NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Hon. Philip Davis, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development extolled the virtues of the Government’s Urban Renewal 2.0 Programme and its transforming impact on Bahamian youth in Parliament during his recent contribution to the Mid-Year Budget Debate for 2015/2016.
“Go and ask the poor, the disenfranchised, the unemployed, the at-risk youth, the children, and the elderly about the Urban Renewal Programme in their neighbourhoods.
“They will tell you about the Urban Renewal Band and its transforming impact on hundreds of young lives – how these children are empowered through the discipline of music,” he said.
Minister Davis recalled that two weeks ago members of the Urban Renewal Band travelled to Washington D.C. to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
“The Bahamas had 103 representatives in this magnificent event and the exposure for the band members was phenomenal. Incredibly, from among the over 100 units participating in this year’s parade, the Urban Renewal Music Masters Youth Band snatched the Best in Parade Award.
He noted that the programme is nearing its fourth year and continues to give focused attention to the implementation of holistic and integrated strategies to renew inner city communities.
Since 2013, there have been 700 houses repaired through the Small Homes Repair Programme and it is anticipated that an additional 300 houses will be repaired before the end of this fiscal year. Minister Davis described the Programme as a much-needed “economic injection”.
“They will tell you that to small contractors, tradespersons, and semi-skilled persons (carpenters, plumbers, masons, tile layers, helpers, and the like), this means employment – employment that many of them would not ordinarily be able to secure; the ability to be the breadwinner in the home; to pay bills and save a little for a rainy day.”
Deputy Prime Minister Davis informed Parliamentarians that the Urban Renewal Programme is the “right” vehicle to convey anguish and despair away from the various communities. Without elaborating on all of its components that are well-known, youthful persons of influence lending assistance to despairing youth has yielded resoundingly successful results.