KINGSTON, Aug. 20 (JIS): As the new school year approaches, the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is reminding parents of some basic safety measures that should be considered, in preparing children for back-to-school.
“While it is the role of the CAC to advise parents on how to get the best value for money, through proper planning and money management, it is equally important that we remind them of the important issue of the safety of their children,” Communications Specialist at the CAC, Dorothy Campbell, told
She said it is important that parents and guardians teach the children, especially the very young ones, about ways in which they can defend themselves and avoid incidence that may place them in dangerous or harmful situations.
Miss Campbell added that it is the parents’ responsibility to teach their children how to react and what actions to take during an incident.
“Parents should teach their children their addresses and telephone numbers. Teach them at home to dial family members…dial grandma and auntie at intervals,” she advised.
“Do not underestimate them at all…if you teach them safety tips, they will remember,” she emphasised.
Another point of consideration is how children should operate at school. The children must understand that they should not be left alone in a classroom and that they must walk in groups, not alone.
“Instruct them that if they see something suspicious on the playground to go to a teacher, an adult or scream or shout to get some attention,” the Communications Specialist said.
Important too, she continued, is that they learn “not to take rides from strangers, even if they tell them that you (the parent) sent them.”
Critical also, is that “parents should develop a good relationship with the child’s teacher, so that they will know exactly what you want them to do in case of an emergency,” Miss Campbell pointed out.
For the older children, “it is important for you to be present at the
Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) meetings,” she said.
“If you are not aware of what is happening with your child, or what is taking place at the school, you won’t be able to help them, and if the school is not aware of what is happening with you at home, they won’t be able to assist your child,” she added.
Miss Campbell recommended to parents the following basic safety tips as a guide towards a comprehensive safety plan:
• Teach your child his or her full names, that is, the parents’ names and the child’s own name. Do not use pet names, as this may confuse your child.
• Teach children the name of their street and full address.
• Take them on the route to and from school during the weekend. Point out important landmarks that are not likely to change.
• Have a specific person or persons pick up your child and establish a pattern of calling to report any changes in the arrangements. Introduce the person you know and trust to the classroom teacher. If someone else other than this person is going to pick up your child, inform the child, the school’s administrative office and his or her teacher.
• Write emergency information inside the child’s bag (not on the outside), and in certain books, including your contact numbers, address and any other important details, for example, the child’s allergies or special illness. Stitch it inside the bag if you can. Papers get lost but the bag should last for at least two semesters.
• Teach the child safe routes, the road code, how to cross the street using the pedestrian crossing, how to walk carefully, not running across the road, and facing oncoming traffic, and not to play in the road.
• Establish a time when your child should be at a particular destination. Call to ensure that he or she is there. Call on someone you trust to check on your child while you are away at work.
Bahamas Development Bank Launches 50th Anniversary Celebrations
Nassau Bahamas, 3 March 2024- The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) recently commenced its golden anniversary celebrations with special church services held at Freeport Bible Church and Golden Gates Native Baptist Church, in Grand Bahama and New Providence respectively. Both services marked the beginning of a year filled with commemorations of the bank’s 50 years of financial service and national development.
Bahamas Development Bank Managing Director, Nicholas Higgs, said, “As we launch our 50th anniversary celebrations, we are reminded of our journey fueled by an unwavering commitment to our country. As we look forward to the next 50 years and beyond, we remain dedicated to fostering economic growth, supporting local entrepreneurs, and building a prosperous future for The Bahamas.”
The New Providence service was led by Pastor Alonso Hinsey Jr., who serves not only as the senior pastor of Golden Gates Native Baptist Church but also as an executive at BDB. In his sermon, Pastor Hinsey emphasized the importance of trusting God and being trustworthy as two sides of the same coin.
“Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship and our relationship with God is no exception. When we trust God, we believe who He says that He is, what He is going to do, and that He will do what He says He will do. We rely on Him to guide us, protect us, and to provide for us. Being trustworthy is just as important. When we are trustworthy, others can rely on us to keep our promises, can rely on us to tell the truth, and act with integrity.”
He referenced the story of God ordering Abraham to sacrifice his promised son Isaac.
“Trust is not easy when facing challenges. However, even in the midst of our doubts and fears, God is faithful and trustworthy. When we are trustworthy, others know they can rely on us and that they will not be let down. When we are trustworthy, we are reflecting the character of God who faithful and true,” Pastor Hinsey added.
Hinsey also stressed that, “Trustworthiness is essential for building strong relationships and creating a just and harmonious society.”
The Bahamas Development Bank has been instrumental in providing financial solutions and expertise to Bahamian businesses and entrepreneurs, driving economic growth and sustainability across the country. The 50th anniversary marks a significant milestone in the bank’s history and will be marked by a variety of events, including community outreach initiatives, competitions, and celebrations that both reflect on the bank’s past accomplishments and outline its way forward.
Pastor Hinsey’s powerful message can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/live/c0FxUErI65o?si=em2vTZ7AfPIZklNk.
“Internet communications are not secure and therefore The Bahamas Development Bank does not accept legal responsibility for the contents of this message. This e-mail and any files transmitted with it (“this Communication”) are intended only for the recipient(s) named above. They may contain information that is privileged, confidential and/or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you received this Communication in error, or are not the named recipient(s), you must not use, disclose, copy, print or rely on this e-mail. Although The Bahamas Development Bank operates anti-virus programmes, it does not accept responsibility for any damage whatsoever that is caused by viruses being passed. Any view or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Bahamas Development Bank.”
CARICOM says they want ‘Ceasefire’ in Gaza
March 3, 2024 – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and is calling out Israel for ignoring UN calls to put an end to the invasion, following the conclusion of the 46th Heads of Government Intersessional Meeting.
The February 29 statement was published online and maintained that CARICOM was “deeply distressed by the ongoing violence and deteriorating situation in Gaza, which has resulted in the tragic loss of civilian lives, including the deaths of women and children on an unprecedented scale, and widespread displacement and suffering.”
Despite its calls for a cease fire, the regional bloc reiterated its strong condemnation of the attacks by Hamas ‘as well as of the Israeli actions that violate international humanitarian law and the human rights of the Palestinian people.’
CARICOM is describing Israel’s attacks on Gaza as ‘incessant’ and ‘catastrophic’ in impact on that region.
“CARICOM urges an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza and safe and unimpeded access for the delivery of adequate and sustained humanitarian assistance. We also strongly advocate for the rule of law to prevail and for the return to their families of all hostages and persons held in administrative detention without charge.
Israel’s continued and expanding occupation of territory in the occupied West Bank poses a serious and continuing threat to a peaceful, secure and stable world.”
CARICOM is also reaffirming its commitment to a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, and has summoned stronger interference and enforcement by the United Nations (UN).
“The Community, therefore, calls on the United Nations General Assembly to invoke its powers in the UN General Assembly Resolution 377A “Uniting for Peace” to hold an emergency session and to issue appropriate recommendations to UN Member States to collectively impose measures designed to motivate Israel to adhere to its obligations under the said UN Resolution and under the ICJ Order.”
Israeli Jews and Palestine are steeped in a bloody conflict which began following an October 7, 2024 attack on Jewish people by Hamas militants which reportedly resulted in hundreds being killed, it was reported that 260 bodies were recovered and 130 Israelis were taken hostage. The response by Israel has been incessant and merciless, the latest criticism coming on February 29, when Israel was accused of opening fire on Palestinians crowding a UN orchestrated, relief convoy where 112 people were killed.
Abaco Hurricane Shelter ‘progressing’ despite inherited delays
Bahamas Information Services
March 3, 2024
Central Pines, ABACO, The Bahamas – The new, State-of-the-Art Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre currently under construction in Central Pines, Abaco, is scheduled to be fully completed by November 2024, despite some inherited delays.
Contractors add that the dual Shelter/Community Centre, which is anticipated to be a prototype for the future design and construction of shelters in The Bahamas, will have an “occupied date” of early summer, meaning that the facility should be available to host those persons requiring assistance at that time, if the need arises. This is good news as the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. Abaconians will continue to have access to a host of other approved shelters throughout the island, and not just rely on the prototype alone, however.
Disaster Risk Management officials further say the dual Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre will be “one of a kind” in the region in terms of its construction and design. The building is being constructed under “a new building code,” that calls for its structure – doors, window, roof — to withstand hurricane force winds of up to 250 miles per hour (Category 5 Hurricane and higher).
Its mechanical systems are designed to accommodate diverse loads, including an industrial kitchen, communication systems, air-conditioning system, male and female bathrooms and showers, office spaces for emergency personnel, in addition to storage areas.
Standby generators to ensure continuity with communications, water, sewerage, air-conditioning, refrigeration, safety and security, will be installed in order to mitigate the impacts of disruptions in power.
A ramp that was not included in the original design, was added to allow persons with disabilities and the elderly — considered two of the more vulnerable populations particularly during natural disasters such as tropical storms and/or hurricanes — easy frontal access to the facility under the protection of a canopy.
“Construction is going very well, particularly now that we are back on schedule,” said Mr. Chris Symonette, Project Manager. “We had lost almost a year due to some faults that we found in the ground, and in the foundation, we met in place when we assumed responsibility for the project. These corrective measures took us about 9 months to resolve.
“The building is one of a kind in the region. As a matter of fact, this will be the first 250 miles-per-hour hurricane shelter design in The Bahamas. We had to exceed the ratings while ensuring that we have redundancy upon redundancy,” Mr. Symonette added.
Raeh Williams, a Director, with Wilkem Solutions, a Bahamian-owned entity that specializes in development, civil works and waste management, among other services, said the construction team has been “pushing every day” to ensure that they meet the projected dates. The company took over construction operations a little over one year ago.
“We met a lot of challenges that were a real test of our skill and tenacity because there were caves, holes and a lot of other issues that basically caused us to have to perform a lot of corrective work to get us where we are today. The scheduled completion date is November 2024, but we are anticipating having an occupied completion by June/July which is right at the beginning of the Hurricane Season so that if there is some need to use the shelter, it will be available. That is our push and we are pushing every day to make sure that we stick to that.”
Header: Minister Lundy and delegation reviewing building plans for the multi-purpose Abaco Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre. (BIS Photo)
1st insert: Abaco Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre Project Manager Chris Symonette (right) updates Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Disaster Risk Management, the Hon. Leon Lundy (second right) during State-Minister Lundy’s Official Visit. (BIS Photo)
2nd insert: Minister Lundy (second right) and team conduct a walk-through of the multi-purpose Abaco Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre under construction in Central Pines. Also pictured (from left) are: Mr. Kirk Cornish, Member of Parliament, North Abaco, and Mr. John H. Pinder, Member of Parliament for South and Central Abaco and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation. Project Manager, Mr. Chris Symonette is at far right. (BIS Photo)
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