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The Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA) is applauding the government's plans to establish a fully operational standard bureau, with its president Godfrey Forbes saying it is something that's "long overdue."In an interview with Guardian Business, Forbes said the work of the proposed Bahamas Bureau of Standards would essentially go hand in hand with the BCA's continued push for the regulation of the country's construction industry."I trust that this exercise will not just be another formality and the necessary money is spent to put this initiative in place, so that at the end of the day, once it is done, it won't just sit on a shelf and not be implemented," he said.Forbes, who is participating in the first National Standardization Forum hosted by The Bahamas Bureau of Standards, which falls under the portfolio of the Ministry of Financial Services, maintains that while construction represents the "number three engine that drives our economy," the industry remains challenged to meet international standards, and as a result has experienced stagnant growth."For us, the majority of the stakeholders with the construction industry are considered to be small to medium sized contractors. And [unfortunately], a lot of them that are currently practicing in the construction industry do not have the basic skills," he revealed."When you have that going on in the industry, you find that we are like 20 years behind other countries in the region. So for us, it's something that at the end of the day will play a significant role going forward."I think it also piggybacks on the fact that the BCA needs to address this deficiency by trying to get the government to enact laws to make sure that the construction industry will be regulated, which will require individuals to be licensed to operate in the industry. And we have already established some basic standards that we feel one must meet in order to practice in this industry."In order for us to be effective in the construction industry in The Bahamas, we need to make sure that we are on par with the standards and requirements that the global community in the construction industry requires."Meantime, Forbes said the final draft of the highly anticipated Contractors Bill would be presented to the government soon. Once that's approved, that piece of legislation will be presented to Parliament not long after. It's a venture Forbes confirmed has been more than 15 years in the making."Today is a positive step forward in ensuring that this kind of approach will also bring into focus the construction industry and the role in which we play in nation building," he told Guardian Business.The three-day conference is taking place at SuperClubs Breezes and ends on Wednesday afternoon.
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- The Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise is gearing up for its second annual Conch Festival and The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) is pleased to lend its support.
Slated to be held at Taino Beach Park Saturday, March 16th, proceeds from the event are earmarked for community service projects being performed by the club, in particular the Big Brother and Sister programme (with the Children's Home), and the Safe Swim Buoy Project.
Whilst making a cheque donation, GBPA's Director of Community Relations, Geneva Rutherford offered commendation. "It is really a pleasure on behalf of GBPA to lend our support for this venture because the Rotary clubs have done so much for the development of the island. They have been one of the premier groups that always assist in so many different ways."
President Elect of the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise, and Conch Festival Chairman, Wayne Russell, graciously accepted the cheque. According to Russell, donations such as this allow the club to effectively advertise the event, so as to draw more patrons to enjoy an afternoon of food and fun, filled with mouth-watering conch delicacies. "The Port Authority has always given us good support. They believe and trust that when we take the funds, we're using it for very good reasons," he noted. "We wish to thank them and our other corporate sponsors for all of the help that they give us which ensures that we are able to put on a really big event."
There has been much good work over many years to expand opportunities for disabled Bahamians. Various individuals and charitable organizations are noteworthy for their contributions in this important work.
Among the aforementioned are organizations such as Abilities Unlimited, the Bahamas National Council for Disability, the Bahamas Association for the Physically Disabled, the Physically Challenged Children's Committee and others.
Various social outreach groups, service clubs and businesses have likewise provided generous financial and material assistance to persons with disabilities.
A number of intrepid individuals have also lent their considerable time, talents and other resources.
They include persons such as Sheila Culmer, Sir Durward Knowles, Drexel Deal, Harold Longley and Dr. Patrick Whitfield. We recall too the work of others now deceased, including Sir Etienne Dupuch, Shirley Oakes-Butler and Beryl Hanna.
Still, despite past accomplishments and the work of many individuals and organizations, there is considerable work to be done to enhance the integration of and to better utilize the gifts and energies of more individuals with disabilities.
There is work to be done in the areas of public education, elimination of discrimination, better access to economic and training opportunities and other measures.
After years of rhetoric, many disabled persons and their families have grown tired of what they feel are promises without action.
As with any group seeking fuller integration into society, disabled persons are still their own best advocates.
They should continue to agitate for change and opportunity. The aforementioned can be enhanced through better coordination and networking among disability organizations.
The government proposes to introduce long delayed but welcomed legislation, namely, the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities) Act.
The legislation is geared towards further reducing discrimination against persons with disabilities.
Former president of the Bahamas National Council for Disability Sheila Culmer told The Nassau Guardian recently that discussions surrounding the rights of the disabled have been ongoing for the last 20 years.
She noted that the legislation will "make it unlawful to discriminate against persons with disabilities in connection with education, employment, the provision of goods, facilities and services and the disposal or management of premises, to make provisions in respect of the employment of persons with disabilities, to establish a national disabilities rights commission and for connected purposes."
Culmer also indicated that education, transportation and accessibility to public buildings were key issues she hopes the bill addresses.
They are hoping that 2011 is the year that landmark legislation for the disabled is finally passed after many years of delay by successive governments.
To be effective, such legislation must be accompanied by the provision of resources for its enforcement and enablement.
Such legislation should cause individual Bahamians, including business owners, to consider how their attitudes and practices are supporting or helping to end discrimination towards our disabled citizens.
REPRESENTATIVES of the country's Rotaract Clubs presented the Cancer Society of the Bahamas with a donation garnered from the proceeds of their inaugural "Cancer Walk" in March.
The walk was the first project on which all the Rotaract Clubs collaborated. In addition, the community service project was organised in honour of celebrating World Rotaract Week, in solidarity with the other Rotaract Clubs in District 7020.
The event was supported by both Rotarians and partakers from the community, and the refreshments were provided by Aquapure Water.
Participants were asked to wear blue in honour of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and walked from Arawak Cay to Goodman's Bay ...
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham announced yesterday that there are nearly 400 registered volunteers for Volunteer Bahamas, a program designed to harness the generosity of Bahamians and residents of The Bahamas.
Ingraham revealed the volunteer initiative in his national address on crime in October.
The program, which began on November 1, will provide guidelines for the training and utilization of volunteers, as well as guidelines for those volunteering their time and talents.
"Through Volunteer Bahamas we seek to firstly create safer, healthier and more non-violent communities, and secondly, build on existing community building initiatives of churches, corporate citizens, charities, clubs...and private individuals," said Ingraham during the official launch ceremony of Volunteer Bahamas held at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort on West Bay Street.
"Volunteer Bahamas includes community service in many and diverse areas of national life. From mentoring young men and women, to caring for the elderly, to environmental protection and the preservation of Bahamian heritage.
"It means simply, giving of our time, our talents and our treasures."
The prime minister said the initiative will help to not only build a more peaceful and non-violent community but also assist in building a society "marked with genuine patrioticism and love of country, measured by a commitment to fairness, care and concern for the more vulnerable among us".
"Generosity and gratitude are companion virtues [and] the most generous people are also quite filled with gratitude," Ingraham noted.
"The response to the call for the era of volunteerism in The Bahamas is encouraging. Testifying to the essential goodness of the Bahamian people and our yearning to renew the spirit of community and fellowship."
Director of Youth and co-chairperson of Volunteer Bahamas, Darron Turnquest, told The Nassau Guardian that hundreds of additional applications are being processed by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
He indicated that applicants are contacted and a vetting process is carried out to ensure the database of volunteers includes interested and dedicated people, prepared to invest their time in the initiative.
Ingraham pointed out that while the government has an essential part to play in society, it is no substitute for the personal responsibility required for good family life and avoiding criminal and anti-social behavior.
"To put it more affirmatively, it is the citizenry acting individually and sometimes collectively through families, churches, service clubs, schools, lodges, foundations, businesses and other groups in society in collaboration with government that can cause a renewal of community life, combat the negative influences [which are] harmful to, and destructive of our communities and assist in a return to the good old traditional values like respect for our elders," the prime minister said.
Attendees at the launch ceremony were able to submit their applications for Volunteer Bahamas or sign up by using the computers set up throughout the hotel with the government website preloaded.
Over 15 organizations were present at the event.
They included Bahamas National Trust, The Hope Center, Kiwanis Club, Bahamas Faith Ministries Youth Alive, Bahamas Red Cross, Scouts Association of The Bahamas, Job Readiness Training, The Boys Brigade, Teen Challenge Bahamas and many others.
For more information or to volunteer visit www.bahamas.gov.bs or email email@example.com.
Bahamas - The Rotaract Club of East Nassau, a community service
organization comprised of young professionals, continued their
long-standing support for Haiti's earthquake relief efforts by recently
donating $500 towards relief efforts for the country's recent cholera
outbreak. The Club has a long history of supporting Haiti prior to the
earthquake, having raised money for Haiti's "resteveks", or child
slaves, since early 2008.
donation serves as part of the overall Rotary relief efforts in Haiti.
Rotary International, including Interact and Rotaract Clubs...
Nassau, Bahamas - Recently,
the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Pi Xi Chapter, held the
Charles Drew Blood Drive and Health Screening. The event took place at
the newly developed Saunders Beach.
Citizens of the Bahamas stopped by the venue for screening for
diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. A total of
twenty units of blood were collected by the Rotary Clubs of the
Bahamas Mobile Blood Van.
Participants were treated to a barbeque and music in the parking
lot of Saunders Beach. The brothers of Omega Psi Phi had good
fellowship during the successful service event...
Nassau, Bahamas -
On the 19th of March, 2011 the Rotaract Clubs
of the Bahamas hosted their first "Cancer Walk". It was the first project on
which the Rotaract Clubs of The Bahamas collaborated together. In addition, the
community service project was organized in honour of celebrating World Rotaract
Week, in solidarity with the other Rotaract clubs in District 7020. The event
was supported by both Rotarians and partakers from the community, and the
refreshments were provided by Aquapure Water Ltd. Participants were asked to wear blue in honour of National
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and walked from Arawak Cay to Goodman's Bay
and back to show their support for all aspects of cancer that affects our
society from pediatric cancer to breast cancer...
Minister of Health Dr. Hubert Minnis has indicated that non-communicable diseases account for 45 percent of deaths in The Bahamas, and that heart disease, a non-communicable disease, is the number one killer of persons in The Bahamas.
The Bahamas Heart Association, the educational arm of The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation and The Bahamas Heart Association are comprised of volunteers who provide their time and services to assist children in need with the cost of heart investigations and surgery. They advise the public on all aspects of heart disease, risk factors and preventative care, and provide speakers and educational material to schools, youth groups, service clubs and other public meetings.
As February is Heart Month, the Bahamas Heart Association has scheduled several events to create awareness about heart disease and to help persons live heart healthy lifestyles.
Saturday, February 11: Free CPR Classes at S.C. McPherson School from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Thursday, February 16: - Doctors Hospital lecture at 6 p.m., with blood pressure checks from 5 pm.
Friday, February 17: Go Red for Women Day.
Saturday, February 18 : The 48th Annual Heart Ball
Thursday, February 23: Annual Health Fair at Town Centre Mall from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Thursday, February 23: Bahamas Surgical Associates Center/Cleveland Clinic's Free Heart Health Seminar at the British Colonial Hilton. Reception at 6:30 p.m. Seminar starts at 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 25: Annual Fun/Run Walk
The public is encouraged to purchase "Go Red" pins for a minimum donation of $3, to be worn during Heart Month and especially on Go Red day. The pins symbolize women's heart health. The proceeds help to repair hearts.
Thelma Johnson, president of the Bahamas Heart Association, encourages people and corporations to become members of the Bahamas Heart Association, which has as its motto "Mending Hearts, Savings Lives". In that regard, it is calling on all schools to encourage their students to wear red on February in exchange for a gift donation of $1 per child.
oFor details about Heart Month and the Bahamas Heart Association, contact the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation at 327-0806 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's important to embrace diversity and culture as a young person, according to Lauren Glinton, head girl at St. Andrews School. The 17-year-old honor roll student, who has a 3.64 grade point average, said studying may provide good grades and make her academic resume look great, but it isn't everything. The teen said sometimes it's more important to venture out into the world and "grab life by the horns" instead of just burying yourself in books. This is why the twelfth grade student loves to take time out from her busy schedule to relax and do things she loves, like dancing to salsa, swimming, participating in art classes and being a leader to her peers.
Q. What do you think made you stand out to your peers and teachers enough to be elected as head girl?
A. I think my outspoken personality and ability to voice my opinions well made me stand out. I am not a follower and I am not swayed easily by the thoughts and views of others. This makes me able to see things as they truly are and make rational decisions without getting emotional. I am also open-minded and I think I have a good attitude that makes me an easy person to talk to. I am also very involved in my school and I am willing to do whatever I can to be of service.
Q. What did you expect your role as head girl would be and did it live up to your expectations?
A. I thought I would be expected to set a good example, not only for girls but the male students as well. I knew I would be responsible for leading the prefect body and ensuring we are all doing what we can. I expected that I would be asked often to talk with students and be there for those who need an ear or some advice. So far it has really lived up to what I have expected and it's great to me.
Q. What lessons are you learning now that you can use to pursue your future endeavors?
A. I think this role is definitely helping me to have a deeper understanding of leadership and what it means to be in the frontline. I am also learning how important appearances are and how to be everywhere at once so things can go smoothly. It's a lot of work, but this practice now will help me to be able to be more diverse and capable of handling similar situations in the future.
Q. What is your greatest challenge as head girl and how are you facing it?
A. I think being as available to my peers as I should is a challenge I am facing. It's a big job being head girl and tackling this job, because you have so many things to do since you are preparing to be a graduate as well. You have studying, extracurricular activities and even clubs. It's quite busy, but it's all about time management and just fitting in everything you need to do accordingly. I'm still tackling this every day but it does get a little easier I feel. I try to be helpful and even more open than usual, so students don't have to feel afraid to just come and talk if they need to.
Q. Although twelfth grade is a really busy academic time, are there extracurricular activities you just have to make time for?
A. Yes there are. I love to just get away and have fun. You can't let all the things you have going on keep you from doing what is necessary to help you relax. I like dancing, swimming, art and spending time alone to just think. I think it's important to have hobbies and extracurricular activities that you slot into your day, because it forces you to be more organized and manage time better. It also helps you to explore other parts of your life so you know where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Not everyone is the smartest, so being good at something else really boosts self-esteem, confidence and makes you feel better. You shouldn't let life weigh you down, so it's really good to do things you like to ease your mind I feel.