Search results for : child care

Showing 271 to 300 of 1000 results


News Article

February 21, 2012
Red Dress Soiree uses fashion to spotlight many causes

Fashion designers and events have always taken causes under their wings, using their influence in popular culture to raise awareness of often-overlooked serious issues in their communities. Now Bahamians can have a similar event to look forward to locally that not only celebrates fashion but takes a serious look at influential women as well as the widespread effect of AIDS and HIV in the Bahamian adolescent population.
Though this is its first year, the Red Dress Soiree is set to become an annual charity event, said its founder and organizer, Tyrina Neely. With a cocktail reception, silent auction and runway show that highlights 10 Bahamian leading ladies in one-of-a-kind red dresses envisioned by 10 local fashion designers, the event promises to be not only fun but educational as well.
"We're such a fashion-conscious country and community so I thought it would be something people would get excited about," said Neely. "I wanted to do something different and I wanted to kind of give a fresh spin to fundraising. I wanted to be able to celebrate local designers and what they do. Who doesn't love fashion, who doesn't love getting dressed up and seeing beautiful art?"
For Neely, whose background in fashion comes not only from her degree in advertising and marketing specific to the fashion industry, but also her work with various fashion institutions and magazines in New York City, Europe and at home in The Bahamas, the charity event is a chance to bring her passions together to help the community.
The event is being hosted by The Bahamas AIDS Foundation and Neely's fashion-centered company, Primadona. The Bahamas AIDS Foundation institutes after school programs for adolescents infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS that provide them with educational tutoring, psychosocial intervention, peer support, job training and placement, referral services, and counseling as well as a snack and a hot meal.
With AIDS being the leading cause of death for the 15-49 year-old margin, said Neely, the support that the foundation provides this group is needed more than ever to help them lead healthy and productive lives.
"I wanted to bring more awareness to the fact that so many of our adolescents are affected by this whether they themselves have HIV/AIDS or someone in their family," she said. "It's still something that has such a negative stigma; we don't have a space for it, and I think it's important for people to get involved in this cause."
The Red Dress Soiree will directly support the efforts by The Bahamas AIDS Foundation, said Neely. She always wanted to host a fashion event like a runway show, but decided to put a fundraising spin on it after her experience with a young HIV-positive man with whom she kept in touch.
"His parents passed away, and when I found that out I said I really want to combine both of these desires of mine to support the AIDS Foundation and their work with adolescents directly affected by HIV/AIDS like this child," she said.
"My love of fashion also gives me a desire to promote designers locally and really just put on an event that celebrates not only amazing women who are the matriarchs and nurturers of society, but also fashion designers who I think don't always get as much support and praise as they should locally."
Indeed the charity event will touch many lives and worthy causes - by asking local designers to make 10 one-of-a-kind red dresses for their runway show, they support and showcase local artists, and by selecting 10 outstanding women from all aspects of Bahamian society to be the "leading ladies" modeling the creations, they spotlight strong female heroes for adolescents to admire.
"They do amazing work to give back," said Neely. "These women were selected based on their professional achievements and we wanted to have women from different sectors of society - so we have people from law, politics, farming, the arts, film.
"These are women who have achieved greatness in their careers; they're amazing businesswomen, but they are also women who have given back to the community," she continues. "This is just the first 10 - we look forward to doing this event and highlighting many, many, many other women over the years."
This year the ten Leading Ladies include Janet Bostwick, Joann Callender, Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson, Karin Goodfellow, Maria Govan, Janet Johnson, Tanya McCartney, Elaine Pinder, Tonique Williams-Darling and Sharon Wilson. They will model the designs on Javotte Bethel, Apryl Burrows, Phylicia Ellis, Sabrina Francis, Brynda Knowles, Patrice Lockhart, duo Cardell McClam and Christopher John, Indira Moss, David Rolle and Theodore Elyett.
Indeed, the evening will be a chance for guests to not only admire the visions and talent by local artists, but learn about how they too can help those affected with HIV and AIDS, striking inspiration in the Bahamian community.
"Obviously I want people to have a good time; I want it to be an event people talk about for weeks after it happens," said Neely. "But apart from that, the real underlying reason here is we want to support the AIDS Foundation and what they do."
"I want people to just have a heightened sense of awareness - to say they know what they can do to help, to mobilize and actually get started in doing something."
The Red Dress Soiree will be held Saturday, March 3 at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort and Casino. The Red Carpet Experience will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the Runway Show at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets to the event are $100 per person which includes complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres at the cocktail reception. They can be purchased at La Rose Boutique on West Bay Street and Goodfellow Farms in Mount Pleasant.
 
For more information, e-mail rdsbahamas@gmail.com.
 

read more »


News Article

February 14, 2012
Amazing Grace

Like many parents, Brennamae and Fernley Cooper want only the best for their children -- success, health and for them to maximize their full potential. With a thriving, striving eight-year-old son and a perfect second pregnancy with all of her checks balancing out, the Coopers were shocked to learn just days after their daughter was born in 2009 that she had a congenital heart disease. The mother described the feeling as she was told of what was wrong with her daughter as "heart-wrenching".
"Shock is an understatement. It was so unreal," she said. "I recall when the doctor was explaining it that I immediately started crying because everything up to that point was good. My pregnancy was great, I felt good and I had been up-to-date with all my checks, so there was no indication."
At her first post-natal visit, the doctor heard a heart murmur and referred the Coopers to pediatric cardiologist Dr. Jerome Lightbourne. Grace was diagnosed with a heart condition called Trilogy of Fallot. She had a hole in the lower chamber of her heart, a common thing, but in Grace's case it was multiple, and that the pulmonary vessel that takes blood to the lungs was too narrow, restricting the proper flow of blood to her lungs. Dr. Lightbourne made plans for the just days old baby to fly to Florida for life-saving medical help. In the first two years of her young life, Grace has already undergone a number of operations, to repair a number of defects, including having surgery to remove a portion of her small intestine after she developed intestinal infection after one of her surgeries. The baby had to undergo open-heart surgery in 2010 at one year and two months of age to repair the hole in her heart and the valve.
The Coopers know their daughter will have at least one future surgery to replace a stent that was put in to open a valve which they know will have to be replaced as Grace grows and it becomes too small. But they say God's will be done.
As she approaches her third birthday, Grace is thriving, having met all of her milestones. And her mother marvels at the milestones she said her daughter has achieved.
"Initially, the motor skills we had to work on and thankfully while I was by her bedside I was able to watch the physical therapists as they massaged and worked her legs, arms and neck, positioning her so she could hold up her head and do the different things to strengthen her because she was in a sedated state for such a long time that the body could become stiff in certain areas," she said.
"So I learned to do the exercises and when we returned home, my husband and I continued doing them with her at home for a few weeks. After that, Grace was just striving -- feeding, sitting up and crawling. Now she's walking, talking and doing well."
Her mother describes her as a toddler with a strong personality who loves to sing and smile. "She's just a happy soul," said Cooper.
Grace was able to have all of her surgeries done in the United States courtesy of The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation, a privately funded charity that raises funds primarily through donations and from the annual Heart Ball held in February, and which will be held on Saturday, February 18 at Sheraton Cable Beach Resort. Over 97 percent of each dollar raised goes directly to the aid of children.
"Prior to 2009, I honestly did not even know about the Sir Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation ... and honestly I don't know if that's sad or whatever, but often times you don't know about these things until you have to use them yourself."
She said as Dr. Lightbourne made arrangements for her daughter to seek life-saving medical help in the United States, she still was unaware to what extent the organization would be able to help them. Cooper said she was left speechless when the doctor explained that the foundation would cover the bill. Today, she is eternally grateful and still does not know how much it cost for her daughter's life-saving surgeries.
"I recall one day when one of the medical personnel came by and asked if I wanted to have a look at what the bill was so far, but I said to her I really didn't want to know because I didn't want a headache that day. Later on she kind of gave us an idea, and it was thousands of dollars -- money that my husband and I would not have been able to come up with at that time -- and not even now. From when this happened, we knew we would not be able to pay back monetarily -- not dollar for dollar, but what we can do is tell people about the foundation."
Reliving the ordeal they went through with their daughter is still painful to the Coopers, but the mother said she and her husband agreed to share her story as their way of giving back.
"If it touches the heart of people who hear the story to give to the foundation, we would do it every time because we are eternally grateful. I know of situations where parents who got bad news from doctors that their loved one has to go into surgery, and they have to come up with 'X amount' before the surgery can even be done, and we cannot relate to that thanks to the foundation. We don't know how that feels."
Cooper said they've made one or two monetary contributions to the foundation since, but nothing they do in comparison can compare. And she encourages people to make donations to the organization because they're not just making a donation, but saving lives.
Through the generosity of others, she says Grace's life -- which she knows has a purpose, has been saved.
"I work with children who sometimes have certain disabilities that prevents them from leading a full life, but because of the opportunity that the foundation has afforded us, Grace can live a normal life. Grace can run around like her peers now, and the teachers don't have to be cautious, and if they are cautious, it's only out of their own fear, and they want to be extra careful. It's not because she's ailing," she says.
With Grace "out of the woods", Cooper says their goal is to help Grace to live a full life, grow up and use her existence as a testimony to let people know.
"We are firm believers in God and I know that even going through it, if I had a different spirit ... a different mindset, I can honestly say I wouldn't have been as mentally stable as I am today because even the way Grace's body changed, and things we saw with our eyes could have blown our minds. As a young couple we were close," said the 35-year-old mother, but this whole experience has brought us even closer because we went through this together and that made it even more easy to deal with."
After the ordeal her family went through she says many people have told her that they expect Grace to be "spoiled", but the mother says she disciplines her daughter when necessary, but has noticed that her daughter has a mind of her own and is very strong-minded. She says if Grace wants to do something she will let them know. And that Grace doesn't stop calling for her mom until she has her attention.
With the foundation's major fundraiser, the Heart Ball scheduled for Saturday, February 18 at the Sheraton Cable Beach Resort, the Coopers are planning to attend for the first time. She says for the past two years they weren't able to attend because they weren't able to financially, but this year the Cooper's are making the sacrifice to pay the $500 per couple price tag, for tickets plus travel into New Providence for the event. She says it's the least they can do.
The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation was established as a living tribute by Lady Sassoon following the death of her husband, Sir Victor Sassoon, in 1961, to assist Bahamians with heart disease. Lady Sassoon had asked that instead of sending flowers to honor her husband, that people send a donation to the local heart fund. A few weeks later the hospital called to tell her that a substantial amount of money had been donated in her husband's memory, but that there was no local heart fund. She took it upon herself to create one.
Through the foundation's fundraising efforts, over 4,000 children have been afforded quality medical care. The foundation currently has a list of 11 children that need immediate life-saving surgery.
Donations can be made to the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation at P.O. Box N-8189, Nassau, Bahamas.

read more »


News Article

March 05, 2014
Bahamian chosen in first class of HBCU All-Stars

Bahamian Shantel Braynen has been chosen by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU) to join its first class of HBCU All-Stars, recognizing 75 undergraduate, graduate and professional students for their accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement.
Currently enrolled at 62 HBCU's, Braynen, a senior at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona, Florida, and the other All-Stars were selected from 445 students who submitted applications that included a transcript, resume, essay and recommendation.
An accounting major, Braynen was shocked when she was contacted by the White House.
"I knew it was a competitive process, but I prayed that I would be chosen. I am grateful to have an opportunity to represent Bethune-Cookman and all HBCU students nationally. And I look forward to serving the community more fully," she said.
Over the course of the next year, the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) All-Stars will serve as ambassadors of the White House Initiative by providing outreach and communication to their fellow students about the value of education and the Initiative as a networking resource. Through social media and their relationships with community-based organizations, the All-Stars will share promising and proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential.
Braynen, 21, who makes up one of the 45 female strong cohort and the 30 males, will participate in regional events and web chats with Ivory Toldson, deputy director of the WHIHBCUs, other initiative staff and professionals from a wide range of disciplines. They will also have opportunities to engage with other scholars to showcase individual and collective talent across the HBCE community.
"It means a lot to me to have been chosen. I give all the glory to God for the opportunity to be chosen," she told The Nassau Guardian. "It means a lot to be chosen as an ambassador of the White House Initiative to promote education, and because I'm from The Bahamas and I'm at a small HBCU it means a lot to represent all those places and also my family."
She was recommended for the initiative by a professor at Texas A&M University who she met when she visited the school two years ago. Her academics, accomplishments and leadership ability got her accepted.
She is the daughter of Stephen and Rochelle Rolle.
Braynen, who lived in Bahama Sound, Exuma, and attended L.N. Coakley School for two years before departing for university, is a perfect 4.00 grade point average student -- an average she hopes will hold true to form through her graduation in May. She has turned in a perfect record since her freshman year.
"I really value education because I believe knowledge is power, so coming into college I had my goal to stay focused and keep the grades up," she said.
Getting to that point was a process for Braynen. She recalls being a C-average student for most of her formative years until she decided to turn things around.
"In primary school I was the student who just barely got by. In high school I was just a so-so student. The turning point for me was when I had two sisters graduate from high school and I saw how well they did -- one was even a valedictorian, so it was then I decided to take my education a little more seriously." Braynen was a 10th grade student at the time. And when she decided to make that switch, she just did it. She applied herself and saw her grade point average rise to 3.5 and above that easily.
Academically, she is a testament to all children who are struggling and who may not be applying themselves that they can struggle, but that they can make the turnaround as well.
She said it helped that when she went through those years when she did not apply herself to learning that she had parents that drilled into her and her siblings that they wanted them to do well, and that they had sacrificed so their children could receive a good education. Braynen said she knew from a child that she would attend college because her parents always pushed for it. She's just glad she made the turnaround when she did.
Braynen is also a believer in that education comes outside of the books as well. "Education is not just about book knowledge -- and this goes right back to this White House initiative -- if I hadn't gone out to Texas and met other people, then I probably wouldn't have been nominated for this Initiative, so education is much more than just studying a book," she said. "We learn from other people and through talking with others."
Her advise to high school students is to put God first in what they do. She said he would direct their path.
"I didn't see myself in primary school being here [college], but it was all in God's plan so I think first of all if they put God first he'll direct their steps in everything. They should also always have a good attitude, and by that I mean don't complain when they get a lot of work in class, but just have a good attitude, and stay focused. If they want to be a chef go out there and be the best chef they can be. If they want to be a doctor, go and be the best doctor they can be, but just stay focused and do well at what they choose to do."
With weeks to her graduation, Braynen says her immediate goals are to find a job for a few years before applying to graduate school. In 10 years she would like to have her own business and she has dream of one day starting her own mentoring initiative.
"With God all things are possible and it doesn't matter where you come from, but it matters where you end up," she says.
Nelson Mandela's quote "After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb," is another favorite of hers and one that she says she hopes Bahamian students would live by as well in their approach to their academics.
"When I graduated from high school I was celebrating that I was over this big hill called high school, but I'm climbing this next hill called college and when I'm finished, there's a next hill called real life, so students should ensure that they have determination when they're climbing the hills throughout life and make sure to have God in their life and be focused to get over those hills. But while climbing the hills to also make sure to help other people up which I try to do now in college by being a role model for other students," she said.

read more »


News Article

March 06, 2014
Dr. Myles Munroe's uncharitable arrogance and bigotry

In response to comments made by Pope Francis last August concerning judgmentalism towards gays and lesbians, and recent remarks by Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell in Trinidad and Tobago on LGBT rights, Bahamas Faith Ministries (BFM) Pastor Dr. Myles Munroe has appeared bigoted, ignorant and prejudiced. And, arrogant.
In contrast to Pope Francis, Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd and other Christian leaders, Munroe appears uncharitable, not disposed to mercy, unwilling to support efforts to stem discrimination and violence against gays and lesbians.
While many church leaders do not support state-recognized same-sex marriages, they are challenging the dehumanization and demonization of gays and lesbians. Munroe's remarks may give comfort to the demonizers.
For the sake of Christian love and charity Munroe must state whether he sides with those who would do violence towards his gay brothers and sisters in the name of God or whether he stands with the likes of former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, U.S. President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Mitchell and countless others who are seeking to confront violence against those of God's children who happen to be gay.
In his various remarks, Munroe has also displayed a curious ignorance, in two senses: He seems uninformed of certain facts and information, and lacking in a basic understanding of whatever information he may have reviewed.
Either he is intellectually unable to grasp certain matters or he is being purposefully misleading, or some combination of these, none of which suggests acuity and credibility on these issues.
In criticizing Pope Francis, Munroe demonstrated stunning ignorance of and a poor ability to grasp basic elements of theology and ecclesiology in the Roman Catholic tradition.
He was factually wrong in the assertion that the pope was expressing his own opinion. He was also factually wrong in his assertion that the pope was contradicting his predecessor and the position of the Catholic Church.
Doctorate
Roman Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder, who has an earned doctorate in theology from the prestigious Catholic University of America, but who chooses not to be referred to as Dr. Pinder, noted in a Guardian story that those who asserted that Pope Francis was breaking with Roman Catholic teachings in his remarks about gays and lesbians were incorrect in their assertion.
Munroe's criticism of Mitchell's Trinidad and Tobago remarks was curious and baffling, as the minister's remarks in question were limited and generally measured. Mitchell broke no new substantive ground in terms of the policies of successive Bahamian governments.
Essentially, the foreign minister was calling for protection of gays and lesbians from discrimination. Sadly, in the minds of some, efforts to stem discrimination and violence against gays and lesbians, providing them with the security of basic human rights, are unacceptable and egregious. The name for this is bigotry.
Munroe stands in a succession of religious leaders who, over the millennia, seem more seized by the strictures of the Hebrew Scriptures than they are by the example, ministry and teachings of Jesus Christ as exemplified in the Gospels.
There are no warrants for racism, sexism or homophobia in the New Testament. But bigots have for centuries engaged in all manner of proof-texting of the Hebrew Scriptures to bolster and promote their ancient prejudices and hatreds.
White racist pastors used the Hebrew texts for centuries as a basis for slavery, colonialism and the degradation of black people. Gracefully, abolitionists religious leaders found in the ministry of Jesus the moral power to confront slavery and the slave trade.
For millennia and still, many found in the Hebrew Scriptures a warrant for their misogyny and bigotry towards women. The respect for the dignity of women by Jesus in the Gospels was in various ways a radical break from the culture into which he was born. His was a liberating message of equality.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus speaks of mercy, of not judging others, of eschewing revenge, of giving to the needy. He also speaks of adultery. Sadly, for contemporary bigots, there is no mention of homosexuality.
According to a recent Nassau Guardian story Munroe noted: "'He [Mitchell] seems to have an agenda that may disqualify him from serving in the position as minister of foreign affairs, because there is a great possibility that he may be more inclined to present his own views than those of the people of The Bahamas.
"'Therefore, I am recommending that the prime minister reconsider him from being minister of foreign affairs because his personal opinions may interfere with his objectivity in the carrying out of his duties.'"
There is an agenda and a lack of objectivity. But it is by Munroe.
Resolution
Mitchell's remarks on non-discrimination against gays and lesbians were in keeping with the views of successive governments, including the Ingraham administration which supported "a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution promoting equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation".
Is Munroe wilfully ignorant or being purposefully misleading? Prejudice and bigotry tend to induce jaundiced thinking.
The Guardian story quoted Munroe as saying: "'I have nothing personal against Minister Mitchell.
"'I think he is an excellent politician and man, like I am. It is nothing personal. It is more of a deep concern of his representation of our country in his position as minister...'"
The story continued: "Let me state for the record publically, [sic] Mr. Foreign Minister, I have no interest in your private life," said Munroe in the sermon.
"Personally, I really don't care about your private life. But when you step in our house that we are paying you to represent us in, you keep your private life in your closet and you deal with our public business in our interest."
There is a well-known rhetorical device and political trick of suggesting no interest in a certain matter. But by raising the matter whether obliquely or not one is clearly seeking to make a point.
By employing the language he did, Munroe used his position to hurl an innuendo against another. It was unbecoming of him as a Christian and as a fellow-citizen. It was mean-spirited and uncharitable. It is a low moment in his ministry. If he has policy disagreements with the minister, fine. But to reference another's personal life is contemptuous.
Munroe's views on gambling are well-known. Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe has spoken at home and abroad of making The Bahamas a gambling mecca. Wilchcombe continues to press the idea of regulating the numbers houses, something Munroe opposes.
Unacceptable
But in opposing Wilchcombe's policy views Munroe would not stoop so low as to raise his private life. Indeed, he would not likely to do so of any minister. What Munroe said in reference to Mitchell is unacceptable and unworthy of anyone who purports to have moral authority.
Recall that Munroe labelled Pope Francis as "reckless" pertaining to his comments on being judgmental toward gays and lesbians. Francis was reckless with love. Munroe was reckless in the manner in which he contemptuously referenced Mitchell, while feigning respect.
Munroe also impugned Pope Francis' motives as a bid to revive Roman Catholicism. The suggestion was that the pope was engaging in marketing and public relations, rather than motivated by love. One imagines that Munroe knows quite a bit about marketing and public relations.
The Guardian story noted Munroe as stating that, "He [Fred Mitchell] began to intellectually try to [discombobulate us]' ..." As suggested previously, Munroe seems easily intellectually discombobulated, as Mitchell's comments were clear and easily understandable.
The story further noted that, "Munroe said he has travelled to 138 countries, something he said Mitchell has not done.
"'So I've been to more countries representing this country than anyone else in this government,' he said."
What was his point in making such as statement, which came across to many as arrogant and self-aggrandizing?
No matter how many countries Munroe has travelled to he is not the moral ambassador of The Bahamas. Indeed in his bigotry toward gays and lesbians he does not represent many Bahamians or the future, nor does he seem to be able to represent clearly our laws regarding non-discrimination.
We have a foreign minister. Though he will rightly be criticized for various policies, he has represented clearly, articulately and intelligently, the policies of successive administrations in terms of non-discrimination toward gays and lesbians. It is more than can be said for Munroe.
o frontporchguardian@gmail.com, www.bahamapundit.com.

read more »


News Article

February 27, 2012
Profile: Craig Pinder

In his latest role, Bahamian performer Craig Pinder takes on Shakespeare's tragic character of Othello, a cultural outsider in his community whose actions challenge society's rigid expectations of his character.
Though Pinder's story is one of triumph rather than tragedy, his international career in theater has kept him at a distance from his Bahamian home. Recently however, with a string of Bahamian parts played out both on the stage and on screen, Pinder looks to The Bahamas as a promising place of growth in performing arts with the right encouragement he's seen instituted in the places he's lived abroad.
"Every time I come back to The Bahamas, I'm always astounded at how much natural talent and ability Bahamians have," he said. "All I see is opportunities that are needed for kids and adults to help them develop that creativity, like a National Youth Theatre Program and workshops besides a thriving scene of theatrical productions."
"I think The Bahamas can be a center for theater - the talent and desire is here. The response to Othello is fantastic, people are keen and longing for it," he continued. "Theater needs funding. It hardly makes any money, especially good theater. But just because it doesn't make any money doesn't make it less valid. That needs to be respected - it's not a waste of money to invest in these projects."
Though he lives and works in the UK to pursue a fulfilling stage acting career, Craig Pinder's Bahamian roots run as deep as his love for performance. Inspired by his father Bill Pinder, who he performed alongside as a young boy of eight years old in productions in The Bahamas, he was bitten by the bug.
It wasn't until high school at Queen's College, however, that his English teacher, Rodger Kelty, pointed out that his love for performance matched his inherent talent when, at his teacher's urging, Pinder recited passages from Henry V in the fashion of Lawrence Olivier.
"Afterwards, he came up to me and said I should go into acting, but I didn't think it was possible," remembered Pinder. "The people I knew who did acting were TV stars and it seemed so far away, so inaccessible. How could a Bahamian do it? It seemed to be an impossible dream."
Yet while studying Chemistry at Reading University in England in the 1970s, Pinder still couldn't avoid his true calling. He joined the Drama Society on campus and immediately landed his first major lead role as Romeo in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".
"I was there studying chemistry, but my heart was in drama," he laughed.
So after graduating and while working and living at home in The Bahamas and with the urging of his mentor Audry Grindrod, he worked towards earning his London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) gold medal. When the opportunity presented itself to try out for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) while he completed his LAMDA, he took it and earned one of the only two spots available for his division. Pinder eluded such talent as a dedicated performer during his time at RADA from 1979-1981 that he left with the Ronson Prize for the most Promising Actor Award.
With that under his belt, Pinder went on to lead the actor's life first in New York City with off-Broadway stage acting stints and small TV roles interspersed with odd jobs, and then finally to London, where he set his sights on a major stage career.
"I think I'm more of a theater person - some people, the camera loves them, but theater is me," he said. "London was and still is a theater place with a lot of big name actors. They have a tradition of it."
Since then, Pinder has become a stage sensation in the UK acting world, breaking out with his first major lead role, Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables", and then, upon joining the Royal Shakespeare Company, many notable roles in Shakesperean productions. He's also had notable roles in "Mamma Mia!", "Sweeney Todd", "Footloose" and "Death of a Salesman", among other diverse roles in emerging plays.
Yet Pinder experienced great fulfillment when he was finally able to make a big impact in the Bahamian performing scene, playing a part in Kareem Mortimer's groundbreaking film, "Children of God".
"It was a fantastic experience and it was the first time I think I've ever played a Bahamian and it felt very strange and very wonderful - I could actually 'act' being Bahamian instead of putting on an American or British accent," he remembered. "It just meant so much to me to do that."
He then also took part in the film "Wind Jammers" and in "The Tempest", which he also co-directed as part of the Bahamian theater festival, Shakespeare in Paradise. Such opportunities were invaluable to the actor who finds theater and film developing at an exciting pace in his homeland.
"At the back of my mind, I always wanted to come back and do something in the creative environment here because it's a part of me. It's a part of my cultural background and as an actor, you're really acting parts of yourself," he said. "If you spend your entire career not referring to your own culture, you're missing a huge part of your creative spectrum."
Likewise, he also pointed out that if a society misses out on its cultural aspects like theater - indeed, all arts - it suffers a lack of benefits the arts can bring not only as an enjoyable and thought-provoking pastime to its patrons, but as a fulfilling activity for its artists and amateurs.
Rising crime rates certainly have a multitude of contributors, but with a lack of an infrastructure not only to encourage arts developments with funding at the professional level, but also at the amateur level with students, the youth will continue to misdirect their energy into dangerous and unfulfilling pastimes when the alternative could easily be presented to them.
"People seem to think the arts aren't important. Generally politicians cut arts funding because it's seen as a luxury, but I say you think that at your peril," said Pinder. "If you're going through tough times, how can a society heal its suffering without addressing it?"
"Art is important because it tells us about ourselves, our experiences, about what we all have in common, all these feelings we can't explain or control that are irrational," he continued. "But if you see something that touches on those experiences, it often helps you to deal with them. It's a mirror to nature, as Shakespeare said, it's a way of finding out what we're about and a way to help ourselves to be better, happier, more in control and more fulfilled, more whole."

read more »


News Article

February 23, 2012
Along life's road

Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Jesus put a child in the midst and said, "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." -- Matthew 18:1,4.
Mostly when I am out of town, it is customary for me to call and find out how everything is going. I was on the phone with my sister, Bertha, when she got a call from my sister-in-law, Sharon, saying that Reuben was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). On asking which Reuben it was, I found out that it was my little seven-year-old nephew, the son of my brother, Pastor Reuben. I was standing, but my faith stabilized me.
That day on Thursday, February 16, I was already in a very reflective mood since it was my late mother's birthday, and precious memories were flowing. Reuben's death happened so suddenly and without notice. It seemed to be the flu, but it took him immediately to the ICU with a grave prognosis. In three short days, little Reuben went to be with the Lord. My sister, Carmella, told me that on his first day in ICU, he removed the mask from his face and said "Psalm 17" and please do read it.
As I look over my nephew's life, I cannot but conclude that angels are not for the long haul, but for the expressed purpose of a mission to be accomplished. He was highly intelligent, technologically savvy, musically endowed with the most crystal clear voice I have ever heard. I attended Marjorie Knowles' music recital at St. Matthew's during the Christmas and he performed "The First Noel" flawlessly. I was extra excited because my first music recital given by Meta Cumberbatch at age eight was held in St. Matthew's schoolroom.
Reuben was meek, gentle and well-spoken. He was as Christian as his faith was strong. His seven-year-old life could have been measured symbolically in the life of one who had fulfilled all the requirements needed for entrance to the pearly city. Now I know that the days of our life are three score years and 10, but it does not necessarily mean that it is out of God's will if one dies before 70, but any part or parcel of the 70 must be lived in the will of God.
It is amazing that the late Whitney Houston was not even buried, yet that the tongues of some of the religious order were criticizing Reverend Marvin Winans about his sermon. "He ain't do this and he shudda do that and he the next." These are the Christian preachers. Yet, on the other hand, high level media personalities were giving the entire service along with the sermon, high marks.
Such was the case in Jesus' day as recorded in our text. Rather than rescuing the perishing, caring for the dying and witnessing to lost men about the salvific gospel of Jesus Christ, they were trying to find out among them, who was numero uno in the kingdom of God. Who among us could preach the best, has the biggest church with the most members? Who is popular in every nook and cranny? Who is wearing the latest and longest suit and the most expensive shoes? Whose robe is the grandest of them all?
Jesus had just come down from the mountain where His Transfiguration took place in the presence of Peter, James and John, and the multitude were waiting for him. A certain man among them begged Jesus to heal his lunatic son, as the many attacks were beginning to take a toll on the health of both he and his wife. Jesus rebuked the demon and the child was restored to good health.
Thereafter the disciples came to Jesus to find out who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And who so shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
For me, through the death of little Reuben, the word of God has become more clear as to how we should live our lives and our daily behavior each to the other. Children are innocent, pure and chaste and never harbor jealousy or sow seeds of ill wind. They are just pure children who though spanked, will still share a smile. They do not support grudges and will speak the truth even though it may be to the detriment of others. While some may wait for the later years to train children, the wise ones know that from the moment a child comes into this world, serious training must begin. By the time a child reaches the age of seven, the life pattern of that child is already defined.
Once a man and twice a child to me has nothing to do with the physical condition of an individual, but all the graces and virtues of what it is to be a child. Our lives must begin as virtue-packed as that of an innocent child, and in our adult years must possess and show all the love, peace and kindness as if we are still children at play in an open playground. Thank you Father for your word, and thank you God for little Reuben of seven - fit for heaven.
 
oE-mail rubyanndarling@yahoo.com; write to P.O. Box SS 19725, Nassau, Bahamas with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God's Blessings!

read more »


News Article

February 24, 2012
2012 West End Eco-Fishing Camp set to begin a fun-filled season

WEST END, Grand Bahama -- The West End Eco-Fishing Camp is pleased to announce the fourth year of their program designed for local kids who are immersed into a number of activities to get them thinking about their role as "caretakers of the earth and living seas." The camp is held in partnership with the Royal Bahamas Police Force who saw the need to initiate signature community programs to encourage the children to learn about basic first aid, water safety, and swimming, introduction to boating, ecology, kayaking, hand line fishing, and fly fishing. Led by a group of adult volunteers from the local community and officers from the West End police station the kids are kept busy learning about "Esprit de Corps" or group spirit that encourages a team effort in each of the planned activities.
The first camp program began in the spring of 2009 with a goal to ensure that the children from West End would learn about entrepreneur and career opportunities as marine biologists, scientists, ecology tour guides, environmentalists, small boat engine mechanics, oceanographers, agriculture, and aqua-culture farmers. Kids are also included from throughout West Grand Bahama and Pineridge who join together to accept their role as "future environmentalists and ecologists" The eco-fishing camp is slated to open March 10 through May 26, 2012. The sessions are held on Saturday mornings from 9AM to 2PM.

read more »


News Article

February 24, 2012
McCartney responds to PM's Bamboo Town comments

Bamboo Town Member of Parliament Branville McCartney yesterday defended his service to the constituency days after Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said the first term MP cared more about his political ambitions than giving proper representation.
McCartney said his term as an MP overshadows the "disingenuous" attacks leveled against him by the prime minister and some members of the Free National Movement (FNM).
McCartney, who left the FNM last year and subsequently formed the Democratic National Alliance, said he launched several community initiatives for his constituents since 2007, including a bi-monthly senior citizens program, a youth club, a food and clothing distribution program, adult computer classes and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
He added that voters will not be swayed by personal attacks, but rather by the FNM's performance on crime fighting, immigration and education.
"The current leadership continues to mislead Bahamians to garner favor with voters but will soon realize that this political season, Bahamians are wiser and have become immune to political rhetoric," said McCartney in a statement.
"In 2007, the prime minister said he would reduce crime but instead the numbers soared. The families of the murder victims of 2011, and those thus far this year, would like to know what is this government going to do about these criminals and for the Bahamians living in fear.
"What will this administration do to modernize the education system, (and) our immigration and regularization laws? What is the prime minister going to do to provide economic security for Bahamians; what will he do to reduce our national debt?"
As he urged voters in Bamboo Town to support FNM candidate Cassius Stuart, Ingraham also said he had "misjudged" McCartney when he introduced him as a candidate in 2007.
"We sent you a young man last time. He swore on to our team and you elected him as an FNM. We misjudged him. Behind his affable smile was unbridled ambition to achieve power," the prime minister said.
"He proved not to be interested in delivering for you but rather achieving for himself. Now he tells you The Bahamas needs new leadership. Well in order to lead you must first learn to follow. Anyway show him what you (have) planned for him this time."
The comments were in sharp contrast to how Ingraham described McCartney to voters days ahead of the last general election.
At the time, the prime minister said McCartney was "a wonderful example and role model for our children most particularly for our young men".

read more »


News Article

February 29, 2012
A teaching moment about 'our' sports

I just don't get it. Our political leaders (all of them) continue to miss the boat when it comes to recognizing the true importance of sports to this country and act accordingly.
It is so obvious that the only way the criminal element in this country will be pushed back is if the national sports program is expanded to gobble up the vast majority of the young boys and girls who go astray because of having no positive sense of direction. The national sports program is a great option for our little boys and girls and the older ones as well.
The Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium was bursting at the seams with people on Saturday past. There was the big question bandied around about whether the stadium would ever be seated to capacity. Well, we got our answer.
Let's be clear about the situation. On Saturday, the overwhelming support was not about politics. The politicians were neutralized on Saturday even though they came out in big numbers. The response from the crowd to the names of Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie was subdued and similar. No, it was not about them.
Yet, the ongoing comments from that arena prove that the politicizing never stops. The real teaching moment from the event was about sports. Only sports can get all Bahamians, from every persuasion together. Hypocrisy appears to be a constant among our politicians when dealing with sports in particular.
They soak up the opportunities to grandstand on forums created by the awesome collective ability within the Bahamian sports fraternity. They boast and praise the athletes, administrators, coaches and trainers to the highest. Still, against that backdrop, just the financial crumbs from the National Budget table fall off to the national sports program. I invite readers to compare the allocations for health, education and tourism to that of sports. By no means do I wish to dilute the significance and importance of prime health care, high-level educational opportunities and tourism vibrancy to the stable existence of our people. It's been proven over and over again though that the national sports program deserves to be right up there in that top category of budget allocations.
Young boys and girls are dying by way of crime. The lives of others are been snuffed out almost daily, by the young among us. The role models of more and more of our young are not Tommy Robinson, Andre Rodgers, Sir Durward Knowles, Cynthia Moxey-Pratt, Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Chris Brown, Mark Knowles, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Devard Darling, Mychal Thompson, Gomeo Brennan, Glen Griffin, Carl Minns or the many others of that ilk.
Today, the role models who too many of our young seek to emulate, are the crime merchants. It is because the system has changed to enable those who promote crime to be in closer contact with our young. The burden on the sporting administrators, coaches, trainers and other mentors is too great because of the numbers that need attention and the meager funds to go around. Many sports mentors spend personal funds, just to provide meaningful opportunities for sporting growth.
I have personal knowledge of this. The biggest reason for my resignation as president of the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB) way back in 1976 was because my children were getting bigger and more expensive. I no longer was able to afford helping to pay some of the costs for those monthly trips to the Florida Golden Gloves, and other friendly competitions against Bermuda and Canada.
Grants for federations and the National Subvention Program were decades beyond the horizon then. Now, thanks to the central administration, grants and subventions are commonplace. The funding for the subvention program is fine. The grants must be adjusted greatly. The core sports group needs $300,000 at least per year and the smaller sports programs around $200,000.
An essential body like the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC) should be given $500,000 yearly, because of the huge area mandated by the law. If this happens, crime would not be eliminated but there will be a huge dent in the activities of the criminally inclined. The sporting programs would then be in position to inculcate our wayward youth and those who are apt to be directed to the wrong paths in life.
It was indeed a teaching moment about sports on Saturday, February 25 at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. I wonder just how many learned the lesson taught. I'm sure the man whose name the national stadium bears, got the message. He's been a part of the message for many years. Maybe in his own way now, he will be able, somehow, to educate the politicians about the true value of sports.
Thomas Augustus Robinson no doubt was aware of the teaching moment. Congratulations Tommy for the honor bestowed upon you.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at fredericksturrup@gmail.com)

read more »


News Article

February 29, 2012
Anglican bishop: Country needs independent Boundaries Commission

There is a 'pressing need' for an independent Boundaries Commission to ensure that constituency cuts are not subject to the 'whim and will' of the government, said Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd in a pastoral letter to members of the Anglican church.
Boyd, bishop of the diocese of The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, said successive governments have been guilty of using the commission to suit its needs.
"[An independent commission] would ensure that political constituencies are determined by a non-partisan, scientific, transparent method that can withstand objective scrutiny and that is not controlled by the whim and will of the government of the day," said Boyd in a five-page letter written on February 22 and released to the media yesterday .
The creation of an independent Boundaries Commission was one of six proposals in the failed 2002 referendum. The majority of the electorate voted against an independent body to oversee constituency cuts ahead of an election; 57,815 people voted 'no' while 30,418 voted 'yes.'
Boyd also criticized the policy some leaders pursue to dismantle the work of their predecessor in office instead of building on the foundation that was left behind.
"At some times and in some areas, successive governments of this country have seen themselves and have styled themselves as 'undoing' what their predecessors have done rather than collaborating on a sustained, broader and seamless vision for the real well-being and advancement of this country," he wrote.
"It takes immense political will and political maturity on the part of all concerned to rise above 'party' and to think 'country'."
 
ISSUES

Boyd also advised voters to take a non-partisan look at national issues such as the economy, crime, education, health care and the judicial system when they go to the polls this year instead of focusing on the personalities of the candidates.
"Crime remains a concern, as it should be. The police have a job to do and must always be equipped, challenged and given the authority to do it without undue interference or obstruction from government, politicians or citizens," the bishop said.
Boyd said while successive governments have worked to speed up the judicial process more work must be done to accelerate the movement of criminal matters through the courts.
"It will take the government, the judiciary, the police and the legal profession to continue this process. Justice delayed is justice denied. No one of the above groups should be able to stall inordinately or unreasonably the resolution of a case before the court," he wrote.
Boyd also applauded the government for its drug prescription plan but said he looks forward to the day when the uninsured are covered under a national health insurance scheme.
He said voters should consider problems of traffic congestion and the lack of a structured public transport system in New Providence when they go to polls.
He added that the poor and vulnerable are the ones who suffer most because of the country's unreliable jitney system.
"Poor people, children, the elderly and citizens in general suffer inconvenience, limitation and danger because of this.  We cannot have a situation where the persons who need our protection most are left unprotected. This is a matter that must be addressed," Boyd wrote.

read more »


News Article

February 29, 2012
Italian pop singer, Sushy shoots music video in Grand Bahama

GRAND BAHAMA, The
Bahamas - Italian R & B, pop, dance, and sometimes rock singer,
Sushy is in Grand Bahama shooting her latest music video.  The island
offers an idyllic shooting venue for its diverse and lush locations on
and off the water.  Her new music video is called, "Water" and scenes were also shot in Florida.

From the tender age of 5 Susanna Galimi alias "Sushy"  started piano
lessons at the Conservatory of Music in Milan, she spent most of her
childhood travelling especially the USA with her family and thanks to
his father she's grown up listenin' to the Black Music and the Masters
of Jazz. As a child, all Sushy wanted out of life was to become a
singer, and she was driven by the music of Michae

l
Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nina Simone,  Billy Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Janis
Joplin, Lauryn Hill...and her first loves

read more »


News Article

March 01, 2012
Italian pop singer, Sushy shoots music video in Grand Bahama

GRAND BAHAMA, The
Bahamas - Italian R & B, pop, dance, and sometimes rock singer,
Sushy is in Grand Bahama shooting her latest music video.  The island
offers an idyllic shooting venue for its diverse and lush locations on
and off the water.  Her new music video is called, "Water" and scenes were also shot in Florida.

From the tender age of 5 Susanna Galimi alias "Sushy"  started piano
lessons at the Conservatory of Music in Milan, she spent most of her
childhood travelling especially the USA with her family and thanks to
his father she's grown up listenin' to the Black Music and the Masters
of Jazz. As a child, all Sushy wanted out of life was to become a
singer, and she was driven by the music of Michae

l
Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nina Simone,  Billy Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Janis
Joplin, Lauryn Hill...and her first loves

read more »


News Article

February 28, 2012
Jordan gets his miracle

Jordan Carey's parents often joke that their son must have a battery in him because he's constantly on the go, walking and running around. The rare times the toddler sits still for any length of time are to watch his favorite pal, Elmo. But it was just a few months ago when he started creeping that they noticed he would get tired quickly and would have to stop and rest a lot. They believe that tiredness deterred him from pursuing walking with much zeal.
For most parents during pregnancy, thoughts are of giving birth to a healthy child - they don't much care what the sex may be. Joretta Roberts and D'Angelo Carey felt the same way, but when they learned their newborn son, Jordan, needed surgery to repair a number of defects, it not only caused the first time parents' hearts to "skip a beat", but was the start of a long road of hurdles their son would have to overcome.
Just hours after Jordan's birth, it was discovered that he had a gastrointestinal tract issue that needed to be addressed, specifically a diagnosis for imperforate anus. As he was being airlifted from Grand Bahama to New Providence the doctor on the air ambulance detected the infant also had a heart murmur. He was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a heart defect, by pediatric cardiologist Dr. Jerome Lightbourne.
Early on in his young life, the infant had to undergo two surgeries related to bowel repair during which time medical professionals monitored his heart condition for which the surgery would cost the family into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The family did not have health insurance.
"Jordan needed a corrective surgery to fix his heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot - basically different things being wrong with his heart that needed to be fixed if he would live normally," said his father. "The surgery would've cost my fiancee and I about $270,000. At that point neither of us were employed. Joretta was in medical school, completing her studies and at that time I was unemployed. Joretta had some medical coverage, but our son was not covered on it as yet and at that point, he was uninsurable. Knowing that we needed to come up with that money, we knew we needed help. We needed a miracle," said the father.
Three months ago at age 14 months, Roberts and Carey got their "miracle" as their son's much-needed surgery was paid for by the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation, a nonprofit organization that specializes in assisting children with heart problems.
Now at 17 months, Joretta and D'Angelo are wondering whether doctors left a battery in their son after his surgery because he has so much energy and is doing well.
Roberts was enrolled in medical school when she learned she was pregnant. She said it was an uneventful pregnancy, and they didn't think anything would be amiss. She planned to take six months leave to breastfeed before returning to school to do her final examinations and residency.
"There was no indication that there was anything wrong. I went through regular checkups and had two ultrasounds done. Organ development and everything else seemed fine. If there was a heart murmur in utero it is generally considered normal unless there is a family history which there was none in our case. So really there was nothing that made us feel our baby would be anything but healthy," she said. Jordan was born on August 20, 2010.
Everything changed within moments of his birth.
Jordan's heart surgery was performed at the Joe DiMaggio Hospital in Florida.
"I don't know what his chances at life were without the surgery, but from what I saw in research he wouldn't have lived a quality life if it wasn't done," said his father.
His mother, a member of the medical field,knew all of the possible outcomes of surgery and was concerned - not so much about the surgery itself, but how long it would take her son to fully recover. Jordan was discharged from hospital a little over a week after his surgery. Since then she said he has been nothing but a "ball of energy".
"Jordan is now 18 months old and he's doing well. He's so remarkable to watch. He's running around, likes to play ball and feed himself. He copies everything you do, loves Elmo and is just a typical child - full of energy and wanting his own way. It's so remarkable to see all of this especially knowing where he came from," said Roberts. "The only concerns he has right now is that the other surgeries he underwent not long after he was born to fix his gastrointestinal tract has resulted in him having to use a colostomy bag. But he is scheduled for this third and final surgery concerning that in the near future. He is fine and he is happy nonetheless. A typical child," she said.
The parents give back by assisting the Sir Victor Sasson (Bahamas) Heart Foundation with fundraising efforts. They are also active in the Grand Bahama Heart Association.
The parents said the heart foundation is truly God's hand extended. And that the people that are supporters, friends and laborers in the organization have the opportunity to assist God in performing miracles. They encourage people to support the foundation's fundraisers like the annual heart ball and become members of the association. They also encourage people to simply give because they say every dollar adds up.
Prior to their son's surgery, neither Roberts nor Carey knew much about the foundation and like most people, didn't realize what extent the foundation goes to in order to save lives. As such they said they are both dedicated to bringing a greater awareness of the organizations to people.
"Everyone sees programs like 'Feed the Children' or 'Make a Wish' and many people are hard and fast on sending donations across the sea to help people they don't even know or probably will never see. There is nothing wrong with this, but I think that supporting local nonprofit organizations like the heart foundation is so important," said Roberts.
"There are 11 kids on the list awaiting heart surgeries and we need to help. You can watch a miracle happen before your very eyes right here in our country when you give to support the children that need these surgeries. You help to give life and save lives with the small donations you give. It's inspirational to see these kids grow up and now in their 20s still doing well. The foundation has done this for over 4,000 kids in The Bahamas in the 50 years it has been around. Charity begins at home and ends abroad. So doing whatever you can is an awesome way to support your own fellow Bahamian," she said.
Besides the heart foundation's assistance, Roberts said supportive family and friends got them through their ordeal. She also advises people to always try to find a support group during tough times because besides financial woes, she said a person's emotional state can be greatly impacted and having others around who care and understand, helps.
With her son's improving health, Roberts has returned to completing her medical studies because she does not have to worry extensively about what is happening at home.

read more »


Event
Christmas Capers
Christmas Capers

Friday 21st December 2012  9:00 AM

Christmas Capers Mini Day Camps 2012 December, 20th and 21st Ages 5-12 9.00am – 12.00pm Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. Through educational books & DVD’s, Kitty Cuddles, Puppy Baths, Dog Walks, Pony Grooming and interaction with the Bahamas Humane Society Adoption Animals and Staff Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Daily $30 2 Day Mini Camp $55 *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkey,ponies, goats and rabbits love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread.


Event
BHS Animal Fun Day
BHS Animal Fun Day

Sunday 24th February 2013  6:00 PM

Event Has Been postponed to Sunday April 21st Sunday, February 24th is the BHS Animal Fun Day, to be held once again at the Botanical Gardens. This enjoyable day out is perfect for both children and animals and great for the entire family. Bring your dog, bring your loved ones and join us for an afternoon of family fun. Gates open at noon and the festivities continue till 6 p.m. Enter your dog in the dog/owner lookalike contest, find out who has the waggiest tail, and have your photo taken at the Kissing Booth. There will be food, booths, and games. If you're able to volunteer for the day, please contact Laura Kimble @ (kimblelaura@gmail.com). Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


Event
In The Spirit Exhibition – New Work by Chantal Bethel

Friday 8th February 2013  6:00 PM

“In The Spirit” Exhibition – New Work by Chantal Bethel Friday, February 8, 2013 at 6pm Hillside House Gallery, Cumberland Street, North of Govt House The Bahamas has a reputation that seems indisputable: endless blue sky, bright sun, hot balmy days, turquoise crystal ocean, soft pale sand, palm trees and flamingos—as an artist to address any of these ubiquitous stereotypes demands a vision beyond typical. Chantal Bethel has developed a reputation for painting and creating from her soul. She is impassioned to express whatever moves her. Thus her art works carry a certain ineffable emotion. Whether she is addressing the subject of woman, mother and child, or in more recent works, an installation—Poto Mitan: Hopes & Prayers for Haiti—a response to the earthquake tragedy of her birthland, she brings a silent, indomitable emotional intelligence to her works. There is a swinging shift between themes in Bethel’s work: At one moment she is dealing with love, a sultry breeze across the canvas, other times she deals in horror and death. In a recent conversation with the artist in her studio, she explains that after working in the dark subject matter of the Haitian tragedy for a couple of years, she is ready to embrace beauty again—to “exhale from the soul”. This collection, In the Spirit, which will be exhibited at Hillside House Gallery on Friday, February 8, 2013, addresses the surprising and very Bahamian theme of flamingos. After Poto Mitan, this is her movement back into light; the works are bright and airy. Soft colour palettes sing. Pieces are diverse, ranging from paintings on canvas to paintings on wood, and amusing, or tense, sculptures. But don’t be too beguiled by these entrancing colours and familiar theme of The Caribbean. At first, the light colours, simple composition, and the well-known form of the flamingo, makes the work seem to be familiar Bahamian paintings, but something about the intriguing textures and almost obsessive use of crackle paint, hints at more. A second clue is her use of quotes from Rumi, (a Sufi mystic who, through poetry, offers insights into a spiritual life beyond this mundane reality). The quotes are not titles per se, but suggest at a relationship between his writings and Bethels paintings; a hint of something beyond the surface. The work is incredibly charming and it is easy to be distracted by their aesthetic appeal. The surfaces seem to crack open to light and they successfully convey the essence of The Bahamas in their shimmering colour range. Rich textured surfaces defy gravity and become about light. Coupled with the images of flamingos are flamingo eggs; whole egg forms covered thickly in gesso; large carefully cracked open ‘eggs’ with inner Mandalas or sun designs; eggs neatly opened to expose personal myths. I am intrigued by the sturdy nature of the eggs. “Eggs are fragile and yet represent hope”, says Bethel. However her eggs are unyielding. This produces an interesting tension between the highly crackled paintings that look incredibly similar to broken eggshells created into a collage. As if recognizing the fragile nature of the egg, Bethel inadvertently wants to protect it, and hold it. Yet in intensified contrast, here are the flamingos: beautiful and insidiously broken. We talk about life and the symbolism of eggs as part of the life cycle; I sense that Bethel is using her art to process her deeper fears and thoughts about existence. In recognizing the metaphor of the flamingo and egg, I have a suspicion that the new depth of layers in Bethel’s work is more than merely technical. It is a compelling balance. The beautiful fluid images of flamingos which are corrupted by a coruscated shattering and their eggs which are toughened to protect, gives the viewer a glimpse at hidden layers of life, as complicated, paradoxical, and profound as it can get. Image 2 seems to hold the balance of the conflicting surfaces. The body and feathers of the flamingos eyeing each other are created by the crackle effect paint, contrasting with a lightness and sensitive handling of paint to express the flamingos’ neck and head, all this is held in a background of deeper paint textures: resulting in a mesmerizing piece. The viewer is captured by a silent complexity, a tenderness and brokenness delicately held in a kind embrace. One of the final pieces created for this show are real broken eggs, and following an inner compulsion by Bethel “...then I cracked one and the thought of light came to me, they needed light”, she brings a completion to the works by allowing the true nature of the eggs to reveal a deeper metaphorical purpose by allowing the cracking, or as Bethel concurs “…like your children, you always want to protect them but if you give them wings, they should be ok on their own”. The circle of broken eggs then becomes a necessary movement in the cycle of life. Fledglings leave the nest and things have to be broken in order for life to break free. And a complex story of being human with many paradoxical truths; brokenness and beauty; fragility and strength; profound and shallow, seem to be expressed in the hidden narrative of Bethel’s art. Beyond surfaces, beyond superficiality, is a world as multifarious and singular as Rumi’s, if you are willing to look into the depths beyond the charismatic images, you will find the divine multiplicity of human soul in Bethel’s new works. Alternatively, just enjoy the sublime and captivating beauty of Chantal Bethel’s art, “In the Spirit”. Written by Susan Moir Mackay


News Article
Youth in Puerto Rico to gain from technology access and training
March 27, 2010
Youth in Puerto Rico to gain from technology access and training

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Microsoft has donated US$60,000 to the Trust for the Americas, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS), to establish its program, Partnership in Opportunities for Employment through Technology in the Americas (POETA), in Puerto Rico to engage youth from low income communities in jobs and provide them with skills that will allow them to have a better life.

read more »


Event
Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas
Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas

Friday 15th March 2013  10:00 AM

SOFT TOUCH PRODUCTIONS Presents Bahamas Circus-The Best Show in The Bahamas Dates- March 15th Day showing-10am Evening showing-8pm March 16th Evening showing-8pm Tickets depots: Seventeen shop, Collins avenue Original Swiss shop, Cable beach Carey's Deparment store, Mackey st Conliffe Bakery, Carmichael Rd Ticket Prices 5 and over-$15 2- 4years- $10 Free Under 2 years School Information School Matinees in Nassau will be held Monday – Thursday, 4th-8th, March, 2013 at 9:30am & 1:00pm. School Matinees in Grand Bahama will be held Monday – Thursday,11th-15th, March, 2013 at 9:30am & 1:00pm. Tickets are $10 for Pre-School $12 for Primary $15 for High School Students. We would like to confirm our offer to you of retaining for a school project, the following on each child who attends Pre-Schoolers $2, and Primary & High School students $3. Any participating school will retain 50% of all their ticket sales. Raffle Tickets are available now for distribution. The raffle will be drawn on Saturday, 27th April, 2013 and prizes are as follows:- Samsung Galaxy S2 4G Cell Phone 42” Flat Screen Television Blackberry Playbook Apple iPad II iPod Touch Xbox 360 Kinect Round-trip ticket for 2 on “Bahamas Celebrations” from Freeport Round-trip ticket for 2 on “The Bohengy” from Nassau Kindly advise at your earliest a day, date and time we can address your school’s as BahamasCircus.com


News Article

January 31, 2012
In the fight of her life

To look at her, you couldn't tell that Tamika Pratt, 36, is battling a disease that can cause life-threatening bleeding. A disease that is rare in people under age 40, and which generally occurs around age 60 and is a disease that is more common in men than women.
The mother of two is fighting for her life as she battles acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a cancer that starts inside bone marrow, the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. It's a cancer that grows from cells that would normally turn into white blood cells. The bone marrow, which helps the body fight infections, eventually stops working correctly. People with AML become more prone to infections and have an increased risk for bleeding as the numbers of healthy blood cells decrease. And it develops quickly, replacing healthy blood cells.
Pratt, a mother of two, Davonte, 17 and Jermika, 11 was diagnosed with the disease in September 2010. Since then her life has been a revolving door of hospital stays for chemotherapy treatment and blood transfusions. (She's had so many transfusions that she's stopped counting). And she's been in and out of remission. What she really needs to turn the tide of this disease is a bone marrow transplant. And she and her family have tried a few inventive ways to get her plight before the public, including offering cell phone cards in $5 and $10 denominations to the public in an effort to get them to donate blood to her cause. Most recently, Pratt took to the Internet to explain her plight in hopes of identifying a bone marrow transplant donor to hopefully provide her with a cure for the aggressive cancer that she has.
She is registered with bone marrow donor programs, but a compatible donor has not been found. And doctors in the United States have told her that the percentage for black Americans in the registry is very low.
"For me, time is running out. This is why I have decided to reach out to my Bahamian people for bone marrow. You could save my life," she said in her Internet appeal.
People between the ages of 18 and 60, in good general health who aren't greatly overweight or have or at a high risk for contracting HIV can be a potential donor. Even people with elevated blood pressure (hypertension) can still be a donor, once their hypertension is well controlled by medication. But they need to get tested to see if their bone marrow matches with Pratt's, through a simple swab of their cheek. The test costs approximate $200, but if you don't want to get tested in her e-mail, Pratt asks people to help someone with funding who would like to be tested to cover the cost of the test.
Symptoms of AML include bleeding from the nose, bleeding gums, bruising, bone pain or tenderness, fatigue, fever, heavy menstrual periods, pallor, shortness of breath (gets worse with exercise), skin rash or lesion, swollen gums (which is very rare) and weight loss.
At the time of Pratt's diagnosis she said she was just feeling extremely tired all the time. During her regular physical, her results showed that her counts were not normal. She was referred to a hematologist who did a bone marrow biopsy. It was determined she had myelodysplastic syndrome [MDS], or what is known as pre-leukemia. She was not worried at that point because she was told it was treatable, but that she had to seek treatment abroad. Less than a month later she had traveled to the United States to seek medical care. It was there that she was given a second bone marrow biopsy. The result this time was that the aggressive cancer had moved beyond MDS and she had leukemia.
The mother of two spent five weeks in hospital receiving chemotherapy treatments. From then to now, hospitals at home and in the United States have been a "revolving door" for her.
"I knew from the beginning that I would have to have a bone marrow transplant, but I was hoping the chemotherapy treatments would work and it wouldn't get to that," said Pratt. "But since this is my third relapse, I said I'd better try see what I could do for myself, so this is something I'm doing on my own trying to find people. I don't know where I'm going to get the money from, but somehow it's going to happen," said Pratt. People wishing to be tested have to pay out of their own pocket, or Pratt will have to "pony up" the cash and pay for them.
Sadly, she does not have any full siblings that can be tested to donate marrow. She has two half-siblings born to her mother, and another 10 half-siblings from her father who have not been tested, because there is only a one-percent chance they would be a match for her. Her mother and one sister have both been tested, but they are still waiting on the results. Her father is deceased.
Most of the time, a doctor cannot tell what caused AML, but there are things that they believe lead to some types of leukemia, including AML, like certain chemicals, certain chemotherapy drugs or radiation. It is also believed that problems with genes may also play a role in the development of AML and that the risk increases if a person has a weakened immune system due to organ transplant, or certain blood disorders.
Since her diagnosis, Pratt said she has not cried once or adopted a woe is me attitude. She says she has accepted what has happened and is taking one day at a time. She says while she tries to maintain a smile on her face and be upbeat, she admits to having her moments.
"Sometimes the devil comes in my mind," she said. "Christmas gone I went and picked up little things, and the devil came in my mind and said, 'Girl, what you picking up these things for? You ain't going to live to see Christmas,' but I simply said, 'Devil, you're a liar.' My son is graduating high school in June and sometimes I wonder if I will be there, but I'm going to be there," she said confidently.
As she searches for a bone marrow donor, she is appealing to Bahamians to donate blood to the hospitals because getting transfusions which has been getting her by, has also been a problem for her.
"I'm just pleading to the public to come forward ... and I wouldn't even go as far as the bone marrow transplant. If they could just put themselves in somebody else's shoe and commit to once a month donating a pint of blood, they could save somebody's life," she said. "If it don't hit them home, they don't feel like they need to do it. And I didn't realize how bad it was until it happened to me."
She admits to not knowing how important it is to be a blood donor until she found herself in the situation she is now in needing to have blood transfusions performed almost every other week.
Pratt's battle has also been expensive and she is thankful for her husband's insurance coverage. But exactly how much she has left of that gives her cause for concern.
"I'm scared to even try to add up the amount I've spent. I'm even scared to call the insurance company to find out how much coverage I have left. My first bill from [the U.S.-based facility] was almost $200,000 for the five weeks I spent there. I have my hospital bill there, my hospital bill here, and I have my doctor bill here. I have stopped asking. I'm afraid to ask," she says.
As she looks forward to her future she says she has no reason not to smile and be depressed because God has been good to her. And her husband, Jermaine Pratt stands by her. Plus she does everything she can to keep up a happy front for her children which she said was challenging initially because she tried to keep her illness from them.
"I didn't want to burden them down, so that was a challenge for me. Even when I went away the first time I told them I went away to do testing, but not what was going on with me. And that really had me stressed. After a while I told them separately and explained it to them differently, taking into account their ages. My daughter was pretty good, and the only thing my son wanted to know was whether it would happen to him too. But I told him no that he would be fine. They handled it so well. I didn't give them enough credit. Sometimes my son comes to me with questions, and once I answer him, he's fine.
As she searches for a bone marrow donor, in her fight to live, Pratt has been thrown a number of curve balls, including losing her job in the middle of 2011, which she says she's understanding of because she realizes her employer's office had to continue to run and her home was burgled. Thieves made off with money she had in a drawer to pay for an airline ticket to receive treatment. That was followed by her husband's car being broken into.

read more »


News Article

January 31, 2012
The skin -- the largest organ of the human body

The skin that God blessed us with comes in various colors, shapes and sizes and a lot of times, the proper care and maintenance of it is misunderstood. Many people are of the opinion that anything, or any product can be used to wash or moisturize the skin with and it will be okay. People assume that the skin is resilient and nothing will affect it, however, this is not so because what you do with your skin today will affect your skin tomorrow.
The skin is the largest organ of the human body. It has various functions and needs and functions in such a way as to provide an overall protection for us as we go about our day-to-day activities. It acts as a barrier that protects us against environmental pollutants, infections and irritants by alarming our immune system to attack anything that it does not recognize. By doing so, some potential bacterial infections, pollutants that can cause skin allergies and irritants are sometimes eliminated before we recognize what actually happened.
It also acts as a regulator of body temperature by decreasing the size of the blood vessels to allow for either the retaining of heat when we are cold or the release of heat when our bodies are hot by way of sweating. As a result of this skin function we are protected from extremes of increase or decrease in our body temperature. The skin also acts as a sensor by way of tiny hairs found all over the body. These fine hairs act like the whiskers of a cat that alert us to things in contact with our skin -- like knowing when an ant is crawling on your hand or the brush of a blade of grass on your bare feet. This sensory function also causes us to be aware of pain from the stick of a needle or the pleasure of a welcoming hug. Additionally, it communicates with our surroundings to either attract or repel people based on additional things that are added by nature such as moles, discolorations or dryness or that we add such as tattoos and piercings.
The skin has quite a bit to do every minute of every day and it is up to us to help maintain it so that it can perform at its best to protect us from the rest. In this column I will address all issues about skin conditions that can change the way the skin functions for children and adults, in addition to things that can be done to maintain a healthy, rejuvenated glowing skin.

oDr. Rokeisha Clare-Kleinbussink studied at Cosmetology Cosmetic Training for Dermal Filler in London, UK and attended the Academy of Beauty Training for Laser and Microdermabrasion in Nottinghamshire, UK. She is also an associate lecturer of dermatology at the University of The West Indies. She has a private practice at Roseona House of General and Cosmetic Dermatology and can be reached at 422-0202.

read more »


Event
Medical Association of The Bahamas 41st Annual Scientific Conference
Medical Association of The Bahamas 41st Annual Scientific Conference

Thursday 7th March 2013  2:00 PM

Medical Association of The Bahamas 41st Annual Scientific Conference March 6 – 8, 2013 British Colonial Hilton Hotel Thursday March 7, 2013 2:00pm – 2:30pm The C.R. Walker Memorial Lecture “A JOURNEY THROUGH CHILDHOOD” Dr. Percival McNeil Paediatrician Nassau, Bahamas Session IV 2:30pm - 5:20pm TOPIC: THE COST OF MEDICAL CARE IN THE BAHAMAS IS TOO HIGH AND PHYSICIANS ARE THE CAUSE Moderator - Dr. Sheena Antonio-Collie Panel debate: 2 teams (4 speakers) PRO: Dr. Robin Roberts Director UWI.SCMR (Presenter- 10 min) Dr. Glen Beneby Medical Advisor PHA (Rebutter- 5 min) CON: Dr. Paul Ward Chief of Staff, Rand Hospital (Presenter- 10 min) Dr. Duane Sands Cardiothoracic Surgeon (Rebutter- 5 min) 3:00pm Questions for debate panel 3:10pm BREAK/ VIEW EXHIBITS TOPIC: CHRONIC NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES: STEMMING THE UPSURGE IN OUR SOCIETY 3:20pm Updates In Stroke Management in The Bahamas Dr. Charles Rahming MBBS, Neurologist and internist PMH Nassau, Bahamas 3:40pm Treating To Targets Dr. Winston Forbes MD, Cardiologist, The Rand Memorial Hospital, Freeport, Bahamas 4:00pm The Medical Management of Obesity and It’s Effectiveness in Our Society Dr. Nikkiah Forbes MBBS, DM Internal Medicine, Nassau, Bahamas 4:20pm Questions to the above panel of speakers 4:30pm Keynote Speaker: Local Experience With Weight Loss Surgery; Effect of Weight Reduction and Control of Co-morbid Conditions Dr. Charles Diggis, MBBS, FRCS(GLAG),Med Net 5:00pm Questions for keynote speaker 5:10PM ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - MAB 5:00pm-7:00pm LIGHT COCKTAILS 7:00pm-9:00pm SATELLITE DINNER SYMPOSIUM - By invitation


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Monday 24th June 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVD’s and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


News Article

January 17, 2012
Predatory behavior in dogs and cats

Dogs were originally domesticated to take advantage of their hunting abilities. Our ancestors redirected the natural instinct of the dog's ability to hunt in packs benefiting from the dog's tracking skill and speed in pursuit of common prey. Thousands of years of selected breeding have produced a lot of different breeds.
The Bloodhound was developed for its sense of smell, and the Saluki and Borzoi for their keen eyesight. Labradors for hunting birds, Coonhounds for hunting raccoons and Rodesian Ridgebacks for hunting lions.
Dog breeds were developed to hunt certain animals, like the Irish wolfhound and the foxhound which were developed to hunt wolves and foxes. Some breeds were developed to protect other animals. The Border collie and Elkhound were developed to protect small ruminants. Daschunds and Terrier breeds were bred to pursue ground prey. The English bulldog and American Pitbull Terrier were originally bred for uninhibited predatory and dominant social aggression for their owner's entertainment such as dogfights. The Saint Bernard and the German shepherd were both developed for more humanitarian applications, such as the search and rescue talents that we see today.
Undesirable predatory behavior is relatively common in dogs. Most pets are genetically predisposed towards some form of predatory behavior. This type of behavior is a problem because the dog can cause injury, be self-injured, or be exposed to contagious diseases.
The most obvious disadvantage of predatory behavior by dogs is the unnecessary injury or death of other animals, including wildlife and other pets that appear to be offensive and unnecessary. It can also take a more sinister form when directed against family members, particularly if they are children and infants. Predatory instincts are most likely to be redirected towards children when infants begin to crawl and walk. The dog may not display any interest in an immobile newborn, but may show some interest in the same newborn when it begins crawling around your home. So never leave a child (toddler) unattended around even the most trusted pet.
With the exception of lions, most cats hunt alone and primarily at night. Predatory behavior in cats is both instinctual and learned. Kittens in the form of play, practice hunting techniques. Some house cats without prior experience instinctively react to prey animals that cross their path.
Owners may be horrified when their cat presents them with a half-eaten mouse or bird. This is not a gift to the owner for its gratitude for the owner's care and hospitality, but a maternal instinct when the cat brings back prey to its home for their young ones. The mother will normally bring dead prey - even regurgitating half-digested food for her newborn litter. As the kittens grow, she will return with live prey to teach the kittens how to prey. A cat's instinct may be to carry its prey to a sheltered area, but not to consume it. Some cat owners proclaim that it's cruel to restrict a cat's natural instinct to hunt.
Prevent predatory behavior in dogs and cats.
In dogs, deny your dog the opportunity to hunt. Prevent opportunities for them to roam unsupervised outdoors. Insure that your home is fenced or walled in if hunting occurs beyond your property.
Minimize your dog's desire to roam and hunt by providing other activities. Discourage wild and undisciplined behavior. Walk your dog on a leash and practice obedience skills daily.
In cats, the only practical way to resolve undesirable predatory behavior is to prevent it. The instinct to hunt can be so strong that it lasts a lifetime. The clinic cat, Sneaky, hunts everyday and will bring a dead mouse to us most times. Of course, we like this because it is a means of rodent control. Hunting is a part of a cat's outdoor activities, regardless of how he is fed. It may help to attach bells to a collar to warn unsuspecting targets. Remember that your pet can be injured in its attempt to capture prey and is susceptible to the health risks associated with roaming outdoors.

o Dr. Basil Sands can be contacted at the Central Animal Hospital at 325-1288.

read more »


News Article

January 10, 2012
Carpal tunnel of pain

It's a syndrome characterized by pain, tingling and weakness in the wrist and fingers, usually due to repetitive hand movements. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition often associated with secretaries or older people. But in the age of technology, with desktops, laptops and handheld games, it is a syndrome that is now commonplace in society. To many people it may not seem like a serious problem, but without proper care and precaution it can become a debilitating condition that could require corrective surgery.
Computer programmer Denard Giles, 45, was a long-time sufferer of pain in his wrists and fingers which he attributed to getting older, until he was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome.
"I was one of the many people who thought that carpal tunnel only happened to women. So it was natural that I never imagined for a moment the daily pain I got in my hands was from carpal tunnel. I thought maybe it was due to arthritis or gout since that runs in my family. It was only when I was kept up at night for almost a week due to the pain that I went to see a doctor. I was told it was definitely carpal tunnel." Giles was given a shot to ease the pain. But it took him having surgery for him to take the syndrome seriously.
Two years after the fact, he is now a strong advocate for people adopting the proper posture for typing - whether they are using a typewriter or computer - to lessen their chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Proper posture for keyboard techniques means that your ears should be lined up with the tops of shoulders, and shoulders in line with your hips. For the shoulders, the upper arms should hang relaxed and close to the body. And for the wrists, the hands should be in straight lines with lower arms.
When using your keyboard, your fingers should be relaxed while typing and using a mouse. You should use a soft touch on the keyboard instead of pounding keys with unnecessary force. The mouse should be grasped gently. Your fingers and hands should be relaxed between bursts of typing or using a flat, straight wrist posture. You should also not rest your elbows on hard surfaces.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a lot more common due to the availability and everyday use of the computers and handheld electronic devices, which encourage the repetitive movement of your hands for hours on end, according to Dr. Patrick Whitfield, a family medicine practitioner operating out of the Oxford Medical Center.
"Contrary to belief, carpal tunnel syndrome is no longer confined to clerical workers or older women," said Dr. Whitfield. "It is essentially a pinching of the median nerve which runs up the forearm and enters a small space near the surface of the wrist that it passes through to connect to the first three fingers of your hand. It controls the movement or sensations in your index, middle and ring fingers and if for any reason the tendons found here or the median nerve gets compressed then you get the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Common symptoms include a pain in the wrists, pinching in the centers of the hands, tingling and pain in the fingers and even loss of grip and strength in the hands. These indicators may manifest together or build up over time depending on the severity of the condition."
As with most illnesses there are levels of severity to carpal tunnel syndrome. This is usually gauged by the level of discomfort or mobility of the affected hand according to the doctor. He says some people may be able to still function with their condition and rest when it starts to affect them. For others he said it can be more debilitating and a splint or wrist support may be needed to keep the hand in a neutral position so the tunnel doesn't pinch. For patients he says the pain can be even more intense which means they may not be able to function at all because the pain disturbs sleep at night and flexing for any length of time may hurt continuously.
The doctor says carpal tunnel syndrome is now affecting younger people as well, and is no longer just an older person's disease.
"I am seeing more cases where it is occurring in the younger generation as well," says the family physician. "A number of years ago it was common to see people in their 40s and 50s with this condition but now there has been a shift where people in their 30s and 20s are being diagnosed with it as well. It still occurs more commonly in women due to their bodies' tendency to retain water whether in pregnancy, menopause, a certain point in their menstrual cycle or obesity, which also affects this syndrome. But this does not mean that men are exempt because they can get it too."
While many children are also joining the masses of people using computers for hours on end, the doctor is not as concerned about them due to their resilience at a young age, but he does advise parents to make it a point to teach their youngsters the right posture to use when using one of these devices for long periods of time.
Overall, while Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is often not life-threatening, Dr. Whitfield says it is common enough that many people can get symptoms from time-to-time. They can try to ease the discomfort at home before seeking medical assistance. If you have tingling in your fingers or feel a pinching he advises that you stop what you are doing and give the hand a rest. Using an ice pack for an hour can also prove to be a good remedy to ease the pain, he says. Dr. Whitfield says whenever the pain occurs, it is also important to make a note of what motion or action is causing the discomfort and aim not to do it, or lessen the amount of time spent doing it so that the pain does not persist.
"You can lessen minor discomfort you have if you give your hands a rest for 10 to 15 minutes every hour," says the doctor. "But the problem is that the condition is likely to still develop due to continuing these repetitive practices for years or even mere months. If you know your job requires you to use a computer all day or some other repetitive movement it is not advised to go home and spend another four to five hours doing something similar."
When home remedies don't work, or have to be used too frequently then he says medical treatment should be sought.

read more »


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Thursday 27th June 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVD’s and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


News Article

February 22, 2012
Making an impression in ten minutes or less

Grand Bahama-born Alexiou Gibson got less than 10 minutes to chat with MSNBC contributor and White House correspondent for TheGrio.com, Jeff Johnson, but those precious minutes of conversation were all he needed to impress Johnson who gave up the award he was presented at Palm Beach State College's 13th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast.
The college presents its annual awards to individuals who have made innovative contributions toward improving the lives of others in Palm Beach County, Florida. Honored this year were D'atra Franklin, a Palm Beach State student who has been advocating for legislation to help children aging out of the foster care system; Mark Hansen (alumnus), a former Palm Beach County School Board member who through his books and service is committed to helping and empowering youth; Carlton Wade (individual), a McDonald's franchisee of 11 restaurants in Palm Beach Country whose business presence and personal involvement has enriched youth in the community. El Sol, Jupiter's neighborhood resource center provides services for immigrants and low-income individuals in the community. Johnson was honored for his grassroots work to inspire a new generation of leaders.
In giving up the award to Gibson who graduates from the college in May, Johnson said that every young person has potential and that it's all about how the young people reach their potential and how much that potential has been tailored.
"I get awards like this all the time and I appreciate the spirit from where they come, but I always believe these awards can be inspiration and motivation more to someone else, so brother I want to give you this," he said to Gibson during the ceremony. Telling the audience that Gibson was in the process of preparing a speech to deliver to the school's board of trustees, on how he had been blessed and grown from an experience, Johnson said the brief conversation told him that Gibson was going to do amazing things - and not just in science and technology.
"He has an amazing spirit and it doesn't take longer than 10 minutes to see it. And as far as I'm concerned, it's my responsibility to feed back into you," he told Gibson. "And so as talented as I know you are and as many opportunities that you're going to have, I hope that on the darkest of days, when it's difficult to see who is a hater and who is a friend, that you would at least look at this [award] and hope that it brings some inspiration to know that there's a brother who believes that you are going to do amazing and wonderful things."
Gibson was shocked to hear Johnson give up his award to him. As he walked to the stage to receive it from him he said he was shaking.
"The morning before his speech in the stadium, I was selected to have breakfast with him on a one-on-one level with five other students. Just having idle chit-chat, I asked him about giving speeches because the following week I had to give a speech to my college's board of trustees, which is a huge honor, but nerve-wrecking and I asked advice on staying calm. He asked me why I was chosen to give the speech and I told him about my NASA experience and speaking at elementary schools." Gibson, a biomedical engineering student was one of 48 community college students from 25 states, chosen to participate in a three-day NASA program to design and build a prototype vehicle to roam Mars.
Even though it was a shock to hear Johnson give up his award to him, Gibson said it also made him feel really good. It was an award he could have applied to be considered for, but he missed the application deadline by a day. As he sat through the ceremony happy for awardees, he said he was silently kicking himself, wishing he had applied.
"I wanted to apply for the award because I felt I had applied good leadership - I'm always trying to encourage others and bring them up, so missing that deadline and still getting the award meant a lot."
Since Johnson handed over his award, Gibson said he's been invited to speak to minority students at a lot of schools at the fourth and fifth grades and some high schools in Palm Beach. Gibson who lived in Grand Bahamas until age 10 has also been invited to speak at Freeport High School in March during his Easter break.
When he speaks, Gibson said he tries to uplift students and let them know that the sky is the limit. He tries to influence them in a positive way.
"When I was growing up, I wasn't the best student, and didn't have opportunities, but I've been blessed to have many people in my life that showed me the ropes. So I tell the students about my struggles, to let them know that it's possible to be active and to be responsible."
Gibson, 25, will graduate the community college in May. He currently has a 3.4 grade point average. He's in the process of applying to schools to further his studies. He eventually wants to do research and return to The Bahamas to bridge the gap between research and technology and doctors.
He has also received a letter of recommendation from NASA to return for their three-month internship during the summer.

read more »


News Article

March 13, 2012
Chronic diseases under National Prescription Drug Plan expanded

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham yesterday signed off on an order expanding the amount of chronic diseases covered under the National Prescription Drug Plan (NPDP).
New ailments added to the list are benign prostatic hypertrophy, epilepsy, sickle cell anemia and thyroid disease, according to a statement released by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) yesterday.
The NPDP previously covered 11 chronic conditions: Arthritis, asthma, breast cancer, depression (major), diabetes, glaucoma, high cholesterol, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, prostate cancer and psychosis.
The government enacted the drug plan in 2009 and it came into effect on September 20, 2010.
The statement noted that the new order amends conditions previously listed under two existing categories of illnesses, replacing 'ischemic heart disease' with 'ischaemia disease' and 'major depression' with 'psychiatric disease'.
Last December the government also widened the group of Bahamians that would benefit from the program.
Originally under the first phase of the plan were National Insurance Board (NIB) pensioners, NIB invalids, Bahamian citizens over 65 years of age who are not eligible to receive a NIB pension, children under 18 years of age and students under 25 years of age.
The government added as a part of the second phase, indigent people; staff of Her Majesty's Prisons and the industrial schools; members of the Royal Bahamas Police and Defence Force; people receiving medical care associated with pregnancy; people receiving 100 percent NIB disablement benefits; people receiving a NIB retirement grant and people age 60 and over in receipt of NIB survivors who have been diagnosed with one or more of the chronic conditions covered under the plan.
The NPDP is designed to assist the Bahamian public with medications generally prescribed to treat chronic conditions.
According to the statement, nearly 18,000 people presently receive benefits under the plan.

read more »


News Article

March 06, 2012
Help to save a life

Cardiovascular disease, commonly referred to as heart disease, is the number one killer of people in The Bahamas and around the world. As heart month came to a close, the fight against it still continued because more people die from heart disease than from any other cause. Heart disease does not discriminate. It affects people who are rich and poor, young and old. It does not prejudice based on race, religion, educational attainment or ethnicity. It affects everyone. Oftentimes, people are not sensitized to illnesses unless the illness affects them or their immediate family.
While there are many preventative measures to be taken by adults, such as exercise, eating right, not smoking, lowering cholesterol and taking medications correctly, in the case of babies and children, they rely on others for care and treatment against heart disease. And heart care is not cheap in cases where heart disease is discovered, regardless of age. Heart care can cost up to $1 million. What is even more unfortunate, is that many children when born, may not be privileged to have medical insurance or parents who can afford heart care. As such, when their parents discover that their new born babies have congenital heart disease, they are in a state of emotional and financial frustration, and fear. One such family currently facing such a challenge is that of Rah'nae De'ajah Burrows.
In October 2011, Antoine and Jessica Burrows welcomed their daughter into their family. Tests were carried out to ensure that she was healthy. It was discovered that Rah'nae had characteristics of Down syndrome - news that is not often readily accepted by many new parents - but the couple loved their baby nonetheless and saw her as a special gift from God.
Because of the existence of those characteristics, concerns arose to the possibility that Rah'nae may also have heart disease. After a week in the hospital it was discovered by an echocardiogram that she had a large atrial septal defect (ASD), which was a hole in her heart. The parents were referred to Dr. Jerome Lightbourne at the Pediatric Heart Clinic, at Princess Margaret Hospital. Additionally, genetic testing was done and the tests confirmed that she had Down syndrome.
Consequently, the parents were told to take Rah'nae to the Neurodevelopment Center for therapy, the Neurology clinic, and the Neonatology clinic. The entire process was emotionally and mentally taxing and challenging for the new parents.
With therapy over the past year, Rah'nae's health has been great and the family has seen progress, but Rah'nae is having problems with weight gain because of the heart condition and needs heart surgery desperately.
The Burrows' cannot afford the cost of heart surgery for their baby girl which could run them around $55,000 - and their daughter does not have insurance. Jessica is a school teacher and her husband, a transport operator.
Sadly, this family, like many, is only trying to survive in tough economic times and ensure that there is food, clothing and shelter for the family. As such, they need help to save their baby.
Dr. Lightbourne referred the Burrows' to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation for possible assistance with Rah'nae's surgery. The heart foundation seeks to provide heart care assistance to people, particularly children, who can not ordinarily afford heart care. The nonprofit entity relies heavily upon the generosity of others to help repair the hearts of children. Today, Rah'nae is on a wait list among 11 patients awaiting heart surgery.These patients and their families are prayerful and hopeful that the public will heed the appeals made and make a donation to the heart foundation to help save their lives. Sadly, without such surgeries, patients like Rah'nae, may not live full productive lives and can possibly die.
"The cost of heart surgery is very costly and it does not come with color, face or creed. We don't know when it will affect our loved ones; so I am asking that you please make a donation to the heart foundation to help those who are in need at this time," said Rah'nae's mother. "The heart foundation has been so generous over the years by helping to assist parents with the funds for surgery, and at this time there are 11 children waiting for assistance to have surgery. We need everyone's help at this time, even if it's only one dollar. It counts and can go a long way. By doing this you are donating to a worthy cause - you are saving lives and mending broken hearts," she said.
Burrows thanked the people that have supported her to date in raising funds so that her daughter could receive heart surgery.
To join the fight against heart disease and help children like Rah'nae, the public is encouraged to make a donation to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation. No amount is ever too small. Donations are encouraged year round. General donations, tributes, memorial donations and trusts are encouraged. Additionally, Americans can make tax deductible donations to aid the fight against heart disease. Sponsorship and hosting of fundraising events are also encouraged. The public is encouraged to support the two major fundraisers of The Heart Ball Committee - the Annual Heart Ball and The Annual Tea Party and Fashion Show. The public can also join the Bahamas Heart Association. The proceeds from the membership dues are used in the fight against heart disease.
While you may have missed the Heart Ball for 2012, you can still make a difference in a child's life today, said ball committee public relations officer, Ingrid Sears.
"It's more about the cause of helping to repair a heart than anything else. At present there are 11 plus children awaiting surgery. As the year progresses it is expected that more children will join this list, so the public's assistance is needed and encouraged in this fight against heart disease in children," she said.
To join the fight against heart disease in children and to help save a life, telephone 327-0806/10. You can also send a check to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation, P.O. Box N-8189, Nassau, The Bahamas, or telephone 327-0806 for deposit instructions.
You can learn more about the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation by visiting www.sassoonheartfoundation.org.

read more »


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Wednesday 3rd July 2013  9:00 AM

BHS Summer Camp The Bahamas Humane Society, Chippingham The BHS Summer Camp dates have been set! Camp runs weekly from June 24th to July 12th and then July 22nd to July 26th. The cost is $125.00 per week. It's open for children ages 6 to 13 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children will learn about caring for animals and have the opportunity to interact with the BHS adoption animals. Bring a snack and drink, an old leash, an old towel, and some goodies for the animals. See also the attached information page. Register at the Shelter. Children learn the basics of animal care and humane treatment. They read educational books and watch educational DVD’s and do some fun worksheets. They interact with the Bahamas Humane Society adoption animals and have question and answer sessions with the Humane Society staff. Limited space so register early! Fees are payable in advance. Weekly $125 (Includes a t-shirt) *Children should bring a snack and drink* A dog leash and old towel would be helpful. The dogs appreciate the kids bringing them dog bones, and the donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and horses love treats of vegetables, fruits and bread. Register early as space is limited and fills up quickly! Founded in 1924, the Bahamas Humane Society is the oldest charity in the Bahamas and was originally called the Dumb Friends League. It is affiliated to numerous international organisations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). It is the only humane organisation in the Caribbean to hold membership of the Standards of Excellence Program sponsored by the American Humane Association of which it has been a member since 1989. The BHS employs two full time veterinarians. It offers a 24 hour emergency ambulance service and provides care for sick, injured and abandoned animals.


News Article

March 07, 2012
Cultural Violence and the Rights of Women and Children

Back in 1996 I came
across a Reader's Digest magazine article on the Taliban and their
drastic and tragic dominance over the women of Afghanistan. As a woman
and new young mother, it was heart-wrenching to read how the sudden
oppressive actions of this group were dominating and changing the lives
of women in that country, women who previously had 'normal' lives. They
were forced to cover themselves completely with burqas and were stripped
of their freedoms, careers, but mostly their dignity.  I was so
horror-struck by this article, that I tore out the pages, photocopied it
50 times and snail mailed it to most of my family and friends. I simply
wanted people to know what was going on.

We rally for the rights of animals, we rally for the rights of those of
different colours of skin or race, but do we rally for the basic rights
of human beings? How long do women and children have to be treated like
dogs, or worse, 'rabid dogs'...

read more »