hear from his son.

“The same day of the hurricane is the last time I heard him. He was okay at the time and he was getting a few things to prepare for it. The last time I heard him was minutes to two in the morning of the hurricane and after that everything just got shut off.  He said he thought the roof was off. He was downstairs the apartment. He told me he was a little bit scared and just wanted everything to be over,” the worried father said.

“It’s a very uneasy feeling and I can’t wait to hear him. All now my head hurting me thinking about him. We are trying our best to reach him anyway possible and to get him home,” he added.

Kyle’s apartment was located on Federation Drive in Goodwill, a short walk from the capital, Roseau.

It was not immediately clear how much damage the area suffered, but there had been reports of flooding and torn roofs from as early as 9 p.m. on Monday.

Kyle’s mother Cathyann Mayers, whose last contact with her son was around 10 p.m. on Monday, said she has given his address to officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here, in the hope that they would locate him and get him home safely.   

“I’m trying not to worry too much, but yes, I am worried. But I don’t want to overthink. We would have sent off a package to him through his friend in BDF [Barbados Defence Force] but I’m not really worried about the package, I want them to find my child. He’s my concern. The package is second to that,” the concerned mother told Barbados TODAY in a telephone interview.

“A lot of people are looking for Kyle. I would hope that he comes straight home after going through that category five hurricane. The competition doesn’t even start until the end of the month. I would just like him to come home to be back with his family and his daughter, N’Kyah, who is four years old, so that things would go back to normal.”

Like Kyle’s parents, his girlfriend Sharece Thornhill is worried. And despite the fact that she said she felt all would be well, Thornhill told Barbados TODAY she would travel to Dominica if she could in search of her boyfriend.

“I am trying to keep calm and I have faith that he’s okay. The area he is in is in town so I don’t feel like it’s that bad, but I’m just trying. Being that I know where he is exactly, if the house is damaged and he’s gone by other teammates, I know where they live. I don’t know if it would be possible to go and help find him,” she said.

Thornhill last spoke to Kyle in the early hours of Tuesday morning, when he updated her on the situation and asked her to try to find out when the worst of the storm was due to be over.

Thornhill said her response shortly thereafter never even reached Kyle.

“When he called he told me the house flood out and asked me if I would be able to find out when the hurricane would pass. I told him give me two minutes and then I sent the message and it didn’t go through.

“I just need him to get back home, that’s the truth. This is madness,” she said while holding back tears.

Meantime, Kyle’s best friend Kevin Earle said when they last spoke on Monday night, he tried to reassure Kyle that everything would be fine, and gave him advice on what to do following the cyclone.

“At the time, he asked me when the hurricane would pass because it felt like it was taking forever. Most importantly, I managed to get him to send me his location so that when communications went as expected we would know exactly where his apartment was,” Earle said.

Currently, they are counting on a mutual friend at the BDF, who left Barbados this evening for Dominica on the Coast Guard vessel, to local Kyle and ease their worries.

He is the one with the package and is due to arrive in Dominica tomorrow.

Child friendly

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says Barbados attaches the greatest importance to its children and has taken the necessary steps to ensure that their rights are protected.

During a reception at his official residence last night for delegates attending the 92nd Inter-American Children’s Institute Conference, Stuart said in general, countries in the western hemisphere had demonstrated their maturity by subscribing to conventions and enacting laws recognizing the rights of children.

Therefore adults who control society “have to pay the same kind of attention that we pay to our own rights to their [children] rights as well.

“At the core of those rights is the right to enjoy their childhood,” he said, adding that “it is a mark of our civilization in this part of the world that we allow our children to be children, to enjoy their childhood and that we take conscious steps, to protect their rights.”

However, he acknowledged that this was not always the case.

“Fifty years ago children were to be seen and not heard. There was no conception of children’s rights. They were objects and not subjects of anything.

“It is testimony to the great leap forward that we have made not only here in Barbados and the English-speaking Caribbean but in this hemisphere that today we attach the importance which we do to the rights of children, that we recognize that they think, feel, dream, aspire; they can be disappointed, hurt, and all of that gamut of emotions that we as adults experience are also the lot and portion of our children.”

Since 1990 Barbados became signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Stuart assured that this island stood ready to approve any other covenant that recognizes the need for special treatment of children .

“The Government of Barbados is committed to ensuring that whatever conventions, treaties, understandings there may be relevant to this hemisphere and relevant globally that require the adoption, and eventually the signature of Barbados [is] sure to be executed by us because our commitment to the welfare of our children is irrevocable and is profound,” he said.

In updating members of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on happenings in Barbados earlier this year, Minister of Social Care and Community Development Steve Blackett had said that violence against children was a source of great concern.

He informed the committee that a comprehensive review of laws relating to children, women and their families had been undertaken, which would shortly be followed with prioritization of areas for reform to ensure the greater conformity of domestic legislation with international conventions.

According to a statement by that committee its, “experts congratulated Barbados on the progress made since the last review in 1999, particularly in the areas of education and health, and also on the success in maintaining budget allocations for children despite the economic and financial crisis”.

Venezuela must be stopped

–President Granger reiterates call for peaceful settlement of border controversy By Svetlana Marshall in New York PRESIDENT David Granger on Wednesday warned world leaders that there will be no peace this side of the Atlantic if justice does not prevail in the age-old Guyana-Venezuela border controversy. “Guyana looks to the international community to ensure that

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Pensioner killed by drunk driver

A FARM Nursery School security guard was killed after he was struck down on the Herstelling Public Road, East Bank Demerara on Tuesday afternoon by an intoxicated minibus driver. Dead is Basil Rambarran, 66, of Farm, East Bank Demerara. The driver of the minibus was administered a breathalyser test and found to have exceeded the

The post Pensioner killed by drunk driver appeared first on Guyana Chronicle.

Pedestrian killed on MMZ Public Road

A MAN who reportedly told police he had hit down a cow is now in custody after the body of a 61-year-old man was found in a shallow drain on Meten-Meer-Zorg (MMZ), West Coast Demerara (WCD) Public Road with head injuries. Dead is Yussuff Ashraff, 61, a fish vendor of 155 East Meten-Meer-Zorg, WCD. Police

The post Pedestrian killed on MMZ Public Road appeared first on Guyana Chronicle.

OVERCOME with grief at a murder committed by his brother, Brenton McLean wept as he hugged the murder victim’s son and apologised to him yesterday.

Maria devastates Dominica
GOVERNMENT was yesterday mobilising resources to send relief supplies and manpower to Dominica after Category 5 Hurricane Maria devastated that country between Monday night and early yesterday morning.

AG: Judiciary, DPP getting help
ATTORNEY General Faris Al-Rawi yesterday said both the Judiciary and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) have been receiving assistance to help improve the criminal justice system.