Providenciales, 25 Sept 2015 – Having celebrated the first National Youth Day in these Islands in 1995, this 20th year is therefore a commemorative one for the PDM who first introduced it under the Taylor Administration and directly under the leadership of the Hon Clarence Selver. National Youth Day when introduced was held to be a day of celebration – celebration of our youth. We therefore on this 20th year considered this a major milestone worthy of great celebration.
We are grateful to and celebrate the many persons that served in the capacity as Minister with responsibility for youth, Youth Directors and also former members of the National Youth Council then in place. We then pause to celebrate the youth who allowed their lives to be positively impacted through the Department over the years and who we celebrate for their efforts in paying it forward.
This week our Radio Show “Raising TCI” returns and we pause to celebrate our youth. With a youth theme and in honor of our youth worthy of celebration, we will sit and hear from youths who have a vision and who have already begun to impact and change their corner of these Islands. We will hear from them the challenges and what they feel can be done. We will also celebrate with the Miss Teen Organization as it seeks to offer young ladies a platform to show case their inner and outer beauty.
We recognize that it is difficult to be a youth in today’s TCI with the myriad of challenges ranging from lack of activities that reach them where they are at especially our unattached youth; unemployment; under employment; depression; poverty; the growing inability to find their place or worth in their own country and the response to migrate to other countries in search of better opportunities; lack of adult guidance; crimes; juvenile delinquency and improper facilities and programs to help; drugs and alcohol; imprisonment and society’s too often approach to allow a successful reentry; teenage sex and pregnancy; prostitution; bullying and gang violence; and being saddled with a future where they cannot seem to be able to find or see their place. It is not easy and I encourage us all from where we are to reach out as individuals and collectively in organized bodies to respond to these real challenges tangible and meaningful ways.
Nonetheless in the midst of it all, many of our youth continue to rise above the challenges and give us reason to celebrate be it in the area of academia, sports, creative arts, business and civic roles and responsibility. We salute you and will continue to support your efforts and celebrate your successes.
We charge you, our our youth to seek out the programs and activities that will support your positive development and to also understand that in every generation there will be calls to make decisions and sacrifices for the good of our country. It is never ever about personal wealth and self -aggrandizement. It is always about leaving this world better than we met it. It is in your power to remove the stigma that too many have of you as youth. I challenge to search within, see if you are living out your fullest potential or existing. You must rise up and make your positive mark. You are required to contribute positively towards nation building. That is your duty and more so as you are the inheritors of what you build or destroy today.
Equally, we renew our pledge to help our troubled and challenged youth. We believe firmly that the raising of a child will always be the responsibility of an entire village. My mind goes back to the act of infant dedication and the practice to invite individuals of the Church to stand if he/she was committed to assisting the parents with the rearing of the child. I am asking us in an act of rededication to the building of our country, to stand in support of our youth and assist parents in raising our future leaders. And also to stand committed to doing what we can to give them the opportunities so that they can realize their fullest potential. Love of God and country must motivate us. We must help even when it is not welcomed. It may sound foolish but this is a must. Many homes need our help not our destructive criticism. The village encompassing the Church, the School, the lawmakers, custodians of the public purse, civic organizations and individuals must come alive as we seek to rear the next generation of leaders and citizens.
We celebrate our youth this week. We believe that our brightest minds are ahead and that our future is bright if we act now.
We say Happy 20th National Youth Day TCI. May God bless guide and protect our youth and our homes.
Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation
#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance. The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections. However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.
68,000 STAYED AWAY
While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.
However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.
PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER
This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.
Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.
It could also be voter apathy.
BEST IN SHOW
Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.
North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.
VERY LOW SHOW
The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).
COVID Works programme launched by Ministry of Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development
#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – The Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development, the Honourable Akierra Mary Deanne Missick and the Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development team are pleased to announce the launch of the COVID WORKS Programme, that went live on September 1, 2021.
The Programme seeks to support many who have lost jobs and livelihoods, while providing labour intensive work for economic exchange opportunities for persons to be engaged.
Works are set out in three (3) levels and comprise a variety of categories example, cleaning, road works, demolition and general construction to name a few.
Level 1 – value $1,500 – $9,999
Level 2 – value $10,000 – $39,999
Level 3 – value $40,000 – $70,000
Commenting on the launch of the programme, Hon. Missick said, “We are very much mindful of the impact that restrictions introduced by Government in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, has had on the islands, many continue to experience financial hardship. Whilst, the hospitality and construction sectors in Providenciales have rebounded well, as an Administration, we cannot rest knowing that other industries are still limping along.
As a result, during the remainder of this financial year, the Turks & Caicos Islands Government has now launched the COVID Works Programme to provide an opportunity for Petty and Small Contractors to assist the Government in the enhancement of our communities, through programmed works, to the benefit of all of us as residents”.
The Minister went on to note, “This Programme is set to the tune of US$5,000,000.00, and works will be rolled out across the Islands in batches, as we have to ensure that we do not go beyond the allotted expenditure and that financial oversight and transparency are maintained.”
The initial batch of works for South Caicos, which comprised the following, was returned and evaluated on Monday, September 13, 2021 and included:
Demolition- Queen’s Shed
Demolition- Distribution Concrete Tank
Demolition- Old Clinic Building
Demolition- DECR Building
Demolition- Library Building
Repair of Water Cistern
Works for Grand Turk included:
Demolition- Blood Bank Building
Demolition- Geriatric Ward Building
Demolition- Kitchen Building
Demolition- X-ray Building
All returning bids must be sent to the COVID Works email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kindly note that as of Monday, September 20, 2021, the following works are planned to be released:
Beach Cleaning (Eastern portion of Grand Turk)
Street Cleaning (All areas)
Beach cleaning (Areas of Shore Club and Five Cays)
Street Cleaning (All areas)
A number of other works for Middle & North Caicos, as well as Salt Cay will be released shortly. This is a six month program that will spread throughout the TCI and we encourage persons to continue to register via email@example.com or the local Public Works Department and District Commissioners’ offices, to be eligible for this opportunity.
These works will continue on a monthly basis and the programme will come to an end in March 2022.
BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in
#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.
The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.
“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.
“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”
- Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
- Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
- Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
- Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
- Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
- Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
- Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
- Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
- Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.
“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.
Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.
“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.
“We are here to meet them head on.”
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