Hundreds expected for massive Freedom of Information block party October 25
Nassau, 08 Oct 2014 – A massive downtown Nassau street party aimed at creating an urgent call for transparency in government transactions is expected to draw a capacity crowd Saturday, October 25.
Set for Charlotte Street South from 3 to 8 pm, the block party with a cause is part of an increasingly vocal campaign for a Freedom of Information Act. It is being organized by Save The Bays in partnership with a combination of diverse business and civic groups including the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation, Citizens for a Better Bahamas and the Coalition for Responsible Taxation with numerous sponsors including Van Breugel’s Restaurant, Bristol Wine & Spirits and Sands.
“The momentum demanding passage of a Freedom of Information Act is gaining strength every week with more individuals and groups signing petitions, talking about transparency and urging legislation that will prevent all governments – not just this government, but all governments — from engaging in secret deals in which the very public being affected do not even have the right to participate in decision-making that will impact their lives,” said Joseph Darville, Education Director for Save The Bays. “The public has a right to know and to participate in the public’s business.”
Darville’s claim of growing momentum in the demand for transparency is supported by the activity Save The Bays, the Chamber of Commerce and other groups have experienced. More than 6,000 people have signed the online petition at www.savethebays.bs calling for passage of a Freedom of Information Act, an Environmental Protection Act and other measures and Save The Bays’ Facebook page has set a record for a local non-governmental organization with more than 17,000 friends and fans.
Chamber Chairman Robert Myers said freedom of information is one of the basic tenets of the Chamber’s platform.
“The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation is proud to support the efforts of civic society and the private sector who strive to promote open, transparent and accountable governance,” said Myers. “It is through the legislation of a Fiscal Responsibility Act that includes freedom of information, whistle blower and ombudsman acts, and the enforcement of the rule of law that The Bahamas will attain the kind of open governance and stability required to provide real progress and opportunity for its people and the country at large.”
The party, free and open to the public, will feature performances by The Bahamas’ best-selling musical artist, KB and the Rhythm Band. In addition to music, there will be food, drinks, t-shirts and other entertainment.
According to Save The Bays CEO Lindsey McCoy, interest in legislation bringing government into the sunshine has mushroomed since the first demonstration in March in Rawson Square.
“The day of the demonstration we had a terrible downpour and yet even that did not dampen spirits,” she said. “When we counted the groups and how many people they represented – including union chiefs from the country’s largest unions and associations of unions – we realized that more than 60,000 people were represented. And it was amazing to see how many visitors coming off the cruise ships or walking through historic Nassau were interested – most stunned that we did not already have Freedom of Information.”
Proponents of transparent government, particularly in approvals of developments impacting lifestyle, culture and the environment, have consistently pointed to the small number of countries still operating in the dark. Among them are North Korea and Guyana, the latter, however in the process of implementing legislation. Other hold-outs that recently enacted freedom of information legislation include Brazil, El Salvador, Malta, Mongolia and Yemen.
“The Bahamas is in the company of a diminishing few outliers,” said McCoy. “We hope that all this attention will bring results and make it possible for all informed citizens to take part in the processes that impact them.” She also encouraged
Because of tight security at both the north and south ends of Charlotte Street, which will be closed off for the block party, numbers will be limited for any given hour. Vendors are being invited to take part and offer food, crafts and t-shirts supporting the cause.
Wal Registre’s Impressive Rise at BTC
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: When Wal Registre started his career at Beaches Turks and Caicos (BTC) on October 25, 1997 as a bartender, little did he know that 25 years after, he would have risen to the post of payroll administrator within the same organisation.
The Raymond Gardiner High School graduate was always good at accounting and mathematics and had the dream of excelling in the hospitality industry in an area that would best fit his passion and academic strength.
Having been promoted to bar supervisor in 1999, Wal’s vision for growth was still active as he recognised that being a team member at Beaches Turks and Caicos would allow him to excel beyond his comfort zone. Following the completion of a number of courses with the Sandals Corporate University (SCU), he transitioned to the Cost Control unit in the Accounting Department as the cost control clerk.
Wal pointed out that his ability to grow within the company was largely due to his commitment to excellence. The SCU courses that were offered gave him the added training needed to build on what he was able to learn on the job and from his mentors.
“At BTC, training is very important to each employee. There are many opportunities for professional development and with the guidance from the Learning and Development team, and the leaders within the company, team members can truly grow,” Registre added.
One of Wal’s colleagues, Janet King, noted, “Wal’s commitment serves as an example to every team member here. His ability to grow from an entry level position to where he is now shows that everyone can succeed once they put their minds to it.”
While expressing his commitment to his profession, Wal’s dedication and discipline are traits that he values and chooses to pass on to those he leads. In sharing his advice to younger professionals seeking to enter the industry, he noted, “this organisation believes in quality work life balance that will allow each team member valuable time with family. This period helps me to maintain a bond with my family and explore the world. Training within this company is available for everyone and the ability to grow professionally is dependent on each person having the right attitude to grow.”
Header:Wal Registre, Payroll Administrator at Beaches Turks and Caicos makes final checks as he goes through documents at his desk at the resort
Insert: Anna Francis, Accountant in the Finance department at Beaches Turks and Caicos and Wal Registre, Payroll Administrator at the resort pause from discussing work related items to smile for the camera
Special Needs Unit Students at Thelma Lightbourne Primary School recognised by BTC
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands – Parents and students from the Special Education Unit at the Thelma Lightbourne Primary School were recently recognized by the Beaches Turks and Caicos team during a special session at the institution as part of autism awareness activities.
Children’s Activities Manager Fedeline Julien shared, “educating students, parents, teachers and other adults about the best practices of dealing with children with autism is needed especially in our homes and schools. Children who are autistic do things differently and should be treated with patience and care.”
Robin Cox Foster, principal of the school said, “the partnership between Beaches Turks and Caicos and our school is always welcome. As the only resort on island that is an autism certified centre, they were readily available to share with our students and their parents. The involvement of the Sesame Street character, the presentations from the Kids Camp team to the parents allowed those present to appreciate their roles in being change agents for autism.”
Caring for a child with special needs was highlighted as an opportunity to create a closer bond between child and parent/caregivers.
Walter Moore, who has a son on the spectrum shared, “being able to deal with the many challenges of a special needs child will assist parents in being more patient and creative in how they care for a child. My son and I are best friends. He is comfortable talking with me about anything and I have to learn how to respect his likes and dislikes and create an environment that makes him happy.”
Beaches Turks and Caicos’ Kids Camp is an Advanced Certified Autism Centre which ensures that team members have the required knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to cater to all children. The resort offers age-specific programmes for infants, toddlers, pre-teens and teens.
Header: Tanya Swann (left), Director of Sales, Groups and Conventions at Beaches Turks and Caicos introduces the team of volunteers who were present while Robin Cox-Foster, school principal looks on
1st Insert: Walter Moore (left) Beaches Turks and Caicos team member shares a moment with his son (right) and Sesame Street character Sesame Street
2nd Insert: Some members of the Beaches Turks and Caicos Sandals Foundation team share a moment at the Thelma Lightbourne Primary School during a presentation to the institution
CARPHA Plans Activities for Caribbean Nutrition Day and Caribbean Nutrition Awareness Month
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. 1 June 2023. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) joins the Caribbean Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians (CANDi) and countries in the Caribbean region in commemorating Caribbean Nutrition Day (1 June) and Caribbean Nutrition Awareness Month (June) 2023.
Caribbean Nutrition Day and Awareness Month are annual regional nutrition education and information campaigns that aim to promote healthy eating and active living in populations using a promotion-based approach. To kick-start the month, Caribbean Nutrition Day will be observed under the theme: “Let’s Nourish to Flourish…Your Mental Health Matters.” It was first celebrated on 1 June 2004 and became a month-long observance in response to the growing recognition of nutrition in disease prevention and health promotion. Caribbean Nutrition Awareness Month provides an opportunity to promote and encourage health seeking behaviours on a range of topics and across multiple sections of the population.
“CARPHA has planned a series of activities to commemorate these campaigns, and to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition. This includes the launch of a Diabetes Nutritional Management Toolkit. A social media campaign will also be rolled out to engage the public on nutrition and mental health and nutritional management of NCDs in the region,” said Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director at CARPHA.
The observance of Caribbean Nutrition Day originated from the former Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI); one of five institutions subsumed under the Caribbean Public Health Agency.
- Fifth Meeting of the CARPHA Six Point Policy Package (6-PPP) Inter-Agency Technical Committee (ITC) on Monday 12 June 2023.
The 6-point policy package is a framework instituted in 2017 to promote healthier food environments and food security to address childhood obesity (and non-communicable diseases) through joint policy action. The 6-PPP includes policy recommendations to address: (1) Food Labelling; (2) Nutrition Standards and Guidelines for Schools and other Institutions; (3) Food Marketing; (4) Nutritional Quality of Food Supply; (5) Trade and Fiscal Policies; and (6) Food Chain Incentives. The ITC comprises of CARICOM institutions and other agencies with responsibility for economic and social sectors to collectively monitor and coordinate the implementation of the 6-PPP.
- Webinar to launch the Diabetes Nutritional Management Toolkit on Tuesday 13 June 2023.
The toolkit – comprising of booklets, posters, flyer and recipes for both the health care professional and person with diabetes – will standardise the nutritional management of diabetes in primary care in the Caribbean. The toolkit was developed in 2022 following a Rapid Needs Assessment of Nutrition Services in primary health care in a representative 10 Member States. This initiative was funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) through the CARPHA-led project “Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to Prevent and Control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean”.
Click here to register in advance for this Webinar
CARPHA will also disseminate an article “Nutrition for Good Mental Health”. The article will highlight the essential role nutrition (nutrients) play in the functioning of the nervous system and key elements of the diet to ensure good mental health.
We encourage persons to follow CARPHA’s social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – for updates and pertinent information on nutrition for good mental health and NCDs management.
CARPHA will also be supporting its Member States in their celebration of Caribbean Nutrition Day and Awareness Month.
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