Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell wrapped up a two-day field trip to Grand Bahama, Thursday (August 1), with a tour of the Grand Bahama Home and Daycare for the Aged and Children’s Centre, Preschool and Nursery. The Minister is using the break in the proceedings of the House of Assembly to continue planned field trips to the various social services and urban development locations throughout The Bahamas in order to hold face-to-face meetings with staff, while further affording him the opportunity to meet with residents and clients in an effort to ensure continued efficiency of services everywhere.
The Home and Daycare Centre is one of several facilities the ministry either provides subventions to, or has established public, private partnerships with, that Minister Campbell visited to assess needs while in Grand Bahama. Founded in 1990, the Centre is said to be the country’s first inter-generational facility. The Government of The Bahamas provides an annual subvention to the Centre through the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development. Minister Campbell began the two-day visit on Wednesday (July 31) with a tour of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home, to which the Government also provides an annual subvention.
The Minister addressed the children, encouraging them to “aim high” while advising them that their futures are as bright as they want them to be. “Anytime I get a chance to spend time with the children of The Bahamas in general, but especially those who fall under my care as Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, especially those I am personally responsible for protecting — I take great pride in being able to do so,” Minister Campbell said: “To be able to serve you in this capacity is a great honour and privilege, first as a parent, and also as the Minister responsible for the social protection of our children.”
The Minister continued his visit with a stop at the Columbus Houses for Boys and Girls – a partnership between the Government of The Bahamas through the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, and the Grand Bahama Port Authority. Minister Campbell advised the residents of Social Services’ role in providing them with the basic necessities – food, shelter, education, clothing – in addition to being responsible for their protection. He also sought feedback from the residents.
Minister Campbell addressed the residents on the importance of assuming self-responsibility in decision-making, of the benefits of not bending to peer pressure however difficult it may be. He encouraged residents to take full advantage of the many opportunities that are being provided for them. Minister Campbell said the tour of the facilities allowed him to accomplish a number of objectives, “most important” to him. “The Bible teaches us that whatever we can do for the children, the aged/senior citizens and the community of persons living with disabilities, is well done,” Minister Campbell said. “Therefore, whatever I can do as Minister of Social Services and Urban Development to address the needs of these three sectors of society for as long as I have the pleasure of serving as the Minister, I have made a commitment to do my utmost to get those things done.
“The visitation further allowed me to meet one-on-one with those persons who are in our care including our children, our seniors and our persons with disabilities, to speak directly to them and to hear directly from them what their needs are; what their expectations are. “It further allowed me to meet one-on-one with some of the many partners that we have. Government cannot do it alone and so we must create new partnerships, while strengthening existing ones in order to accomplish what is best for these wonderful citizens that we serve,” Minister Campbell added.