May 16, 2019
The power of family love and support has the capacity to improve Bahamian communities, and indeed the entire commonwealth, one action at a time; one solution at a time, and one family member at a time, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell said Wednesday (May 15).
Delivering a special intervention in the House of Assembly on the observance of International Day of Families (observed May 15 annually), Minister Campbell said the family is also a resource that can provide inspiration and comfort in a world of uncertainty.
He said, thankfully in The Bahamas, the definition of family has been expanded to include meaningful connections and experiences that provide love, laughter and legacies.
Minister Campbell encouraged those Bahamian families who have moved away from those ideals, to return to them.
“Family is usually defined as a group of people who are related to each other by marriage, shared residence or by blood,” Minister Campbell said. “Thankfully for many of our families in The Bahamas, the term family also includes meaningful connections and experiences that provide love, laughter and legacies.
“Family includes incredible and unbreakable bonds that are created by our grandparents, our great grandparents, our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Many of our families provide inspiration and comfort in a world of uncertainty,” Minister Campbell added.
Minister Campbell said in recognition of the invaluable role strong families can play in the social development of countries such as The Bahamas, officials at the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development and its Departments (Department of Social Services, Department of Gender and Family Affairs, Department of Rehabilitative and Welfare Services, and the Urban Renewal Commission) and its Divisions, have implemented numerous programmes and initiatives that are “organized year-round with the aim of building stronger families.”
“We are most pleased by the work being done by the 25 Urban Renewal Centres throughout New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands and the three Family Life Centres in New Providence supervised by the Community Affairs Division, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development,” Minister Campbell said.
“We celebrate that these Centres provide environments that are conducive for building the habits and skills of successful families. There are many programmes and projects offered, including After-School Programmes and Homework Centres; Boys and Girls Clubs; Senior Citizens Programmes; Adult Literacy Programmes; Mentoring Programmes; Parenting Programmes; Male Empowerment Programmes; Female Upliftment Programmes; and Family Community Fora, among others.”
Minister Campbell said the Ministry has committed to reviewing the “few challenges and concerns still confronting many families in The Bahamas,” among them, Amendments to The Bahamas Marriage Act, the establishment of a Family Court, and enforcement of the payment of child maintenance.
“As we celebrate this day, I am optimistic that despite the challenges, the power of family love and support has the capacity to improve our communities and our great Bahamaland, one action at a time; one solution at a time, and one family at a time.”