#Freeport, Grand Bahama – October 6, 2020 – With the support of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) Limited, Genesis Academy’s Principal, Dr. Ricardo Major, and his staff will restart in-person lessons at the facility in late November.
Genesis Academy offers Programme S.U.R.E. (Success Ultimately Reassures Everybody), a subset of the Government of The Bahamas’ Ministry of Education (MOE). The Programme is tailored to troubled teens who are trying to refocus on their education and obtain their high school diplomas in Grand Bahama. With six trained, specialized staff, Genesis helps mainstream students who are recovering from substance abuse, criminal rehabilitation, and other needs not applicable to a regular classroom. It offers small classes, low teacher/student ratios and provides students with individualized access to academic development, behaviour therapy, social interaction and experiential training services.
“For over 20 years, the GBPA has provided this facility for the Ministry of Education, as well as supporting the Academy’s after-school programs and projects that help to guide these students back into mainstream life and become productive citizens,” said Dr. Major. “On behalf of the Ministry, we appreciate the value the Port Authority sees in our Programme. They have supported our Academy 100% and believe in these students who, with our help, will become great members of the community.”
Genesis is located in the Children’s Village near the Grand Bahama Children’s Home in Freeport and was inundated with floodwater during Hurricane Dorian. The flooding destroyed most of the interior, and the roof and the students’ agriculture and aquaponics systems were also significantly impacted. “We hope to have the aquaponics area rebuilt, as learning agriculture is a great outlet for our students and creates innovative opportunities for them,” added Dr. Major.
With the work of the GBPA’s reconstruction team and G&T Construction, the building refurbishment is almost complete and awaiting final inspection with the Building & Development Services Department. With MOE Superintendent approval, it will reopen soon, and Genesis students will start school shortly after via smaller classrooms at current public schools, and then will move back into their facility in late fall.
“Every child deserves a second chance,” said Sarah St. George, GBPA Acting Chairman. “Dr. Major and his team have helped rehabilitate many a wayward teen who just needed that little bit more time, that little bit more attention and care. I believe in supporting our youth; they are our future, so we must do everything we can to help guide them through tough times. No child should feel forgotten. We will continue to support the after-school programs such as chess, aquaponics, carpentry and traditional agricultural programs because it makes a huge difference. We know our support helps these children become better citizens for our home, our city and our island.”
U.S. Supports the RBPF With Additional Crime Fighting Vehicles on The Bahamas’ “Road to 50”
#TheBahamas, January 31, 2023 – Since 1973, the United States and The Bahamas have enjoyed a long-lasting security partnership. To mark this valued friendship, the United States Government, on January 31, 2023, renewed its support for the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) with 20 new Ford Police Inceptor Hybrid SUVs valuing nearly $1.4 million. The United States’ Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts; Prime Minister, the Hon. Philip Davis; Minister of National Security, the Hon. Wayne Munroe and RBPF Commissioner Clayton Fernander were on hand for the donation at RBPF East Hill Street Headquarters.
The 20 hybrid vehicles will be added to the 32 vehicles previously donated to the RBPF by the US government to help replace crucial infrastructure lost during Hurricane Dorian. Recovering from a hurricane is an arduous process that requires support at many levels, from roads and housing to mental health services. The U.S. government hopes these vehicles will contribute to one key step in the process: citizen security. These vehicles will not only assist the RBPF’s efforts to combat crime but will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the islands.
In her remarks Chargé Pitts noted, “these vehicles are just one example of the United States’ continued efforts to help for The Bahamas’ keep its citizens and visitors safe.”
Prime Minister Philip Davis showed his appreciation for this timely vehicle donation as it will assist with added capacity and increased saturation patrols on the streets. The Prime Minister added that residents will notice an increased police presence and the police will have new capacity to respond quickly to any criminal activity.
RBPF Commissioner Clayton Fernander highlighted that “we have noticeably taken more illegal firearms and ammunition off our streets in 2022. We have also seized more illegal drugs including marijuana and marijuana plants than in [previous] years. Suffice to say, we have efficiently utilized all 32 vehicles previously donated by the U.S. government in our crime fighting efforts.”
In recent years, the U.S. Government, through U.S. Embassy Nassau, has delivered more than $25 million to assist The Bahamas with efforts to fight crime. On behalf of the Bahamian people, Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe extended his gratitude for the U.S. government’s assistance noting “It seems that when we’re together there [is] always an occasion where they [U.S. government] have helped us and assisted us substantially.”
Captions: Credited to U.S. Embassy Nassau
Minister of Health & Wellness thanks Cuban nurses for their service during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation on Visitor Arrivals
#TheBahamas, January 30, 2023 – The Ministry of Tourism is extremely excited to announce that visitor arrivals to The Bahamas eclipsed seven million in 2022, signaling a return to pre-pandemic tourism numbers.
In total 7,000,706 visitors came to The Bahamas in 2022.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments, and Aviation Chester Cooper praised The Bahamas’ performance and the work put in by industry professionals across the board.
“The fact that we have exceeded expectations and attracted more than 7 million visitors to our country in 2022, something only done once before in a single year was no accident,” he said.
“Countless stakeholders in the Bahamian tourism industry, including our international partners, worked tirelessly to achieve this. We sought to strengthen relationships to open new air routes. We sought to make travel to The Bahamas easier, more accessible, and affordable and took the message that we were open for business during our Missions and provided insight on our wonderful offerings to the world.”
“According to statistics the second half of 2022 outperformed the second half of 2019,” he said. In 2022, 1,470,244 visitors came to our shores by air; another 5,530,462 visitors arrived by sea.
Nassau and Grand Bahama remained our most popular destinations by air, while Nassau and The Berry Islands remained our most popular destinations by sea. Foreign air and sea arrivals for 2022 were up by 233 percent over the same period in 2021 and just 3.4 percent shy of record arrivals in 2019. December 2022 saw total arrivals eclipse 900,000 visitors, more than any month in our history. Cruise arrivals in 2022 increased by nearly 400 percent over 2021 and were less than 1 percent below 2019 cruise arrivals.
Air and cruise arrivals monthly from July to December 2022 surpassed the corresponding month in 2019.
Occupancy rates for 2022 eclipsed occupancy rates for every corresponding month in 2021.
The average daily room rate in 2022 outperformed that category for every corresponding month in 2021. The Bahamas carved out new ground with more than 55 percent of first-time arrivals to The Bahamas, with increases in the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
DPM Cooper confirmed that the last six months are the strongest The Bahamas has ever seen. He firmly concluded by saying; “What the Ministry of Tourism, Investments, and Aviation are forecasting so far and what forward bookings indicate, is that we are on track to break records in 2023. We don’t see this slowing down anytime soon.”
Mrs. Latia Duncombe, Director General of Tourism added that everyone should understand that tourism is critical to our economy and all Bahamians, even those who do not directly work in the tourism industry, should always seek to lift the industry up.
“We are all in the tourism business in The Bahamas. And it’s a great business to be in. We want to keep our brand fresh and evergreen. And that’s everyone’s job, especially mine. I have a great, hardworking team at our ministry and we have some incredible things in store this year.”
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