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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Apr 20, 2017 - 10:46:06 AM

Urban Renewal Celebrates Completion of 20 Uplifting Services Throughout New Providence
By Kathryn Campbell
Apr 20, 2017 - 10:33:09 AM

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Urban Renewal Co-Chair Cynthia Pratt speaks at final Community Uplifting Service in South Beach. Also shown seated are the Hon. Cleola Hamilton, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (centre); Urban Renewal Co-Chair, Algernon Allen, (second right) and Mother Rachael Mackey (right). (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

Nassau, The Bahamas – A spirit of hope prevailed as Mother Rachael Mackey bellowed the words of the song “The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow” as Urban Renewal Commission 2.0 moved its Community Uplifting Services into the South Beach Constituency, Wednesday, April 19th.

As Mother Mackey sang, residents assembled at the South Beach Park, some under a tent, others on the sidelines, raised their hands, clapped, swayed and some could even be seen weeping openly.

The Commission celebrated the completion of 20 Community Uplifting Services held in various locations throughout New Providence. The services were designed to bring encouragement to residents following the passage of Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

The Hon. Cleola Hamilton, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, said communities throughout The Bahamas have seen and felt the success of Urban Renewal 2.0.

She said many homes in South Beach and in other areas have benefitted from the Small Home Repairs programme; abandoned and dilapidated buildings were torn down and many people in the community improved their talents and skills.

Urban Renewal Commission Co-Chair Algernon Allen called on Bahamians to “move out” as there is so much work to be done in the country for the children, elderly and those in need.

Care packages are shown ready for distribution. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

“We determined that at the end of the day Urban Renewal would be about uplifting the spirits of communities. We hugged close over 30 communities, thousands, in this country not only in worship but in song,” he said.

In his summary of the work of the Commission Mr. Allen highlighted the G.E.D. programme, issuing of 40-trailers of books and other material to children, the repair of homes, the advancement of the Urban Renewal Band, the development of the Urban Love Games and more.

Urban Renewal Co-Chair Cynthia Pratt said it was an honour for her to work with the Urban Renewal Commission, which has “blessed” the lives of so many Bahamians. She thanked God for the passion and compassion that she and Mr. Allen have for the programme.

“Everywhere we went people were appreciative of this,” she said. “All of the constituencies were calling to bring Urban Renewal in their area. When people start calling for you, you’re making an impact. Urban Renewal is the “best” thing that ever happened to this country. Many people, today, have bathrooms they never had before, many got their roofs fixed and many can read and write. Thousands of dollars were spent on the G.E.D. (General Education Diploma) programme. Mom and Dad dropped out of school and they now have their high school diploma. Thousands of dollars were spent by the government on this programme.”

Bishop Lawrence Rolle entertained the residents with his soul stirring music. The Urban Renewal Praise Team also provided music for the event.

Following the service residents queued for care packages, which were distributed by the Commission.

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