The parking lot located next to the One Stop Mall was the venue of a very important public discussion on 30 April. The public discourse which was titled—“Word on the Street” – was organized by Educator and Entertainer Raul “Jougo” Sprauve, and Former Miss BVI, Sharie de Castro.
In her opening remarks Ms. de Castro explained that the forum was an avenue for residents to voice their concerns about issues affecting the Territory. The former Miss BVI stated: “I want to reiterate that Word on the Street is more about raising consciousness and not persuading any kind of political bias.”
The forum which ended a little after 8:00 p.m. was ripe with issues and solutions to common concerns. Members of the audience commended Sprauve and de Castro for their bravery in starting the conversation and asked for the discussions to continue.
One resident said: “We are here because we care, and we need to be like disciples and take this to those who do not care to be here, we have to go to the basketball courts, and let them hear.”
Another two residents also called for a continuation of the ‘Word on the Street’ and asked that the discussion include the sister islands.
The gathering which mainly comprised of persons from the 18-40 age group spoke confidently about issues such as the minimum wage, land ownership for youths, price control, customer service, business issues and the need for a change in mindset.
The issue of scholarships and youths being out of jobs when they return from studies or placed ‘in the mail room’ of a company as opposed to be given an opportunity to understudy experienced employees were cheered when raised. The meeting at one point became a sort of panel discussion as members of the audience shared ideas with each other particularly during the discussion of scholarships.