(PRESS RELEASE) – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has today Friday 9th February recognised Kemar Saffrey of Barbados as the 7th Commonwealth Point of Light, in honour of his exceptional voluntary service tackling homelessness in Barbados.
In the lead-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London on 19-20 April, Her Majesty The Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 53 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.
By sharing these stories of service, the Heads of Government meeting will celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time.
Kemar Saffrey, Founder and President of the Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society (BVHS), has provided homeless people with access to key services and support, including social services, educational classes, and counselling.
Each Commonwealth Point of Light will receive a personalised certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. Kemar Saffrey was presented with his award earlier this morning, by the British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Mrs. Janet Douglas, at the office of the BVHS.
Kemar Saffrey said:
“Upon hearing the news of the award I was completely shocked because we weren’t looking for an award. We do our work from the heart but we appreciated that we were identified at such a high level. The award is not just for me, but the BVHS staff, the Board, its members and all the volunteers that come together to make this a reality.”
“I would encourage anyone out there who is seeking to help other persons, whether it be the vulnerable, the homeless, or whatever they feel in their hearts; to try to make a difference by doing.”
“I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Her Majesty The Queen and the selection committee, for choosing me for such a prestigious award. I am humbled and elated that the work which I started nearly a decade ago can be recognised at such a level. Again, thank you.”
Janet Douglas, British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean said:
“I am delighted that Kemar Saffrey has been chosen by Her Majesty The Queen as Barbados’ Commonwealth Point of Light. Kemar has made an outstanding contribution to the welfare of homeless people in Barbados, both by providing services to help get their lives back on track, and by raising awareness in local communities and nationally of their plight. Through his actions, Kemar sets an example of how we can make a difference to our communities through volunteering.”
The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 53 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace. The Heads of Government meeting will bring together leaders from all the 53 Member countries to reaffirm common values, address shared global challenges and agree how to work to create a better future for all citizens, especially young people. Voluntary service is a vital part of this agenda, which is why Her Majesty The Queen has chosen to recognise outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way.