SOME 80 young people throughout the country are in training in Grand Bahama for the Bahamas National Youth Guard programme. This is the first cohort at the Police Training College in Grand Bahama.
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
NEARLY 100 young people from throughout the country that have enlisted in the Bahamas National Youth Guard programme are in Grand Bahama for three months of training at the Police College in Freeport.
Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture Mario Bowleg said this first cohort of 80 youngsters will receive the skillset to respond to any national disaster in the country.
“It is history in the making and it is a happy day for me and Prime Minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis to see one of the projects in the ‘Blueprint for Change’ come to reality,” he said recently.
“The National Youth Guard programme will teach the necessary skillet to young people to respond to any national disaster in The Bahamas.”
The programme targets youngsters, aged 18 to 25 years.
“The idea is to continue to have various cohorts over the next few years to grow the number so we won’t have to disable the police and defence forces when it comes to doing their normal duties and assisting with disaster response.”
While the police and defence forces will continue to assist with disaster response, the minister noted that the national youth guards will be able to lend a hand during those times of disaster.
“We are pleased that every island has been touched, with the majority of the participants coming from Grand Bahama and New Providence,” Mr Bowleg said.
He said the programme will be officially launched by the Prime Minister.
The participants from New Providence and the Family Islands arrived in Grand Bahama on Sunday onboard the HMBS Lawrence Major. They were greeted and welcomed by Minister Bowleg, along with Senators Jack Turner and Kirkland Russell.
Sandena Neely, head of the Division of Youth, described the start of the programme as “a red-letter day” for the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture.
She said the participants will be trained to assist the country in the event of an emergency or disaster and will undergo conservation training, shelter management, disaster management, and preparedness training.
“The course will expose them from everything beginning with prevention and mitigation all the way to response and recovery - every aspect of the country’s national disaster plan,” Ms Neely said.