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U.S. Embassy presents local NGO’s with PEPFAR small grants to support the fight against HIV/AIDS
Submitted by the US Embassy Nassau   

U.S. Embassy and Ministry of Health officials participate in a signing ceremony at the Ministry of Health with the recipients of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) small grants program.

NASSAU, Bahamas -- On Tuesday, October 14, U.S. Embassy and Ministry of Health officials participated in a signing ceremony at the Ministry of Health to announce the recipients of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) small grants program.  The U.S. Embassy’s Political/Economic and Commercial Chief David Allen was on hand for the event along with health officials including the Ministry of Health’s Acting Permanent Secretary Marco Rolle, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Glen Beneby, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Delon Brennen, Director of the National AIDS Program Dr. Nikkiah Forbes and Managing Director of the HIV/AIDS Center Nurse Marva Jervis. The objective of the PEPFAR initiative is to support national programs in the prevention of HIV/AIDS, while strengthening the capacity to monitor current cases and collaborating with civil society groups to reach key at-risk populations.  

PEPFAR funds totaling over $14,000 were presented to four community-based organizations dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS in order to assist with their outreach programs on New Providence and the Family Islands.  The Bahamas Sexual Health & Rights Association will use the grant to promote its campaign “Safe Space Module II: Peer Leadership Program for Persons Living with HIV and Support Group Recruitment” which will provide support for persons living with the disease. The Bahamas Chapter of Beta Lambda will promote HIV/AIDS awareness among young Bahamians.  One Eleuthera Foundation will launch “Body Talk: HIV/AIDS Awareness through Writing, Designing and Performing” to engage Bahamian teenagers and young adults about HIV/AIDS.  The Haitian Organization for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS and STDs will coordinate the “Full Contact Attack against HIV/AIDS” campaign in an effort to promote safe sex and eradicate language and reading barriers in Haitian communities in Nassau, Abaco and Eleuthera.

In 2014 alone, the U.S. Embassy presented PEPFAR small grants totaling over $32,000 to local organizations.  Other recipients this year included the National L.E.A.D. Institute, the Youth Ambassadors Program for Positive Living and the Family Enrichment and Resource Training Center on Grand Bahama.

Photo: U.S. Embassy and Ministry of Health officials participate in a signing ceremony at the Ministry of Health with the recipients of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) small grants program.

 
GBPA's VAT education sessions branded a success
Submitted by Kimberley Miller   

GBPA VAT FORUM KEITH WORRELL ADDRESSES ATTENDEES - Keith Worrell, VAT unit implementation representative, addresses a full room of GBPA Licencees during one of the four day meetings of the VAT training sessions, hosted by The Grand Bahama Port Authority.FREEPORT, Grand Bahama --The Grand Bahama Port Authority served as host to the four day Value Added Tax (VAT) Training Sessions, which officially came to a successful close Friday, October 17th, at the Pelican Bay Hotel.

With an overwhelming attendance of almost 400 licencees over the four day span, business persons showed a keen interest in the information that was made available to them by way of a dual partnership between VAT Unit representative, Keith Worrell and Dario Roberts of Bahabeach Web/IT Development.  Both Worrell and Roberts served as the event’s key presenters.

Sale of goods & services, trade/industrial manufacturing, transport and professional services were the headlining sectors targeted at the informative undertaking.

GBPA Business Services Manager LaShawn Dames said that she was pleased to lead the event, noting its importance to licencees in the Freeport area. “This event was truly a success!  I am so pleased that licencees were able to partake in this VAT Training seminar because a lot of persons have a great deal of misconceptions about VAT,” shares Dames. “The key presenters did a good job in dispelling any pre conceived concerns amongst the various business professionals that were represented here over the past four days,” said Dames.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority is pleased to have hosted an event focused on VAT, as the high attendance rate was proof that there is a need amongst business professionals who seek clarity on Value Added Tax. Licencees of The Port area and all residents of Grand Bahama are encouraged to continue further education on VAT as we all prepare for the 2015 year.

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Anticipation builds for ‘16 Islands, 16 Weddings, one Priceless Day’
Submitted by Kendea Smith   

NASSAU, Bahamas - Sixteen lucky brides are one step closer to that walk down the aisle in The Bahamas as they head down to Miami, Florida this week to chose their gorgeous gowns.  

With less than 90 days to go until The Bahamas’ 16 weddings, 16 islands, One Priceless Day promotion, Ministry of Tourism officials are steadily preparing for the premier event.  

Director of Weddings and Romance Freda Malcolm says brides are becoming more excited about the event.  

“The brides are exceeding excited at this point because this is a once-in-a-lifetime event and we are going to make their day perfect for them with all of the gifts that they are getting,” she said.  

“In a few days I will be meeting with a few of the brides and we will be selecting their dresses and we will have a small reception for them and their grooms. The sponsor for the dresses is Mon Cherie.”  

The unique, social media promotion aptly named “16 Weddings, 16 Islands, One Priceless Day,” commenced on February 14, 2014 and ended on June 31st, 2014.  

The promotion was opened to residents of the United States of America only and showcased The Islands Of The Bahamas as the premier destination in the region for romance – weddings, honeymoons, vow renewals and romantic escapes.  

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19th Annual International Cultural Festival [photos]
Submitted by BIS   

NASSAU, The Bahamas -- Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, the Hon. Frederick Mitchell (at the podium) officially opens the 19th Annual International Cultural Festival on Saturday October 18, 2014, at the Botanical Gardens. The weekend cultural festival was originally conceived to recognize United Nations Day and celebrates the culinary arts, music and dance of many countries represented in The Bahamas. Photos caught some of the moments of the event. (BIS Photos/Derek Smith)

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Bricemae Gibson ‘Employee of the Year’ at Ministry of Works and Urban Development
Written by BIS   

Bricemae Gibson, centre, Employee of the Year 2014-2015, accepts awards from Cheryl Darville, First Assistant Secretary, and the Hon. Philip Davis, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development.  (BIS photo/Raymond A. Bethel Sr.)NASSAU, The Bahamas – Bricemae Gibson of the Human Resources Unit won the ‘Employee of the Year’ distinction at the recent Ministry of Works and Urban Development Employee of the Year Awards and Recognition Ceremony.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development the Hon. Philip Davis commended Ms. Gibson and the nominees.

He also implored staff of the Ministry of Works to align themselves with the values of trust, honesty, integrity and stewardship and to build these values into the delivery of service. He called on them to renew their efforts to develop strategies that demonstrate they value customers.

“Sadly, we have too many customers walking away disgruntled or dissatisfied. We have too many customers whose projects are delayed because employees of the Ministry are not present, not performing, or not proficient,” he said. “We have too many complaints from customers who allege corruption among officers. This is the present reality of our Ministry. While we all have faults, there can be no acceptable excuse for poor performance – especially when it trends towards becoming habit.”

He said the front-line employees play a central role in influencing the customer experience and maintaining the Ministry’s reputation; technical staff have the responsibility of moving the economy; and administrators have the responsibility of ensuring that all staff work together for good.

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