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Protest at Office of Bahamas PM; rejecting plan to detain illegal Haitians on Ragged Island

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#Nassau, Bahamas – July 24, 2020 – Ragged Islanders today staged a socially distanced protest at the Office of the Prime Minister in Nassau, confirming their outrage with the decision to detain intercepted Haitian migrants at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force base on the island.

During House of Assembly debate on Thursday, Chester Cooper, the Member of Parliament for the island called the decision a ridiculous plan which should be reversed.

“I protest it in the strongest possible terms and I ask the government to reverse this plan forthwith, because the people of Ragged Island have started wondering why you despise them so.

“…This is contemptuous and I ask you to reverse it because the people of Ragged Island will not take kindly to it.”

Communication from the Defence Force explained, they jointly foiled a human smuggling operation.

“On Tuesday 21 Ju1y just before 10:00 a.m., HMBS P-44 coxswained by Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith, located the 27-foot, white cabin cruiser anchored just off the northeastern point of Great Isaacs, north of Bimini, where it had run aground. When it became evident that a migrant smuggling operation was underway, the vessel and its occupants—12 females (1 pregnant), 9 males and 2 infants, all believed to be of Haitian descent, were detained.”

Unmoved by the promised to repatriate the group as soon as is possible, Ragged Islanders demonstrated with placards conveying a string of compelling messages.

Placards decried: ‘First you deem Ragged Island inhabitable. Now Dumping Ground’ and another which read: ‘Keep Ragged Island Covid FREE.’

Islanders, who remain displaced due to Hurricane Irma are reportedly incensed by a decision to detain illegal migrants in their home island and are restating their desperate desire to return home.

Additionally, the government clinic on Ragged Island remains out of commission since the storm in September 2017. The Member of Parliament used his time in parliament to outline the many reasons the Government must find an alternative detainment plan for the 21 Haitians, which includes children and a pregnant woman.

“If it is the intention to land temporarily and then deport, this is a terrible place to do it because the logistics are horrible,” he continued.

“There is no bus, there are no vans. There are no proper facilities at the defense force base at Gunpoint.

It is said the migrants are temporarily detained at the Defence Force base on Ragged Island.

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Bahamas News

BFN urges Bahamians to pay attention to hunger ‘crisis’

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Great Commission Ministries thanks network for nearly a decade of support

 

#TheBahamas, September 26, 2022 – Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN) director, Mario Carey, is making an urgent plea to the public to pay attention to the hunger crisis that many face in The Bahamas.

Carey made the comments as he and BFN Executive Director Archdeacon James Palacious paid a visit to Great Commission Ministries, one of nearly 100 feeding centres that BFN regularly supports and a beneficiary of the network for nearly 10 years.

“It’s sad and shocking to see the extent of this issue in The Bahamas,” said Carey.

“This is a crisis that isn’t being adequately addressed. How is it that in The Bahamas so many people go hungry every day and it’s such a struggle to feed them?”

The plea came just days ahead of the BFN’s inaugural golf tournament, ‘Tee Off for Hunger’ which BFN hopes will raise funds to provide more than 50,000 meals in the fight against hunger.

In recent months, BFN has been providing more than 70,000 meals per month to the most vulnerable in The Bahamas. And Palacious said the hunger problem in the country continues to be a dire one.

Palacious said the demand BFN is facing has remained steadily high, particularly as Bahamians continue to struggle with an increasing cost of living and continued high unemployment.

“It’s concerning to see the extent of the need in our country,” said Palacious.

“And at the Bahamas Feeding Network, we do all we can to provide assistance, but the demand is great and ceaseless. We deeply appreciate and ask for the continued support of the business community and the public at large to be able to carry on our work in these difficult times.”

Bishop Walter Hanchell, founder and president of Great Commission Ministries, said the organization has been seeing a sustained increase in people seeking help with the basic necessities in recent months.

Great Commission Ministries provides hot meals to roughly 500 people each day, in addition to distributing meals to the sick and shut-in, as well as the provision of grocery packages to struggling families.

Hanchell, who has been helping to feed Bahamians for over three decades, said the past few months have been challenging, as more and more new faces show up seeking assistance. Although the organization receives monetary and in-kind support, the need frequently outweighs the supply.

“Every day you see it,” said Hanchell. “And we are seeing more middle-class people who are now struggling. We help as many as we can, but of course we have limited resources.”

Carey said Hanchell’s observations point clearly to a worsening problem.

“The thing is, this is just one organization, and there are hundreds of them,” said Carey.

The Bahamas Feeding Network spends over $120,000 on its monthly efforts. And Palacious said a generous patron who covers the network’s monthly rent helps to ensure that just a small percentage of donations goes towards administration costs.

Carey said now is the time for everyone to take the issue of hunger in The Bahamas seriously.

“This is beatable,” he said. “We can beat this if people buy into it and everyone makes a contribution.”

Hanchell echoed his sentiments, noting that homelessness is another serious issue that he is working to combat, with plans underway to construct a 100-bed shelter next year.

“We are going to be asking a lot of corporate Bahamas, and the government and private citizens to make that happen,” he said.

Hanchell added, “In November we celebrate 35 years of nonstop ministry and we thank God for the Bahamas Feeding Network and all that they have done to support us over the years. They have been a tremendous blessing.

“It’s not been an easy road but the Lord has been with us.”

 

Photo Caption: Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN) representatives visit long-time beneficiary Great Commission Ministries. L-R: Great Commission Ministries Elder Mina Hanchell, Great Commission Ministries President Bishop Walter Hanchell, BFN Executive Director Archdeacon James Palacious, BFN Director Mario Carey, Aventus Ventures CEO Kevin Hobbs, Great Commission Ministries Operations Manager Maxine Bethel

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Bahamas News

Da Rocks’ Jonquel Jones and Sun aim to repeat win in bid for WNBA Championship

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

 

#USA, September 18, 2022 – Jonquel Jones of Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama power forward and centre for the Suns had 20 points, five rebounds and four assists in a victorious and glorious effort against the Las Vegas Aces on Friday night. The Connecticut Suns holding on in game three, which could have been elimination if that score went the Aces way.

Now, on ESPN Sunday Jones is hoping for another win and a tie of the series which is a best of game five.

The Sun are now 4-0 in elimination games in the playoffs so far this postseason.

There was other good news on the weekend for Bahamian Jonquel, as she was named an All-WNBA Second Team selection.  Jones scored 126 overall, receiving 12 first team votes and 22 second team votes which came as no surprise to many.  Jonquel leads the Suns in scoring, rebounds and blocked shots.  She averages 14.6 points per game, ranking in the top 20 in the WNBA for scoring.

Add to the road Jonquel is still on for WNBA Champion and historic Bahamian athlete, as a member of the All- WNBA First Team, she will receive $10,300 and each member of the Second Team will receive $5,150.

The Bahamas continues to be proud of this outstanding player.

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Tourism, Investments & Aviation Minister I. Chester Cooper Elected Vice Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization

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#TheBahamas, September 16, 2022 –  The Hon. I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, was elected to continue to serve as a vice chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) during the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism Meetings this week.

DPM Cooper is leading a delegation which includes Latia Duncombe, Acting Director General (ADG) and Dr Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General and Acting Director of Aviation, to the four-day CTO Business Meetings which are taking place in the Cayman Islands 12-15 September 2022.

“I am grateful and honoured to serve in this capacity on behalf of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the entire Caribbean region,” DPM Cooper said.

“It is important that we continue to forge deeper relations with our tourism counterparts and support each other as we aim for full economic recovery. It is my hope that ongoing efforts will enhance our tourism product across the region and position the Caribbean as the most desirable destination year-round.”

In his role as CTO Vice Chairman, DPM Cooper will provide updates regarding the region’s performance and developments.

The CTO is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising over 24 member countries and territories and provides support to those members in marketing, sustainable tourism, communications, and research & information technology. This year’s conference focuses on regional recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic and plans for the future of tourism.

CTO Business Meetings have been on hold since 2020, making this meeting the organisation’s first in-person event following the onset of the pandemic.

For more information, visit Bahamas.com.

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