Govt providing additional funding for civil society groups
The government is providing financial assistance to partially fund programs associated with social partners such as the church, civic and sporting groups, within urban areas in Nassau and Freeport.
“I should note that these funds are in addition to the resources that are already available from the government’s coffers for various urban renewal, social intervention and youth development programs,” said Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham during a press conference held yesterday at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture on Thompson Boulevard.
The prime minister pointed out that additional financial resources would assist organizations in acquiring volunteers, but noted that individual and collective responsibility is essential to inspiring “individuals to lead lives of responsibility”.
Ingraham revealed the Volunteer Bahamas initiative in his national address on crime in October. The program, which began on November 1, has attracted approximately 400 registered volunteers so far, with hundreds of others currently being processed by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
Ingraham told potential funding recipients and volunteers at the press conference that the government and members of the public expect a high level of accountability for the funding received. He urged them to use “reporting mechanisms which are clear and transparent”.
“We ask also that your programs be as creative as possible,” Ingraham said. “I know that you are all conscious that your effectiveness will be increased when you are able to provide all volunteers, but especially new or first-time volunteers, with proper orientation, ensuring that they are well-suited and trained for their assignments, properly deployed and very importantly, acknowledged and thanked.
He added, “This call to even greater action… seeks to help expand and extend the outreach of and improve the effectiveness of faith and community-based groups in reaching vulnerable populations, in particular boys, adolescent men, and young adult men at risk for anti-social and criminal behavior.”
He continued, “In this vein, I ask that you seek to expand the numbers you serve through more targeted and long range interventions, especially in regard to young boys and adolescent males, as well as helping to improve the quality of family life through various parenting initiatives.”
According to the prime minister, to reach such critical mass the efforts of civil society groups must be sustainable over the long haul, and must be comprehensive in addressing a myriad of social problems.