The opportunity to improve the lives of all Bahamians is the greatest privilege of serving as Head of Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said recently. “I am motivated every day by a commitment to social justice and the common good,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “I am motivated by the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable in our land. “Any privilege that does not issue forth in helping the least amongst us is a privilege that is wasted. It is a special privilege to work daily to provide our children and young people with opportunities to dream and to realize their dreams,” Prime Minister Minnis added. The Prime Minister’s comments came ahead of the launch of the Economic Development and Planning Unit’s (Office of the Prime Minister) Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative (OCDPI) that is designed to – among other major impacts – transform and rejuvenate inner-city communities “in ways only dreamt about before.”
Launched Thursday, December 8, 2017 in the Bain and Grants Town and Centreville areas with a Town Hall Meeting at the Grants Town Wesley Methodist Church Hall with Phase I, the OCDPI will be funded through an annual grant of $5 million from the Government of The Bahamas and is a partnership between the Government, the University of The Bahamas, the Over-the-Hill Community, Civil Society and Private Partnerships. The Government will play the leading role through the introduction of public policy and legislation, and the provision of resources. Civil Society (non-governmental organizations expressing the interests of the citizenry) is also expected to play a critical role by providing advocacy and critical services, as will the Private Sector, offering partnership through demonstrated corporate social responsibility. Officials of the Economic Development and Planning Unit say the Bain and Grants Town and Centreville areas were selected to be included in Phase One of the Project because national data indicate the two communities are the two most impoverished communities of New Providence.
Phase Two of the Project will involve the communities of St. Barnabas and Englerston, ranked third and fourth. (The statistics were provided by the Department of Statistics and based on the 2010 Census. The Census is conducted every ten years in The Bahamas.) Prime Minister Minnis said since May (when his Administration took office) he has had a “new vantage point” that has allowed him to see more in-depth, “the challenges and problems as well as the opportunities and possibilities of our country.” The OCDPI reflects the vision of Prime Minister Minnis for the transformation and rejuvenation of Over-the-Hill Communities. “There are many tough days. There are sometimes sleepless nights, but the great reward of helping others outshines the sometimes difficult days and nights. God knows I have made some mistakes,” Prime Minister Minnis continued, “God knows that sometimes I get it wrong. Sometimes, I don’t explain or say things as well as I should. “[But] my passion is to give back to our country what this country has given to me. The greatest privilege of serving as Head of Government is the opportunity to improve the lives of my fellow Bahamians,” Prime Minister Minnis added.