One Eleuthera News
Charismatic, outgoing, affectionate and intelligent are just a few words that describe her. Twenty-one-year-old native Eleutheran, Judy India Sands was a 2017 Summer Intern with the One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF). She was born and raised in North Palmetto Point, Eleuthera by her grandmother, Enid Cooper. India as we all call her, was introduced to non-profit organizations during her senior year in high school when she became the Charter President for the Interact Club at Central Eleuthera High School when it was first launched on the island in 2011. During her reign as President, the club completed several school and community projects. This included school clean ups, clothing drives for the Zion Children’s Home and beautification of Sea Side, South Palmetto Point following the passage of Hurricane Irene. India believes that her passion for serving others derived from her late grandmother. She states, “persons who visited our home did not leave empty handed. My grandmother was always giving something away or assisting others in the community.”
In 2013, India began her studies at the University of the Bahamas in pursuit of a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. She is currently on this quest and maintains honors. During her junior year, sadly her grandmother lost her battle to ovarian cancer. India states, “She was my motivation and a piece of me died with her, but I know she wants me to continue to pursue my dreams and I’m going to do so just for her.” Currently, India is in her final year of college and plans to gain more work experience before returning to school. Her next goal is to become the first Certified Registered Nurse Anaesthetist in Eleuthera.
Eleuthera, Bahamas--On Saturday, August 12th, Eleuthera served as the second stop for Mr. Alfred Sears’ nationwide book tour. The book signing event which drew a moderate and, enthusiastic crowd was held on the picturesque patio of The South Eleuthera Mission.
Alfred Sears shared his story, penned in a book titled “A Community Life”. He read and recounted defining moments of trials, trauma and ultimate triumph in his life while instilling a spark of hope, inspiration, and renewed love for self and others. Attendees were moved by his openness and honesty, as evidenced by the strongly positive testimonials of those who commented at the end of the presentation. Persons had their copies signed by the author with the words “We can make the change we want!” as he shared smiles and words of encouragement.
Eleuthera, Bahamas--On Saturday August 19th the Bahamas AIDS Foundation hosted an Adherence Management seminar which included HIV/ AIDS 101 on the island of Eleuthera. The initiative is an ongoing project by the AIDS Foundation and is being funded by a grant from CARICOM.
Conducting the seminar were Mrs. Carlyn Smith – McKenzie, Lead Facilitator, Public Health Educator and Grant Administrator and Ms. Tracey Rahming, Social Worker. The theme of the series of workshops is Working Together For A Healthier ‘WE’. During the Seminar, the ladies thoroughly explained to the participants what is HIV/ AIDS and covered an overview of adherence practices. This included symptoms, testing, treatment, and healthy living. They also led a discussion on the psychosocial component which is another important aspect of any illness including HIV/ AIDS. Overall, participants were given general information on how persons living with HIV/ AIDS can have an improved quality of life by simply following strict medical adherence. The slide presentation showed some Bahamian statistics relating to the disease. The duo shared very valuable information on how The Bahamas AIDS Foundation has and can assist anyone affected by HIV/ AIDS.
Assisting the Bahamas AIDS Foundation with logistics to host the seminar locally was The One Eleuthera Foundation. Also partnering to make this forum available to Eleutherans was the Cancer Society of Eleuthera. The workshop took place in Palmetto Point at The Cancer Society Wellness Center. The audience comprised of over 20 persons who commuted from South Eleuthera thru to North Eleuthera. Attending were Community leaders, Rotarians, nurses, a school principal, social worker, members from the Royal Bahamas Police Force and Police Reserve Officers. A very lively and informative exchange took place between the facilitators and the attendees. Each attendee claimed to have learned new facts on the topics and were very grateful to have attended the Saturday morning session.
Registered Nurse and Midwife, Nurse Bianca Edwards stated, “I am glad for the information and the partnership with the foundations. Hopefully we can join forces to eradicate the stigma that people have on AIDS / HIV through role play and workshops throughout Eleuthera. Hopefully we can have more of lay persons from the communities”.
Today, June 26, 2017, Senator Ranard Henfield speaks about the concerns and suggestions of 15 Civil Society Organizations in The Bahamas in the House of Assembly. One of those organizations is One Eleuthera Foundation. We are grateful to Senator Henfield for giving us this opportunity. Please see the full script below of our concerns and suggestions as presented by Senator Henfield
Development, for the past 40 plus years in the Bahamas at best has followed a “one size fits all” strategy. At worst, successive governments have held a “hold the centre policy”. Which means let’s take care of New Providence, Grand Bahama and then whatever is left we will distribute throughout the other islands. This is not a bad policy for an archipelagic nation with limited resources.
Twenty-eight year old Waterford, Eleuthera resident, Deangelo Pratt is no ordinary trainee. He hasn’t had the greatest start in life but was eager, yet humbled to tell us just how much his life changed since enrolling in the programs at the Centre for Training and Innovation (CTI) just over one year ago.
“I wasn’t doing nothing”, he said when asked what he was doing before he came to CTI. He continued, “I was out on the road drinking and fighting, smoking and chillin’ out by the bar room. I been to jail five times!” When asked why, he listed reasons like stabbing another young man, and possession of a fire arm which was his most recent offence and resulted in his having to wear an ankle bracelet. Now, the young man is working in the area of landscaping at the Centre for Training and Innovation, helping to keep the yard beautiful and clean. He testifies of loving his job at CTI because it keeps him busy and out of trouble. He also emphatically stated that having Mr. Errol McPhee (CEO of CTI) and Mr. Collin Moss (Student Support Officer) around to speak encouraging words is quite meaningful to him and has been an important factor in his major turn-around. He told us that he likes EVERYTHING about CTI and really enjoys working there because he just loves the people and positive environment. He said, “the people cool; this is a good place to work!”
He shared that his favorite course is Computer Skills because his instructor, Paulterra Johnson, is an awesome teacher who makes the course exciting and fun.
You have to hear about CTI trainee, Cercelia Thompson! The 31-year-old is a resident of Deep Creek, Eleuthera and says that coming to CTI gave her a second chance at life after being unemployed for four years!
Cercelia told us that in 2011, she took a leave of absence from her job at Half Moon Cay to go on maternity leave and give birth to twin boys. She was unsuccessful in returning to work and as a result, was unemployed for four (4) years thereafter. Close to tears, she then expressed how hard it was, both emotionally and financially, having to struggle with her sons as a single mother. “I finally got a part-time job, housekeeping at Sky Beach two days out of the week, but it did not come close to providing what I needed.”
She continued, “In January 2016 while I was at home Mr. Colin Moss, Student Support Officer at CTI, showed up and started talking to me about CTI and the programs that would be available there.” Cercelia expressed that she jumped on the opportunity to enroll in CTI and that the very next day she sent in her application.
She shared that she always had a love for baking so she almost chose the culinary arts program. “However,” she smiled, “There was something about the electrical program that drew me. My dad, cousins, and uncles always did electrical work around the house and so I decided to try that.” Cercelia said that she was anxious to try something new, especially something that is known to be a “man’s job.”
She shared her experiences in the courses so far. “We did a lot of practical work first, and that was good. But then we got into the theory and in that part I turned out to be one of the top students in the course!” Cercelia expressed that because of this, she was given the opportunity to take the Single Phase Course, which is the first step to getting her electrical license. She plans to go through all phases to get her license, and as a result, she will be able to take on private jobs to better sustain herself and her children.
“I’ve already gotten negative feedback about my decision to do electrical work, as a woman. Someone made the comment, “Hah! Who ga let Celie wire up their house?” But I am not letting that stop me,” she said with determination.
The old Rock Sound Club, now known as the Center for Training and Innovation (CTI), was leased to the One Eleuthera Foundation in August of 2015, and officially purchased on May 17th, 2016. What our partners at CTI have done with the property thus far, is one for the books, and worth highlighting! What is most impressive right now is the entity we are temporarily calling, “Hotel CTI”, which recently underwent full inspection by Ministry of Tourism officals.
CTI project manager, Audrey Carey informed us that there are currently twelve rooms up for booking. She also filled us in on some of the room amenities, which include two queen or two king size beds, air conditioning, hot water, an iron and iron board, a coffee maker and a safe. Cable and internet are not yet included, but they will be coming soon. We await results from the inspections.
Please enjoy these photos of the site.
Eleuthera, Bahamas-- One Eleuthera Foundation and Susan G. Komen’s Breast Cancer Outreach Program (BCOP) manned an informational booth at Susan G. Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure on January 14th, 2017. Community Outreach Assistant, Shapreka Clarke and Administrator for Cancer Society Eleuthera, Chinnici McDonald, travelled to Nassau for the event.