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Joint UN & BDB Sustainable Development Goal Fund Programme Launched



By: Betty Vedrine 

Bahamas Information Services 


#TheBahamas, June 1, 2022 – The government is forging ahead with its objective to meet its mandate of gender equality and women’s empowerment. On Monday, 30th May, a ceremony was held at the Balmoral club to officially launch the Joint Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Fund Programme with a $1 million joint venture between the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) and the United Nations.

In attendance and delivering remarks were the Minister of State for Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Lisa Rahming; Minister of State for the Public Service, the Hon. Pia Glover Rolle; and Chairman of the Bahamas Development Bank, Sen. the Hon. Quinton Lightbourne.

Delivering brief remarks were: Ms. Tonni Anne Broderick, Representative, UN Women Multi-Country Office, Caribbean; Ms. Saadia Sanchez-Vegas, Director and Representative, UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean. Virtual remarks were delivered by: Mr. Heewong Kim, Head of Reporting, UN Joint SDG Fund; Ms. Denise Antonio, UNDP Resident Representative, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands & Turks and Caicos Islands and Dr. Crispim Moreira, FAO Representative, Jamaica, The Bahamas and Belize.

UN Resident Coordinator to the Multi-Country office in Jamaica, Dr. Garry Conille gave opening remarks. He said he was excited that The Bahamas was undertaking this venture and expressed the United Nations full support in assisting The Bahamas achieve its objectives.

Manager, Information Technology, Bahamas Development Bank, Mr. Alonzo Hinsey served as Chairperson for the event.  Also in attendance was incoming Managing Director, Bahamas Development Bank, Mr. Nicholas Higgs.

State Minister for Social Services and Urban Development, Ms. Lisa Rahming in her keynote address said that this joint venture funding program is consistent with the Bahamas Development Bank’s vision and mission and is therefore a natural fit for their business model.

“It is strategic that the Bahamas Development Bank will serve on the National Steering Committee as this will accrue important benefits from technical capacity building in support of the development of the framework for the gender equitable funding mechanism.”

She said BDB has been at the forefront of the economic empowerment of Bahamians entrepreneurs and by extension — sustained development of The Bahamas — for many decades. While she admitted that the bank has had some challenges over the years, she said that the government remains committed to using this institution as an instrument or executing mechanism for the continued economic empowerment for the Bahamian people.

She welcomed the strategic partnerships BDB is pursuing with other local and international financial institutions including FinDev and The Portland Equity Group for fund development and management.

This joint proposal, she explained, recognizes that societies with higher levels of gender equality experience faster and more sustainable development outcomes.

It also recognizes that countries with higher GDP growth rates and other positive economic indicators have not always factored in the contributions that women and youth can make towards strengthening key economic sectors, and in many cases have not invested sufficiently in gender equality towards advancing human and social development.

“As we economically empower our people, no social or demographic grouping is to be left behind. Further, we are to remain sensitive to the customs, culture, way of life, the values and the integrity of the physical environment of the

communities and markets in which we conduct business and commercial trade.”


(BIS Photo/Kristaan Ingraham)

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Royal Caribbean to open adults only private island destination



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, September 19, 2023 – Royal Caribbean is working on a major project, announcing plans to open a new adults-only “escape” Hideaway Beach at its CocoCay private-island destination in The Bahamas, come January 2024.

The “beachfront paradise,” set to be situated at the western side of Perfect Day at CocoCay, behind Thrill Waterpark, will have a private beach and multiple pools with DJ music, 20 private cabanas and several spots for “drinks and bites,” the company says.

Not only that, it will include a “hidden VIP experience.”

Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO is of the impression that this will bring a compelling, sought after new way to enjoy a day at its private island.

He said, “Hideaway Beach is a completely new vibe and experience that vacationers are looking for on Perfect Day at CocoCay.”

It is going to be a getaway spot for adults, only 18 or older allowed to enter.

“Everything from its hidden-like location to the exclusive beach and pools to the private cabanas is designed for adults who want a day just for them,” the CEO said.

The space, according to Claudia Diaz-Gonzalez, Royal Caribbean Associate Vice President of Private Destination Development, will be able to host between 1,500 and 2,000 guests.

No specific day was provided for the opening.

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Eleuthera Medical Center Marks 5 Years, Private community clinic ‘grows with the demand’, adds Dental and Dermatology to slate of services



#Eleuthera, The Bahamas, September 19, 2023 – A Family Island clinic that started with a vision to serve the community with the best in private medical care and wellness regardless of a patient’s financial standing celebrated its fifth anniversary this month, announcing new services it said were those most strongly requested by patients.

Eleuthera Medical Center (EMC), the flagship of Bahamas Wellness Health Systems, marked its anniversary adding dental and dermatology to its growing list of medical specialties that includes primary wellness, vision, gynecology and pediatrics. Some services are offered on an ongoing daily basis provided by physicians at one of Bahamas Wellness Health Systems (BWHS) four clinics, others are offered on a rotating basis by visiting medical specialists and associates on a regularly scheduled rotating basis.

“When we opened our doors to this clinic in 2018, we knew there was a need for full-time medical care and especially attention to wellness in Eleuthera,” said EMC and Bahamas Wellness Health Systems founder Dr. Arlington Lightbourne. “But we underestimated how appreciative the community would be that there were always physicians on call, that in the case of an emergency we could respond, that we provided an ambulance and emergency care saving patients from having to be airlifted to Nassau or beyond.”

Lightbourne said the years have not been without challenges.

“For nearly 18 months, we endured COVID, conducting testing outdoors, trying to keep our spirits strong and staff well so they could care for others and yet in a small community like Eleuthera where you know someone in everyone’s family it’s hard not to feel the pain and suffering others feel,” said Dr. Lightbourne. “But we doubled down and said we are here for the long haul and whatever the path is to provide the best in care, to make that care affordable and to improve the wellness of the community overall, that is the journey we are on, and it has been an incredibly rewarding one.”

To support that emphasis on wellness, the clinic located in the settlement of Palmetto Point adjacent to Governors Harbour in the heart of central Eleuthera, offers regularly scheduled lectures and town meetings with a nutritionist and wellness expert who is part of the team. Lightbourne’s interest in well-being stems from his work in Emergency Care at both PMH and Doctors Hospital where the vast number of cases he treated were the result of non-communicable diseases and conditions including heart attacks, high blood pressure and cancer related to lifestyle – poor diet high in fats and low in nutrition and lack of proper physical exercise.

Today, he said he is seeing more interest in preventative care, a sign that Bahamians learned from Covid and its aftermath that wellness matters.

“We have a brighter future ahead of us and I am proud of what we are doing in Eleuthera and our other clinics to make a difference in The Bahamas with careful diagnoses and individual attention to how people conduct their daily lives when it comes to their overall wellness,” said Lightbourne, now the deputy director of the Bahamas Medical Association and an authorized NHI provider.

BHWS also operates clinics in Nassau, Spanish Wells and Lower Bogue.


Photo Caption: The Hon. Clay Sweeting, MP, Central and South Eleuthera, welcomes the Bahamas Wellness Medical Center’s ambulance. He is pictured with Dr. Jessica Moss, Emergency Medicine Specialist and Vice President & Medical Director at Eleuthera Medical Center, and Dr. Arlington Lightbourne, founder of the expanding clinic, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary serving the community by adding dental and dermatology to its growing list of specializations.

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Coral Harbour Base, 18 September. ‘23 (RBDF): The Royal Bahamas Defence Force was honoured to attend a Day of Celebration at the Mall at Marathon on the occasion of  Brazil’s 201st Day of Independence (7th September, 2023). The occasion also marked a celebration of friendship and unity.

In a remarkable display of cultural exchange and diplomatic ties, Young Officers led by Lieutenant Blair Bethel, joined in the celebration. Against the backdrop of cultural exchange, Brazilian Singer Ellen Oléria held a special musical performance bringing a taste of Brazil’s vibrant culture to The Bahamas. Her performance showcased the infectious rhythms of Portuguese music commemorating their rich history and vibrant culture.

The RBDF, under the leadership of Commander Defence Force, Commodore Raymond E. King, is dedicated to the meaningful involvement and development of service members as we share the responsibility for accomplishing the Defence Force’s Mandate. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force extends its congratulations to the people of Brazil during this momentous occasion as we look forward to fostering mutual understanding and building a brighter future between The Bahamas and Brazil.

For additional information, kindly reach out to the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our official website at Connected with us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates, and explore our engaging content on our YouTube channel.



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