Residents of St. Mark now have a brand new state of the art educational facility for recreational and other activities, following the official handing over ceremony of the Victoria Day-care and Resource center last Tuesday.
Construction on the facility began on December 15th 2015, which is one of many projects undertaken by the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) with funding provided by the Caribbean Development Bank, to the tune of $715,338.27.
Project Manager BNTF – Mr.Issac Bhagwan in his address stated that the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) is a flagship programme of the Caribbean Development Bank. The programme , has been in existence for over thirty years.
According to the project manger, the main aim of the program is reducing poverty and vulnerability of its people while enhancing access too basic social and economic infrastructure and human resources, which specifically seeks to provide low income vulnerable communities with better access to quality education, improve water sanitation, transportation etc.
The project Manager, said that BNTF has implemented a total of nineteen sub projects and five skills training programs, noting that to date eleven of these sub projects are complete while four are ongoing.
He revealed that for over six years the day care was operating underneath the Alston St. George pavilion under very unsuitable conditions, noting also that the community library have been operating in boxes.
Representative of CDB- Mrs. Patricia McKenzie congratulated the government of Grenada and the people of St. Mark for their vision in the completion of the state of the art day care and Resource Center.
According to the CDB Rep. BNTF stands as global example of how community driven and partipatory approaches can really make a difference in the lives of citizens. This she said is an initiative the CDB is very proud to be associated with.
She noted that during periods of structural adjustments within the region, the Basic Needs Trust Funds (BNTF) continues to add value noting that their desire is to strengthen communities, by changing the lives of women, men and children as well as supporting the government of Grenada as they walk through fiscal constraints in state budget.
She added that the Caribbean Development Bank stands ready to extend assistance to the government of Grenada and its people.
Parliamentary Rep. of St. Mark-Hon. Claris Modeste said the opening of the facility serves not only as better accommodation for the young children but provides additional employment in the St. Marks
She noted that previously at the Day care, there were a total of six full time workers and two trainees with twenty children. To date, as they move to their new facility, there is a significant increase from twenty children to fifty children five infants and Twenty- five toddlers but they are still in need of additional workers such as an extra cook and an assistant supervisor among others and in that light jobs will be provided.
Hon. Claris Modeste congratulated the government of Grenada for the timely completion and construction of the brand new facility noting that it was a well-deserved wait. She then made special mention and commended seniors in the parish past and present for their vision in the establishment of the educational facility
Also present at the handing over ceremony was Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Keith Mitchell, other government officials, project consultant & engineer, pastor and a large number of persons from the community of Victoria St. Mark.
Glean’s Engineering provided consultancy for the project, spearheaded by contractor Allyton John.