THE BAHAMAS Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) paid a special visit recently to the residents of the Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home to share in the spirit of Christmas, and to support the Home’s backyard farming initiative. Alaasis Braynen, BAMSI’s CEO, said it was important for the Institute to positively engage the Bahamian community at a time when so many are in need, adding the outreach provided a two-fold opportunity. “One of our mandates is to strengthen the nation’s food and nutrition security plan and we are doing this, in part, by encouraging backyard farming projects. The Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home has a garden, and we intend to support them with seeds, seedlings, and other inputs so that they are better able to provide for themselves. It will also allow the residents to develop a valuable skill that will support them for a lifetime.”
While there, the BAMSI team sang Christmas carols, shared information on BAMSI
College and spent quality time with the boys and girls. The Home received a
donation of fresh produce and processed items and will also receive seedlings and
other supplies for their growing garden. On hand to receive the donation was Mrs. Florence Pratt, administrator of the Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home. She was joined by Assistant Administrator Andrea Johnson and Deputy Administrator Beryl Gray. Also joining the festivities with the BAMSI team and lending her voice in a song was Mrs. Linda Moxey-Brown, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture.
Paul Major, agriculture development officer and point person for the effort, explained, “We wanted to give back to the community, but we wanted it to have a lasting effect on whoever we chose to partner within this initiative. We decided that we should use the products that we have here at BAMSI from the various arms to impact the children’s lives. “Toys and money are great gifts, but we really wanted to ensure that the children would be able to use the gifts that we gave them while learning from the experience.