BASH Launches Youth ‘Build-A-Skill’ Project

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(BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)

From: Bahamas Information Services

Bahamas Association for Social Health (BASH) commemorates its 31st anniversary with the launch of a skills training initiative for youth. BASH Youth ‘Build-A-Skill’ Training Programme will provide specialized training to high risk youth in soft, social and hard skills in conjunction with the Ministry of Education (MOE) the University of The Bahamas, BTVI and other stakeholders.

Terry Miller, founder of BASH, which is an adult male residential substance dependency treatment and rehabilitation facility, said his organization will work with Urban Renewal to identify young men and women in the community who could benefit from the courses.
During a ceremony January 12, 2022 at BASH facilities in Chippingham, the Hon. Glenys Hanna Martin, Minister of Education and Technical & Vocational Training, congratulated Mr. Miller and his executive team as they celebrated the 31st anniversary, and as The Bahamas celebrates the 55th anniversary of Majority Rule (January 10th 1967).

“Any effort that brings awareness and allows people to find within themselves who they are, what they are, and move beyond whatever challenge they face is very much in line with the struggle of our people which led to 1967,” said Minister Hanna Martin.

“I stand here to support the work of this organization, Terry Miller and his leadership. I am very proud of our legacy, heritage and history. “You have been so faithful to the cause, you have understood the journey and you have been faithful against all odds, facing every challenge, setback, disappointment. Many would have gone in a different direction but you stayed the course.”

Dr. Jacinta Higgs, veteran educator and former director of the Department of Gender and Family Affairs of the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, in a recorded speech, commended Mr. Miller for his noble venture. She said the certification programmes in soft skills, social skills and hard skills are needed in The Bahamas.

“Coming out of and during COVID-19, we’ll need an amplification in the offerings for our young people because there are going to be so many gaps that would have occurred as a result of the lockdowns and shift to virtual learning and teaching as a result of COVID-19.
“Soft skills are critical. Social skills will definitely be needed. The genesis of education was to socialize young people and children toward becoming productive, contributing citizens. Therefore problem solving, conflict resolution, patience, motivation, anger management, grief therapy — these are critical — especially grief because during COVID-19 thousands of families would have lost hundreds of family members.

Because it happened unexpectedly, suddenly, persons were not prepared, it happened at a time when there were lockdowns: what happens [then] is the grief experience is going to be more problematic, exacerbated because we didn’t have the old traditional ways of gathering so grief could be shared.”

Dr. Higgs said the hard skills, including construction, organic farming, hydroponics, aquaponics, multi-media social media, solar panel technology, are very much aligned with some of the Sustainable Development Goals. The goals include: encouraging young people to grow their own food, partnership with the Ministry of Health to encourage good health and well-being, and partnership with the Min. of Education to display emphasis on survival life skills.

Mr. Miller said the youth programme is an indication of the organization’s commitment not only to the social health of the country but to the most valuable asset any nation can have – its youth.

“On this our 31st anniversary, we are a social asset that has paid the price, stood the test of time and is now ready, willing, able and eager to go the extra mile,” said Mr. Miller.

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