NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Young people whose lives were transformed by the Urban Renewal Programme gathered at Parliament Square to indicate their support for his or her mentor and advocate, Member of Parliament for Marathon and Minister of State for Social Services and Urban Development, Lisa Rahming.
On Tuesday, youth currently within the Urban Renewal programmes, in addition to young adults who’re success stories, gathered within the square and the gallery to witness her contribution to The Way Forward 2022 Budget Debate.
Amongst them were young police and immigration officers, and a young lady who’s in the ultimate stages of her education to develop into a physician. Young athletes currently in tennis and basketball programmes were also present, together with coaches and administrators of Urban Renewal.
Rahming, who has responsibility for Urban Renewal as Minister of State, was overwhelmed by the show of support and excited to see young people. A lot of them she knew personally as she mentored them during her long history with the programme.
“It was amazing to see them come out,” she said.
“A few of them at the moment are grown with Bachelor’s degrees! These are kids whose lives I’d have touched during their younger and tender years. They were members of the Urban Renewal Band they usually received scholarships, and did well. I need the general public to know that Urban Renewal shouldn’t be a waste of the taxpayers’ money. It could possibly reap good dividends that may be seen through the lives of the kids – now young adults – living prosperous productive lives.”
Twenty years ago, Rahming was amongst a special group of law enforcement officials chosen to implement the flagship Urban Renewal Pilot Project in 2002, by former Prime Minister Perry G Christie.
The officers were under the leadership of retired Assistant Commissioner Carolyn Bowe and retired Senior Assistant Commissioner Stephen Dean, who’s currently the Chairman of the Urban Renewal Commission. Rahming shined as she helped to implement programmes and subsequently, she was afforded the chance to help with the establishment of Urban Renewal Centers in Grand Bahama, Abaco, Bimini, Andros, Cat Island, Long Island, Acklins, Eleuthera and Exuma.
Within the House of Assembly, Rahming told Parliamentarians that “Urban Renewal, through Youth Development Programmes, will proceed to endow our youth with the knowledge, skills, training and vibrant opportunities needed to galvanize them for brilliant futures”.
These programmes include the Urban Renewal Revolutionized Sporting League, which incorporates basketball, baseball, soccer, golf, tennis, swimming, and the Urban “Love” Games Track Meet. The Tennis Federation graciously provided rackets for the young athletes, who had a likelihood to display their gear while taking photos with Minister Rahming in Rawson Square. Track Coach Dexter Bodie was also readily available with athletes who’re showing prowess on the track and in the sector.
The Urban Renewal Revolutionized Band provides training for young musicians in concert performances, marching bands, and arranged dance to help in future job opportunities and scholarships. In February 2022, Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States, afforded the UR Revolutionized Band members new scholarship opportunities.
The Cultural Enrichment Programme – Urban Renewal goals to advertise, teach and maintain Bahamian culture from an early age. Classes include Bahamian History and Heritage, Bahamian Folk Dance, Junkanoo Craft, and Music (with an institution of a Junkanoo Group), Choir, Drama, Limbo and Fire Dance, Sewing Classes, Liturgical Dance, DJ, and Sound Engineering, Drumming Classes, Bahamian Cuisine, and Straw Work.
Urban Renewal Educational Programmes include a wide selection of after-school programs including the LJM Maritime Academy, GED Programme, Sewing Programme, and Computer Classes.
During her contribution to the Budget Debate, Rahming announced that assessments have been conducted to make sure proper and adequate infrastructure for all Urban Renewal Centers, including appropriate signage, flags, office amenities, and the implementation of Hot Spot Wi-Fi Kiosks.
As well as, the Minor Roof Repairs Department has been transformed into the Small Home Repairs Department, allowing Urban Renewal to do more to help residents with their homes. In January of 2022, the Urban Renewal Relief Task Force conducted Domestic Violence Training, she said. Lives have also been transformed, she added, through the Second Likelihood Program.
Legal Aid programs exist to assist single moms and dads, the elderly, and folks living with disabilities. The Urban Renewal Authority Bill can be re-introduced to determine the Urban Renewal Commission as an Authority (Urban Renewal Authority – URA).