Urban Renewal Liveable Neighbourhood Workers Prepare to Empower Communities

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By: Llonella Gilbert

NASSAU, Bahamas –
Centre managers and facility coordinators within the Urban Renewal Liveable Neighbourhood Programme attended a one-day entrepreneurship seminar at the Ministry of Housing and National Insurance on Wednesday, February 20.

Outlining the purpose of the seminar, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Camille Johnson said centre managers and coordinators “at the frontline” have to be aware of government programmes available so that they can advise people with whom they come into contact how to increase wealth within their community, and how they can improve and expand business opportunities.

Ms. Johnson explained that the Ministry also appreciates that Urban Renewal is a “multi-component overarching concept involving many agencies, departments and ministries of government and it is treated as such.”

She said: “Speakers from the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation, the Ministry of Tourism, the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute and the Bahamas Development Bank will expose the centre managers and the community project facilitators to available government initiatives and assist in their understanding of the dynamics of small businesses.”

A forum will follow in April or May where persons in the Englerston community interested in business will hear presentations from the very same people who are going to talk to the managers and facilitators.

The Permanent Secretary said Englerston has been chosen to demonstrate how the new thrust of Urban Renewal Liveable Neighbourhood programme will work and that projects have been selected for execution in this area to show how the goals identified can be achieved.

Ms. Johnson said the government has promised that the new thrust of the programme will foster and support an improved quality of life for Bahamians.

The Urban Renewal programme was re-launched in New Providence and Grand Bahama and has four key objectives: to increase public safety, to increase wealth, to increase independence and to give people and the communities a sense of responsibility.

The one-day seminar featured topics on job search techniques and ideas to start your own business; how the Bahamas Development Bank assists individuals in becoming entrepreneurs; careers in tourism; creating jobs in tourism; how to start a business and how to start a businesss part II.

The Urban Renewal co-ordinator in New Providence Ella Lewis said, “We are here to do the work of the people for the people and as we look at trying to increase the wealth of people in our community, we want to be trained so we can direct our managers and our facilitators to where they need to go to get the help they need to make themselves able to take better care of themselves financially.”