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 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

November 02, 2013
Is Peter Nygard on a quest to be like Peter Pan

Dear Editor,
Peter Nygard, according to the October 30 edition of The Nassau Guardian, said that he wants to live forever or to die trying. The Canadian fashion designer is obviously familiar with the music of American rapper 50 Cent. Seems as if Nygard is on a quest to be like Peter Pan, Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie's childhood character who possesses immortality and never ages and lives in the magical world of Neverland.
Nygard's quest for immortality is a futile attempt to duck the Grim Reaper. His odd desire is very similar to that of the late king of pop, Michael Jackson's, who was known to be a Peter Pan junkie and who, coincidentally, lived on a ranch named Neverland between 1988 and 2005. The property is located in Santa Barbara County, California. In his obsession with the concept of obtaining immortality, Jacko, as he was affectionately called by millions of his adoring fans, underwent hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of plastic surgeries in order to stave off old age.
Despite the breathtaking advance in medical science in the past 100 years, the Grim Reaper still has a batting average of 1,000. While wealthy people such as Nygard are at times able to delay death due to their ability to access the best healthcare available, there is still no getting around Hebrew 9:27, which says that it is appointed unto men once to die. If he owns a Bible, Nygard should know this.
But then again, he doesn't strike me as one who is devoutly religious. Nygard's attempt to evade the inevitable can explain why he vigorously pushed for the passing of stem cell legislation in The Bahamas. The Nassau Guardian noted that the Canadian fashion designer initiated and co-wrote the stem cell legislation, despite saying that he had no personal interest in the government passing it into law some months back, and despite denials by Prime Minister Perry Christie. If Nygard is telling the truth, I find it incredible that a foreigner, notwithstanding his immigration status, can exert so much influence on Bahamian domestic policy that he can influence a government to adopt into law a legislation that he co-wrote. This begs the question: How much clout does Nygard have in this country and in this Progressive Liberal Party government? By Nygard's own admission, he spoke to Christie about stem cells while the latter was in the opposition. We have yet to reach the two-year mark of the current administration, yet the Stem Cell Therapy Bill has already been passed into law. Whether or not cell stem research is an ethical issue, Nygard's admission is deeply troubling, to say the least. But nothing surprises me anymore in this country. At the rate we are on, it wouldn't surprise me if he obtains Bahamian citizenship and runs for the Progressive Liberal Party. Nygard is the most politically outspoken foreigner I have ever seen in this country. In the October 31 edition of The Nassau Guardian, he took a swipe at the Free National Movement for its stance against stem cell research. This issue is obviously near and dear to Nygard's heart. After all, it is his quest for immortality; it is his quest, I believe, to be like Peter Pan.
- Kevin Evans

read more »


News Article

March 04, 2014
Blair tells of attack by gunmen

Judith Blair, 67, said she stared down the barrel of a handgun held by her attacker who broke into her Blue Hill Estates home, and said, "I forgive you, but you need to get out of my house."
In that moment, she said, the man shot her. The bullet grazed her left temple and she was still able to stand.
Blair said yesterday she told the two gunmen, who had ordered her and her son to lie on the floor and demanded money, to "leave in the name of Jesus".
Blair was then shot in the abdomen. The two suspects fled the home.
She said as she realized she was bleeding from her stomach, she told her 14-year-old grandson to call an ambulance.
Marvin Blair, 34, Judith's son, was also shot in the abdomen during the home invasion last month.
Asked whether she feared death as she was bleeding on the floor, Blair said she did not because her life was and has always been in God's hands.
She recalled the events of February 11, which she said have not discouraged or defeated her, but will lead her to be a spokesperson for victims.
"I looked the gunman in the eye and told him, 'I forgive you, but you need to get out of my house and go because I am not getting down'," Blair told The Nassau Guardian.
"And I ushered them out of my house as he shot me. And I saw him run up the hill and I knew that God was going to take care of me.
"And if he would forgive himself there is hope for him."
Blair, a former College of The Bahamas lecturer for decades, attended a presentation at the college's Oakes Field campus yesterday.
Despite her recent brush with death, Blair said she does not feel distressed or fearful of a future attack.
"I would like to meet the people, who came into my home to violate me, and let them know I love them, I forgive them and it is okay," she said.
"If they would forgive themselves, there is hope for them."
Blair and her son, Peter Blair, a PhD candidate in Applied Economics at Wharton University of Pennsylvania, said good things have come out of the incident.
"I looked at the outpouring of love, heard that the entire Bahamas was praying for me, the flowers, the gifts, the support and my entire family around me -- all my children came home -- and I saw nothing but good coming out of the situation," she said.
"I am in no way afraid. People ask me would I go back to my house and I say that is my house, no one is going to run me out of my house."
Peter Blair said the support from the wider community as his family recovered from the incident has been amazing.
"Just as a family it has been a very unifying experience too," he said.
"And as my brother Tim said, we are not afraid. We are not afraid. This is where we live."
Judith Blair said no amount of police patrols can heal The Bahamas, but Bahamians must show compassion to criminals, who are in need of love, hope and employment.
She said she would like to meet with Prime Minister Perry Christie to discuss her thoughts on crime.
She urged other victims of violent crime to trust God and to learn the power of forgiveness, adding that it is the only way to move on.
"We must forgive," she said. "If we do not forgive those who have wronged us we cannot move forward.
"And we cannot see what is in store for us if we focus on the bad.
"When I look at what happened to me, some say it is a tragedy, but I say no. It is an opportunity for a turnaround in this nation, and for God to be glorified."

read more »


News Article

November 01, 2013
The case for a social democracy

Dear Editor,
Socialism is a dirty word in most Western-styled democracies, as it tends to evoke images of individuals living on the economic fat of the state, at taxpayers' expense, while electing not to work or otherwise make themselves productive members of society.
From the early days of the 1970s, most European nations structured a social net whereby the ordinary citizen would be able to access basic healthcare, college level education and access to other common expectations. This worked well when population levels were relatively small and they were culturally cohesive.
With the advent of the European Common Market and relaxation of cross-border travel and migration, huge numbers of foreign nationals moved from one jurisdiction to the other, especially where the economic benefits were more attractive. They settled in and eventually had children and grand children.
Today, in most of these European countries we are now witnessing the bankruptcy of the system and challenges to maintaining the social net in the face of apparent and real resentment from the indigenous people. This is now the case in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Political parties and individuals who argue for expulsion and the closing of borders are on the rise.
Socialism is now, once again, a dirty word in many of these countries and we are seeing massive immigration round-ups of foreign nationals and their progeny. Closer to home, in the Dominican Republic, we saw where the Constitutional Court of that nation has ruled that people of Haitian descent who were born after 1929 are not, automatically, eligible to Dominican citizenship and all of the benefits that would accrue there from.
In our own country of The Bahamas, the unknown number of illegal nationals, the bulk of whom are of Haitian extraction, is causing angst and societal discomfort. It is commonly accepted that our educational facilities are maxed out due to the large number of children of Haitian parentage who are in the system.
Our healthcare institutions are also challenged due to the massive demands made by foreign-born people. Last year, according to statistics, more than 60 percent of the live births at Princess Margaret Hospital were to Haitian mothers. On any given day, the vast majority of patients at our clinics are of foreign antecedents.
We pride ourselves on being a democracy, and as self-professed Christians we say that we have a social conscience. The status quo, however, has now become almost unbearable. How do we, as an indigenous people, provide the expected social amenities for Bahamians while excluding others who are foreigners? Do we go the route of the Dominican Republic or do we bite the bullet?
Our democracy is being challenged in that during the last electoral cycle it is a known fact that thousands of individuals actually voted even though they were not born in this country. The majority of them were made citizens by paper fiats during the course of the last five or so years.
At one point, the Haitian president visited New Providence and at a very public forum he urged his compatriots to vote for the party which had their best interests at heart. Many believed that he was advocating political support for the PLP. The rest is, of course, history.
Recently that same Haitian president was a guest of honor at the 70th birthday bash for our own home-grown prime minister. During brief remarks, Michel Martelly, urged Perry Christie to create jobs for the millions of economically dispossessed Haitians. Christie did not bat an eye and promised to see what he could do.
Indigenous Bahamians are being relegated to the back of the bus when it comes to employment on the most mundane construction site, especially over at Bimini and down at Baha Mar. Unemployment rose by almost two percent but our politicians say that they are encouraged by the figures which show that more individuals are now actually seeking jobs. Mind you, it does not seem to have dawned on them that there are, in fact, no real jobs out there for them to seek.
We should not be surprised, however, when we consider that one of our erstwhile political figures, who has now, mercifully, been consigned to the dust bin, crowed that 49 percent was equal to 51 percent.
Just recently, the minister of national security boldly declared that $5 million was spent on the failed and badly executed so-called referendum on gambling. A few days later he was correcting that figure by saying that only $1.2 million was spent. Is it any wonder that our national debt and recurrent expenses are not known with any degree of certainty by anyone?
A social democracy is possible in The Bahamas, however. The problem with its implementation is that none of our current crop of politicians has any vision or plan for the same. Their archaic methods of governance and the way they wield power do not lend themselves to socially empowering individuals.
They will all die the death of a thousand cuts before we see the introduction of universal healthcare, economic incentives for ordinary Bahamians and access to a real Freedom of Information Act.
Here it is that we all know that we need to generate more revenue. We have the spectacle of the web shop industry raking in hundreds of millions of dollars, tax free, each year. Instead of the government (anyone of them) simply bringing legislation to Parliament to regulate and tax this industry, it talks stupidity about a value added tax regime.
Most of us are already taxed to the max yet the politicians are going to wring out the last red cent from our pockets or die trying. Why not introduce a sales tax? Why not introduce a flat income tax, across the board, of 10%?
Social Democracy is possible but until then, in all things, to God be the glory.
- Ortland H. Bodie Jr.

read more »


News Article

February 23, 2012
Lenten season starts with a mortality reminder

You see it every year on Ash Wednesday, believers walking around with a cross of ashes on their foreheads, and you hope and pray they all know why they are wearing the sign. But one priest made certain the members of his parish knew why they were wearing the sign of the cross. At Ash Wednesday services, he took them through the reasons behind the use of ashes within the biblical traditions and why they still use them in the church today.
Canon Basil Tynes, rector at St. Barnabas Anglican Church on Baillou Hill Road and Wulf Road, reminded his congregation of the three services held at the church during the course of the day, of the five reasons ashes were used in the Old Testament literature and what it means.
"Ashes are placed on our foreheads as a reminder of our mortality, that we've only come to this world for a season and a time, and we have to prepare ourselves. We came from God, and one day we will return to Him and the question is how and in what condition we will return?"
In Old Testament literature, Canon Tynes said in the first instance, ashes were used to remind God's people of their mortality, and that they had a beginning and a definite end. He told them that only God goes on forever. He referenced Genesis 18:20 where Abraham told God that he wanted to make a plea, and said all that he was is dust and ashes.
"The second thing ashes were used for was that they were a sign of grief or sorrow over the death of loved ones, as in the case of Job when he lost his children and all that he lost that day. He sat down in sackcloth and ashes and threw dust and ashes over himself as he grieved and mourned."
In today's world, Tynes said when ashes are applied to the forehead, people should be grieving over the death of sin in their lives, as sin does not bring life, but rather death. He said it spurs on the whole culture of death that surrounds people.
"[Roman Catholic] Pope John Paul used to talk about the culture of death and destruction, because many times we turn away from God, we turn away from this life that misses the mark completely and all that we see going on around us in terms of the crime, the things that we do towards people, property, the sexual abuse, all of the other things, are all a part of the (death) that we are reminded to turn away from."
Canon Tynes said the third reason ashes were used were as a sign of repentance which is seen in Matthew 11:21.
In the fourth instance, Canon Tynes said ashes were used as a symbol of consecration in the epistle to the Hebrews. He said they took the ashes of a heifer and mixed it with oil to consecrate the priest for service in the temple.  He said it is important that ashes are used as a form of consecration of people dedicating their lives back to God.
In today's world, he reminded Anglicans that they needed to repent, and believe the gospel more fervently personally.
"People can hide in a congregation and just because they're going through the mass and the rituals, or praise and worship and the rest of it, they can be going through the form of religion, but denying the power thereof. And the gospel should really transform people's lives."
He said that the whole point behind Lent is for people to take a personal look on the inside to see whether they are really getting themselves together in terms of the gospel tradition.
The fifth reason ashes were used was as a sign of corporate repentance.
"In one case there's individual repentance in Matthew, but corporate repentance in terms of Jonah chapter 3, where Jonah gets the whole city of Nineveh, including the king to put on sackcloth and ashes as a sign of their corporate repentance. I want them to understand that it's the whole community, it's not just the church, because a lot of people who are non-Anglicans come to participate in Ash Wednesday service and I tell them this is a grand opportunity for us as a people to turn back to God and be able to say 'Lord we are sorry because we've been off track as a nation, as a community, or as a church'.
"In other words, the whole corporate nature of sin is taken seriously, because when we don't care, and we say that's not my business, we're actually committing a sin not only against God, but against the rest of our community by not being responsible."
The priest "hammered home" to Anglicans that God is a God of second chances. That he calls them day-by-day to demonstrate the same loyalty that He shows to them.
"God is always faithful to us. The question is how faithful are we to Him? There is a real need for us to turn back, not only to the source of our life, but the ground of our being and be able to move forward to what God has always intended us to be according to the Gospel tradition," he said.
Over the next 40 days of Lent, which actually turns out to be 46 days as Sundays should not be counted, Canon Tynes encouraged Anglicans to take on something extra, and not only look to give up something.
"There are some people who for Lent decide that they're going to give up candy ... chocolate -- but I'm not concerned about their dietary concerns. I'm more concerned with them taking on something, taking on the cross and following Him wherever He decides to lead them."
He said the men of his parish had already had a meeting where they discussed implementing an apprentice program to help some of the younger men with acquiring jobs, developing new skills and generally doing things to try to uplift people to where they need to be. But at the same time he said they were not going to forget the spiritual aspect of the Lenten season, and had decided to call a fast at some point, to pray not only for the church, but for the country as well.
The members were also encouraged to take the season seriously.
"I tell people all the time, that they could have religion, but that it doesn't necessarily mean that they have a relationship with God. And that there are people who are going through the form of religion, but deny the power thereof."
Canon Tynes said religion is at its best when it is properly taught and explained, which was the reason why he took his parish members through the reasons behind the use of ashes within the biblical traditions and why they still use them in the church today.
Lent officially began yesterday and officially ends on Holy Saturday evening, usually at the vigil service. At St. Barnabas church, their vigil service is usually held on Sunday morning with a 5 a.m. service, which Canon Tynes says he's found to be a better time to have the service as most people tend to turn out, rather than trying for a 12 midnight Mass.

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

March 14, 2014
New radio show to tackle environmental issues

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- A new radio show will be take on uncharted territory for call-in talk shows this week when Love 97 launches 'Voice of the Bays: The Environment Speaks' Monday March 17 at 5pm with three hosts who plan to touch on everything from the undersea world to responsible development.
The show features the familiar voices of environmentalists Joseph Darville, Save The Bays Director of Education; Gail Woon, founder of EARTHCARE Bahamas; and Nikie Severe, Youth Environmental Ambassadors. Its airing, said Darville, is made possible through a grant from Save The Bays, the people's environmental movement sweeping the nation, while other sponsors will come on board as the show gains popularity, he believes.
"This is a great opportunity and we are very appreciative to both Save The Bays and Jones Communications for recognizing the need to bring greater awareness to the critical issues about the environment," said Darville, a well-known human rights and environmental advocate. "We will open up for discussion a wide range of issues - the urgent need for an Environmental Protection Act as well as a Freedom of Information Act. We will discuss sustainable development with critical sensitivity to the preservation of our pristine marine and costal environments, the necessity to teach present and future generations their personal role in understanding and protecting the unique and amazingly beautiful God-gifted archipelagic nation of ours. Its stewardship is a sacred responsibility as we are borrowing this heritage patrimony from our children, grandchildren and all generations to come after us."
Call-in numbers for 'The Environment Speaks' are 326-8255 in Nassau and 351-6175 in Freeport. The show also streams live online.

read more »


News Article

March 01, 2012
Leroy Stanley Johnson, 69

Memorial service for Leroy Stanley Johnson, 69, of Flint and Taylor Streets will be held on Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 at Amazing Grace Missionary Baptist Church, Wilson Tract Officiating will be Sr. Pastor, Rev. Elva Johnson J.P., assisted by Rev. Merion. E. Roberts J.P., Rev. Dr. George Barry and other Ministers of the Gospel.
Left to cherish his precious memories are: his three(3): daughters Naurae and Michelle Johnson and Natasha Ferguson six(6) sisters: Naomi Carey, Rosemary Lowe, Sherry Lowe, Donnamae Lowe, Garnelle Lowe-Holmes and Sharon Lowe - Byrd; two (2) brothers: Anthony and Bradley Lowe; twelve (12) grand-children: Nerissa Johnson, George Willie, Delya Ferguson, Natricia Wainwright, Berget ...

read more »


News Article

February 27, 2012
'Great need' for autism awareness in The Bahamas

By ALESHA CADET

Tribune Features Reporter

A LOCAL doctor is encouraging people to unite and work together in an effort to raise awareness about autism in The Bahamas.

Dr Michelle Major, who began her career in the field of autism as an inclusion teacher and a verbal behaviour therapist for children with autism, said awareness of the neurological disorder in The Bahamas, and indeed the Caribbean, is limited.

The Bahamas, she said, is in need of early intervention, early identification and adult training programmes, just to name a few initiatives.

With her experience of speaking on autism at international forums, Dr Major said in her view government support is essential in helping children ...

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
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

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

March 03, 2012
Illegitimacy in The Bahamas

The Department of Statistics has released its Births Report for the period 1970 to 2010.  An interesting section of the report relates to illegitimacy - that is, children born to unmarried mothers.
According to the report, births to unwed mothers in The Bahamas escalated during the past 40 years from 29 percent in 1970, to a high of 62 percent in 2009.  Births to unwed mothers dropped slightly in 2010 to 59 percent.
"Births to unwed mothers remained the largest annual natural increase to the Bahamian population," said the Department of Statistics in the report.
The traditional home in which married parents shared the responsibility of child rearing has been eclipsed by a new Bahamas in which mothers primarily carry the burden of bringing up children.  Some men who father children to women they are not married to make an effort.  Many do not, however.
There are several disadvantages to a society growing via this model.  The combined income and attention of two well-intentioned parents in a home far surpass what a well-intentioned mother, burdened by being both a father and mother, can provide to a child.
Beyond resources, children need examples to use to model behavior.  When no father is present in the home, a boy is robbed of an example of how to be, or not to be, a man.  Similarly, girls are denied the example of observing masculinity up close when their fathers are missing.
One of the few measures the state can take to influence the reproductive patterns of its citizens is to ensure aggressively that child maintenance laws are tough and enforced.  When men refuse to financially help take care of their children, they can be taken to court by mothers and made to pay.  And they should be made to pay.  People are the most important natural resource of any society.  Every investment must be made in the next generation to ensure it is as capable as possible to meet the challenges of the times.
The church has a role to play in this issue too.  The message must again be aggressively and consistently sent to Bahamians that two-parent homes with focused and dedicated parents are more ideal than homes in which mothers struggle to do it all alone.  And when children are born to unwed mothers it must be emphasized from our pulpits that it is morally reprehensible for a man not to take care of his children.
A positive trend in the report is that the number of teenage pregnancy remains significantly under the highs of a few decades ago.  According to the report, in 1980 there were 1,107 births recorded to teenage mothers; 763 in 1990; 580 in 2000; and 533 in 2010.
Girls who have not even finished their secondary education are not well-equipped to be mothers.  The public education initiatives in place in schools and via the media seem to have had some positive effect on this problem.
Additionally, the state must continue to ensure that men who commit statutory rape and impregnate girls are prosecuted.  The aggressive prosecution of these men should help deter others from engaging in this destructive behavior.
 
 

read more »


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


Event
BHS Animal Fun Day
BHS Animal Fun Day

Sunday 21st April 2013  6:00 PM

Sunday, February 21st 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.


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  8:00 PM

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

February 07, 2012
Mending hearts and saving lives

Minister of Health Dr. Hubert Minnis has indicated that non-communicable diseases account for 45 percent of deaths in The Bahamas, and that heart disease, a non-communicable disease, is the number one killer of persons in The Bahamas.
The Bahamas Heart Association, the educational arm of The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation and The Bahamas Heart Association are comprised of volunteers who provide their time and services to assist children in need with the cost of heart investigations and surgery. They advise the public on all aspects of heart disease, risk factors and preventative care, and provide speakers and educational material to schools, youth groups, service clubs and other public meetings.
As February is Heart Month, the Bahamas Heart Association has scheduled several events to create awareness about heart disease and to help persons live heart healthy lifestyles.
Saturday, February 11: Free CPR Classes at S.C. McPherson School from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Thursday, February 16: - Doctors Hospital lecture at 6 p.m., with blood pressure checks from 5 pm.
Friday, February 17: Go Red for Women Day.
Saturday, February 18 : The 48th Annual Heart Ball
Thursday, February 23: Annual Health Fair at Town Centre Mall from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Thursday, February 23: Bahamas Surgical Associates Center/Cleveland Clinic's Free Heart Health Seminar at the British Colonial Hilton. Reception at 6:30 p.m. Seminar starts at 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 25: Annual Fun/Run Walk
The public is encouraged to purchase "Go Red" pins for a minimum donation of $3, to be worn during Heart Month and especially on Go Red day. The pins symbolize women's heart health. The proceeds help to repair hearts.
Thelma Johnson, president of the Bahamas Heart Association, encourages people and corporations to become members of the Bahamas Heart Association, which has as its motto "Mending Hearts, Savings Lives". In that regard, it is calling on all schools to encourage their students to wear red on February in exchange for a gift donation of $1 per child.

oFor details about Heart Month and the Bahamas Heart Association, contact the Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation at 327-0806 or email at sassoonheart@gmail.com.

read more »


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 »


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.


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Tuesday 25th 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
Foot pain putting a kink in your exercise program

Beginning a new exercise program is very rewarding but can also have some setbacks. Foot pain is one of the most common setbacks to any exercise program. A survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association found foot problems are a major deterrent to exercise, contributing to alarming rates of overweight and obesity. In the study, as much as 72 percent of persons surveyed admitted they did not exercise because foot pain prevented them from doing so. The feet were listed as the number one body part to experience pain.
Foot pain can put a serious kink in your new exercise routine and contribute to negative health consequences. It is important to know that foot pain is not normal and people should seek the care of a podiatrist immediately if foot pain arises - especially after starting an exercise program. Often times this can happen because the body is adjusting to the new exercise routine and use of muscles and joints that had previously been sedentary.
There are many other causes of foot pain. Wearing shoes that don't fit properly is one of the most common reasons why people (especially women) get foot pain. Other common causes of foot pain may include heel pain, foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes, arthritis, trauma, ligament strain, tendinitis, stress fracture or other injuries.
Any pain in the foot or ankle of a walker or runner is an indication that it is time to stop, rest and evaluate the situation. Foot problems or pain that comes on shortly after starting an exercise program can be minor or a sign of a more serious foot conditions. One must reevaluate all aspects of the exercise routine - speed, distance and equipment, including shoes. It is generally best to wait until all foot pains are gone before restarting your exercise. If foot pains persist in spite of resting, you should see your podiatrist for an evaluation.
It is critical that people pay attention to their feet and seek treatment for any foot problems. Before starting an exercise program, see your primary care physician for a complete physical exam and your podiatrist to have a foot check up. Wearing well-fitting, good quality footwear can support the foot during exercise to minimize any chance of injury. Stretching before and after exercising along with warming up and cooling down can also help to prevent injury. Foot exercises will increase flexibility and also prevent injury.
Adult and childhood obesity is a major concern for all Bahamians. Exercise is a major strategy to help combat this epidemic. If adults and children have foot pain they will not exercise or will not do so regularly. Proper foot health and pain-free feet play a vital role in keeping everyone healthy and exercising consistently. Visiting a podiatrist to evaluate and fix the cause of any foot pain is critically important. The take home message here is that foot pain is not normal and if you are having foot pain, pause your workout and consult your local podiatrist.

oFor more information visit www. apma.org or if you have foot pain, visit a local podiatrist at Bahamas Foot Centre, Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996 or Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane, telephone 394-5924.

read more »


News Article

January 03, 2012
New Year's resolutions successes and failures

Whether it's aiming to stop drinking and cursing or it's to save more in order to get that dream house, the new year always puts people in the frame of mind to think about major life changes. While some people take these things seriously, many just do it for the fun of the occasion. The Nassau Guardian took to the streets to find out how successful people have been in sticking to their resolutions from the past year and what their new goals are for 2012.

Nicollette Watkins, 22
Sales assistant
"Yes, I did make a resolution for 2011. It was to go back to school and get my B.G.C.S.E.s in English, Math and History. I did follow through, but I haven't gotten them all as yet. I will continue to work at it this coming year. My resolution for 2012 is to join the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. I'm working towards that and I will complete that this year."

Shenique Lightbourne, 29
Sales
"My resolution for 2011 was to get closer to God so that I would be able to be who I need to be spiritually and I think I accomplished that. My resolution for this year is to continue to be closer in my walk with God and just work on being a better person."

Patrico Griffin, 20
Sales representative
"I am aiming to become the next big artist in the music industry so the goal I set for myself last year was to get myself out there and known to the public. I did that by showcasing a lot of my work on YouTube, Myspace and Facebook. I think I got a good response from those who saw me and I think I'm off to a good start. My goal for 2012 is to do more local shows and competitions like Bahamian Idol or whatever else is out there. Getting a record deal would also be a good thing too for this new year."

Lillith Mackey, 32
Attorney
"I did make a resolution [last year] and it was to lose weight. I definitely accomplished that. I lost 30 pounds. I won't say how much I started off or finished at but I think I did well. This year I am resolving to find time to give back to the community and be more charitable. I want to take on a charitable organization and really get involved. I want to go to the Ranfurly Home for Children and perhaps take a little girl or boy as a little brother or sister. I'd want to help them out in whichever way I can - be it homework, taking them out, talking to them or just being there for them."

Yannishka Brooks, 19
Hairstylist and nail technician
"My New Year's resolution last year was to get closer to God but I didn't keep it. I didn't do it as well as I should have because I wasn't into going to church and I was just into partying and stuff. So my resolution this year is the same thing and I hope to work harder to keep it this time. I am also looking forward to readying myself so a good man can find me."

Alexander Bullard, 28
Civil servant
"I did make a resolution for last year. I wanted to open a business and I did it. Now for 2012 I am aiming to keep it going, expand it and get more recognition."

Miriam Dean, 43
Entrepreneur and hairstylist
"My goal for 2011 was to take my hair salon to another level. I wanted to turn it into a family salon where women, their husbands, little boys and girls can come together to get their hair done together. Although it took almost all year, I finally accomplished my dream two weeks ago. My new goal for 2012 is to become closer with God and be a positive example to each person I come in contact with."

Darvin Minus, 19
Salesperson
"Last year my goal was to focus on getting a head start on my career plans and to try to have a better relationship with my father. I didn't accomplish any of that but in this new year I do plan to go to college so I can study auto collision repair. I hope to work harder in other areas of my life as well."

Shownn Minns, 20s
Hairstylist
"My resolution last year was to change careers from working with food to my real goal of being a stylist. This year my aim is to continue to strive and move forward in all that I want to."

read more »


Event
BHS Summer Camp
BHS Summer Camp

Friday 28th 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 10, 2012
Celebrate life and love

It's hot!
It's chic!
It's elegant!
It's sophistication at its best, but it's still an evening filled with love, laughter, dancing and in general a good time. The 48th annual Heart Ball allows patrons to celebrate life and love while helping to preserve a heart and give a gift of life, in a fun, party atmosphere affair.
This year, patrons will get dressed in their "Sunday go to meeting best" and get down to the sounds of the Ed Brice Orchestra, the Soulful Groovers Band, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Dance Band and to selections from Gary Johnson at the deejay booth. The ball will be held in the Independence Ballroom at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort on Saturday, February 18, under the theme "Repairing a broken heart: What a gift".
Tickets are $250 per person, and each person's attendance will help to repair the heart of a child and give a gift of life. Cocktails are served at 7:15 p.m., dinner is at 8:30 p.m.
"The Heart Ball Committee is working arduously to ensure that this ball is better than any before," said public relations officer Ingrid Sears. "Last year the Heart Foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary. At the start of the year 2012, we move forward with greater financial need and thus greater challenges, as we seek to help the Heart Foundation repair hearts. The Heart Ball Committee is working with a renewed determination to ensure that we maintain the legacy of the founder and also the foundation. Additionally, we wish to ensure that patrons are encouraged to attend future Heart Balls and continue to help to repair broken hearts".
The Heart Ball is one of two major fundraisers for the Heart Foundation. It is always held on the Saturday closest to Valentine's Day. Funds raised go towards assisting children to receive heart surgeries which aren't cheap, and which many parents cannot afford. One child's heart surgery can cost over $50,000.
Even though patrons attend the annual ball to have fun, they do so knowing that the cost of their ticket is helping to reduce the financial burden to parents who cannot afford the cost of the life-saving surgery for their children.
"At present there are 11 patients in need of heart surgeries," said Sears. "It is anticipated that more children will need heart care during the year, and many of their parents will not be able to afford it. The funds raised from this event, will help the Heart Foundation to repair the hearts of children."
One of the highlights of the ball is always the naming of the person that will be given The Lady Sassoon Golden Heart award, who will be selected from of pool of people nominated for their humanitarian and heart touching acts to improve the lives of others.
Additionally, fabulous prizes will be up for grabs on the evening via raffles, and auctioned items. Roundtrip tickets for on British Airways to London; roundtrip tickets for two on Air Canada; hotel accommodations in Canada; an emerald and diamond ring; spa treatments and dinners are among the most coveted prizes that will be given away on the night. There will also be paintings and prints from the likes of the late Chan Pratt, Clifford Fernander, Nettica Symonette, and many more artists.
But in the midst of all the glitz, glamour and fun, Sears says she wants patrons to remember and recognize the cause for the annual Heart Ball, which is to raise funds for the Heart Ball Committee, the fundraising arm of The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation. The foundation's main goal is to assist primarily children, with heart care. Additionally, the foundation in conjunction with the Bahamas Heart Association aims to proactively educate and inform people residing in The Bahamas about heart care and how to lead heart healthy lifestyles.
The Heart Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1961 by Lady Evelyn Sassoon to assist people in need of heart care. The foundation runs primarily on a volunteer basis and relies heavily upon the generosity of others. Over 97 percent of the funds received go directly to heart care. The remaining three percent or less goes to unavoidable administrative costs.
The Heart Foundation gives support and understanding to parents and families for heart care, whether in hospitals in The Bahamas or in Florida. Since its inception, the Heart Foundation has helped over 4,000 patients to obtain heart care. Despite the Heart Foundation's best efforts and the increase in number of local cardiologist, technology and equipment, there is still a need to raise funds to assist children of The Bahamas receive heart care locally and at hospitals abroad.
For information on ticket purchases or donations please contact The Heart Foundation at telephone number 327-0806.

REPAIR A BROKEN HEART
What: 48th Annual Heart Ball
When: Saturday, February 18
Where: Independence Ballroom at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort
Time: Cocktails 7:15 p.m., dinner 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: $250 per person

read more »


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 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

Thursday 4th 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.