BNTF makes significant investments in capacity building and education

mahaut_sew_bntfRoseau, Dominica – June 21, 2010……… Significant investments are being made in education and in capacity building under the Basic Needs Trust Fund Programme. (BNTF-5)

On Wednesday, June 16th, Members of the Project Steering Committee (PSC) of the Basic Needs Trust Fund Programme undertook a Field Trip to several communities to monitor the implementation of various sub-projects being implemented under the programme.

Speaking exclusively to GIS news, Principal of the North East Comprehensive School in Londonderry, Mrs. Chandler Thomas Hyacinth said she was looking forward to the opening of a new Industrial Arts Block presently under construction.  The new block is being financed under BNTF-5 at a cost of $813,417.00.

“We are looking forward to the opening of this new facility because we know there is need for Technical/Vocational Education at North East Comprehensive. Completion of this building will certainly facilitate our programme and provide further options  for our students, including writing CXC examinations.”

Mrs. Chandler explained that although the school has technical and vocational options on its curriculum, it does not have the facilities.

“We offer woodwork and building and construction on our curriculum but we don’t have a room to do the practicals. We are hoping that with this new building, we will have technical drawings, auto- mechanics, including arc welding and woodwork.”

Minister for Community Development, Social Services and Gender Affairs, Hon. Gloria Shillingford expressed her joy at the investment under BNTF 5 at the W.S Stevens School of $871, 315.00. The school was badly in need of repairs following the earthquake of November, 2004. The refurbished facility now has an additional block with toilet and washroom facilities for students and teachers.

BNTF has also financed the construction of a retaining wall at Jimmit to protect the National Children’s Home which is nearing completion. The cost of the wall was $353,873.00.

Chairperson of the Clifton/Capuchin/Cocoyea Village Council, Ms. Mary Seaman expressed her delight that BNTF had invested $209,215.00 in the total rehabilitation of the Clifton Health Centre.

District Development Officer for the North, Mr. Steve Joseph told GIS news that the construction of a new Resource Centre at Capuchin would bring significant benefits to the community. The facility is expected to house a pre-school, be a disaster shelter and be a venue for community meetings, seminars and cultural activities. BNTF funded the project at a cost of $322,912.00.

Members of the Project Steering Committee also visited Dos Dane where BNTF funded the Letrange Feeder Road at a cost of $151,474.00. The construction of that feeder road has made it easier for the farmers of the area to access their farms.

The Basic Needs Trust Fund Programme is also investing significant sums on empowering people in local communities. The sum of $68,046.00 was spent on capacity building for income generation in the community of Mero. Persons have benefited from training sessions in bar tending and waitressing, food preparation, social skills and personal skills development, business skills management, arts and craft, customer relations, diving, snorkelling among other training programmes.

An amount of $54,437.00 has been spent on Capacity Building & Income Skills for Parents in Mahaut. Through this programme, persons are being taught the basics in flower arrangement, sewing and construction methods and procedures.

And the end of the Field Trip, BNTF Project Manager, Mr. Matthew Carrette said he was satisfied that “BNTF is fulfilling its mandate in helping to make life more comfortable for many persons in several   communities ”.

The Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF-5) Programme is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Government of Dominica. An amount of approximately EC$12.5 million was earmarked for use under BNTF 5. BNTF-5 is expected to run until the end of 2010.

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