Hon. Adrian Forde – Minister of Environment and National Beautification
Minister Adrian Forde, affectionately known as “Medic”, was born in Cane Garden, St. Andrew. He is the son of Winston Yearwood (deceased), who was a driver in the Ministry of Transport and Works and Jean Forde, a handicraft worker. He has three brothers and one sister.
Forde’s story is the essence of the Barbadian dream. His parents embedded in him the traditional Barbadian values of hard work, pride and industry. They encouraged him to achieve his goals and to be self-sufficient which, is seen in his humility and willingness to honor and serve others. Forde began gardening, farming and basketry at a young age and also became proficient in handicraft. These products were sold at Pelican Village enabling him to support his family and himself.
Minister Forde is the quintessence of a village raising a child, where the older residents took on the role of an extended family. This noble act allowed him to successfully navigate the normal testing periods of a young impressionable teen. No doubt, these early influences contributed to Forde’s world-view and his civic duty to assist others in the community.
Minister Forde worked at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as a Pharmacist Intern in 1998 for a period of six months. Following this, Forde was employed at Knights Pharmacy as a Pharmacist until 2001, and took on the responsibility of training interns. On his off days, Forde made sure that he found the time to offer his services at various pharmacies, including Joe’s Pharmacy, Henley’s Pharmacy and Brittons Hill Medical Clinic. He also taught life- skills courses at his alma mater the St. Leonards’ Secondary School between 1998 and 2001.
Over the years, Forde has exercised his civic duties through varying extra-curricular activities. These include:
- functioning as the union delegate for the staff at Super Centre
- sponsoring cricket and football tournaments in Sargeant’s Village, Vauxhall, Gall Hill and Brandon’s Beach,
- medic for the Gall Hill Football Club (2004-2010) and the Barbados Referee Association (2013-present).
- sponsoring the Barbados Diabetic Association
- medical lectures at various churches across Barbados.
Currently, Minister Forde is an active member of the Barbados Association of Pharmacy Owners (BAPO) and the Barbados Pharmaceutical Society (BPS).
Successful Intervention Projects
Empowering individuals is Minister Forde’s ongoing mission. He spares no waking moment thinking of ways to help persons become productive citizens. To this end, he works with the marginalized youth, working mothers and the disabled community in pursuit of their reaching their maximum potential.
Project HOPE “Helping Our People Every day”, is Adrian’s brainchild. This project is headed by Forde and has a committee of volunteers, who assist individuals with fundamental life skills and overcoming personal challenges. They help individuals with application forms, with enrollment at educational institutions, job sourcing and in some cases providing tangible assistance to meet their basic needs.
The WEE – Work, Employment and Entrepreneurship.
This project’s focus is to guide the youth in an entrepreneurial direction. It assists with setting up of micro enterprises for young persons, working mothers and disabled persons. Businesses so far have included Barbershops, Fruit Stalls, selling Indigenous Craft, Donut Stalls and Snow-cone Carts. The project has also entered into a strategic alliance with the Liz Deane Jockey School, whereby Forde seeks enrollment for persons who have expressed an interest in being trained as jockeys.
Through the initiatives mentioned above, numerous young persons have found gainful employment and established their own businesses. Minister Forde has also assisted young persons by linking them with mentors, including retirees, who provide small loans to assist them with their micro enterprises. Their loans are interest free and have proved to be a crucial advantage to those individuals who would not normally qualify for such funds through the traditional banking sector — A crucial intervention indeed – some have said life changing.
In realizing the increased demand for taxi drivers, heavy-duty drivers and freighters in Barbados, Forde conceptualized the idea of personally offering free driving lessons to marginalized youth and working mothers. In addition, he offers free tuition in areas such as English, Mathematics and Biology to those young persons who are unable to pay for these services. – A humanitarian gesture indeed.
Minister Forde’s selfless community sacrifice and progressive initiatives in Christ Church and the wider Barbados did not go unnoticed, and not only captured the attention of residents in the Christ Church community, but key community leaders and the political class in Barbados.
Many residents in the community approached Forde and urged him to enter the politics and provide “engaged representation” on a national level. It is widely known that senior figures in the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) courted Minister Forde as far back as 2008 to enter elective politics. After discussions with his family, close friends and advisers, he reluctantly declined, so that he could focus on building his business and not be detracted from continuing to provide entrepreneurial opportunities to the youth in the area.
Although Forde made the decision not to enter politics at that time, he still offered his skills, time and passion to the BLP and canvassed for representative of Christ Church West Central, Margo Durant-Callender in the 2013 General Elections. He also spoke on the BLP’s platform on behalf of MP. Mr. Dale Marshall in St. Joseph.
As time went on the requests from constituents of Christ Church West Central for Adrian to be their representative intensified and there was constant insistence from senior members of the BLP for him to be on their ticket for the 2018 General Elections.
Again, he went to his family, mentors and trusted confidants. This time was the right time for Adrian and he formally acquiesced, threw his hat in the ring, and won the nomination (as expected) unopposed in October 2015, to become the candidate for the BLP in Christ Church West Central. From then until now he has not stopped working and can be seen, whenever the opportunity arises, reaching out to his intended constituents. He is already their representative. Opposition Leader, the Honorable Ms. Mia Amor Mottley was moved to say at his nomination, “Adrian’s community altruism is the gold standard of representation.” He is a witty speaker with a “rootsy” style, which resonates well with his core message of “Empowerment and Economic Fairness”.
Minister Forde has developed a strong unity with the youth, working mothers and the disabled community in the Christ Church West Central and the wider Christ Church areas. His community work, progressive initiatives and humane leadership have led him to national prominence. In the political circle, a bright political future beacons for him. In his personal life, he has gone from strength to strength and has never departed from the upbringing of his humble origins. “A village raised child he is.”