After struggling with water challenges for a number of years, the Grand Anse Social Development Center (GASDC), is now equipped with improved bathroom facilities and two 500 gallons water tanks as a gift from the state-controlled National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA).
“Our water problem is now a thing of the past,” declared a happy Director of the GASDC Board of Directors, Ann DuFont, in expressing gratitude to NAWASA, during the official handing over ceremony last week Wednesday at the Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church Upper Room in Grand Anse, St. George.
“The education of our girls is (now) positively influenced because we used to send them home when there was no water in the taps,” she added.
In celebration of its Silver Jubilee milestone, which was realised on November 15, the NAWASA Board of Directors agreed to finance a community-based project that will help improve lives.
According to Human Resource Manager, NAWASA, Pansy Ventour, the centre was selected from a total of five institutions that submitted project proposals, based on the fact that it was considered as the most favourable given the activities conducted there.
“This project was geared towards the improvement of sanitary facilities, which we believe was of utmost importance given the activities conducted at the center, some of which include Food and Nutrition , hair dressing, clothing and textile, among others”, she said.
“It is our belief that a clean and healthy environment is most conducive to enhance learning, social interaction and a confortable environment. We also believe that with the provision of a water storage tank, class interruption eliminated and the teaching inconvenience experienced in the past would no longer exist,” she added.
The approximately EC$12, 000 project commenced on September 5.
It was contracted to Quality Construction Company, operated by Benedict Clyne, who was able to complete the project on September 19.
Chairman of NAWASA’s Board of Directors, Terrence Forrester encouraged the students, management and staff of the center to maintain the facilities, which will further encourage the company to continue being a good corporate citizen.
“Use it wisely and for the best purposes that it was intended so that we (NAWASA)can continue providing services not just to the Social Development Centre but to other institutions,” Forrester said.
“NAWASA feels that we have a responsibility as a social partner in continuing to provide not just a paid service but service where it is needed. So as a responsible organisation we feel that we owe this to you and to the nation,” he added.
The Grand Anse Center started in 1999 through collaboration between the Ministry of Social Development and Housing and the Board of Management of the center.
The center caters for girls between the ages 14 to 18, who are given a second chance at education.
The objective of the center is to help the young ladies realise their potential and become productive individuals, who are willing and able to make positive contributions to the development of society.
Principal of the center, Sister Allison Mitchell said the programmes offered at the center “spans three years and the young females are given an opportunity to learn life skills (and) vocational subjects.”
Sis. Allison noted that “students are also given an opportunity to write the school leaving exams with a view to be placed in a secondary school upon successfully obtaining the required mark…for those who are able we also have classes in English, Maths, and Social Studies and Principles of Business (POB) with a view of doing the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC)” to achieve the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC).
“At present we are in the process of (doing) an audit with the National Training Agency (NTA) to gain a programme for the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) and the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ),” she remarked.
Social Development Minister Delma Thomas who was also on hand congratulated NAWASA for undertaking this project to mark its 25th year of service to local communities.
“NAWASA, we are indeed grateful for what you have done…this project is consistent with the mission of the Ministry of Social Services which is in effect the delivery of services to those who need them the most,” the Minister said.
She also added her voice in the call for proper maintenance of the facilities and urged the students “to not give into the temptation of wastage and improper use.”
Minister Thomas also admonished the students present at last week’s handing over ceremony, to always remember that they can become whatever they want to be.
“You have been given a second chance (and) I want to encourage you that you can be whatever you want to be. Let no one tell you that you cannot do it. Whether it’s academic or a skill, you can do and be whatever you want to be. Do your best, strive for excellence make yourselves and your families proud,” she sad.