Bahamas, May 3, 2017 – Nassau – After nearly half a century of providing support to more than 4,000 pregnant teen mothers P.A.C.E. (Providing Access to Continued Education), finally has a permanent place to call home. On Thursday morning, founders and community partners gathered in the parking lot of the new P.A.C.E. Building on East Street North, to celebrate a major milestone of the non-profit organization.
“Today is really a realization of a goal that we have been working on for quite some time,” said P.A.C.E. President, Sonia Brown. “The P.A.C.E. programme and the varying names has been around for 47 years and we have not had a home of our own. It was a lot of starting and stopping because we could only work as we had money.”
In 2012, the Sandals Foundation placed its support behind P.A.C.E., giving it the boost it needed to move one step closer to completing construction. Director of Programs for Sandals Foundation Heidi Clarke, flew in from Jamaica to celebrate the facility’s opening.
“Education is a major mission for us, a mission that whether a child has a certain ability, or a child is in a certain circumstance they find themselves in, we feel like we have to help every child reach their full potential,” Clarke said.
To date, the Sandals Foundation has donated $300,000 to P.A.C.E. and has pledged to continue supporting the programme in years to come.Approximately 20 girls are enrolled at P.A.C.E. for the upcoming school year. In preparation for the up-coming school year, the programme is seeking assistance from the public to outfit is kitchen which will be added to the academic curriculum.
Currently, P.A.C.E. is a collaboration of voluntary organizations and the Government of The Bahamas, including three of its ministries: the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Services. They share the responsibilities for education, health, and social well-being of the teen mothers enrolled in the programme.