The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, received a donation from the Humming Birds Association and the Helping Hands Foundation towards hurricane rebuilding efforts. The presentation of two separate cheques was made Monday, February 12, 2018, at NEMA on Gladstone Road, in the spirit of the close mutual relationship between The Bahamas and Jamaica — the country members of those organizations represent. Present were: Captain Stephen Russell, Director of NEMA; Patrick Hanlan, Honorary Consul of Jamaica; Sharon Purser-Cooper; Denise Smith; Vivienne Campbell; Aldene Farquharson; Hazel Burke; and Colin Hutchison. Capt. Russell, while accepting the total sum of $2,500 said that work continues in phases, following three major storms, which impacted the country, namely Hurricanes Joaquin in 2015, Matthew in 2016 and Irma in 2017.
He noted that just recently, 10 homes have been completed on Long Island, San Salvador and Rum Cay, as part of Phase II rebuilding efforts and “any help” would go a long way in these initiatives. “I am glad we have friends in the region who can lend assistance when we are in need,” Capt. Russell said. Both he and Honorary Consul of Jamaica, Mr. Patrick Hanlan acknowledged the long friendship between both countries and the reciprocal assistance given in the aftermaths of major storms such as Hurricanes Gilbert, Andrew and in recent times Irma. The Hummingbird Association was formed in 1978 and the Helping Hands Foundation in 2017.