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Seminars to Assist Grand Bahama Residents Following Hurricane Matthew

Freeport, Grand Bahama - A series of Post Crisis Seminars, jointly sponsored by the Ministry for Grand Bahama, the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, will be held in Grand Bahama on Thursday, November 3 and Friday, November 4, 2016, to assist residents with their restoration efforts both personally and professionally.

During a press conference at the Ministry for Grand Bahama on Monday, October 31, 2016 Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville said these seminars are important because after an event like Hurricane Matthew, it is not known how people are affected as it relates to performing on the job or in the workplace.

The government, said Minister Darville, has moved swiftly throughout Grand Bahama from east to west, with restoration following the hurricane, and this began with cleaning so as to prevent infectious diseases. They are now in the phase of making assessments, both personal and technical.

Minister Darville said: “We found in our communities individuals who have been extremely affected as a result of Hurricane Matthew. As a tripartite agreement between the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry for Grand Bahama -- we decided to come together as a team to put on a variety of seminars: one post traumatic stress seminar, as well as seminars for small and medium-sized businesses.

"One thing that we realized with the opening of our schools, was that some of our teachers and students were affected in a negative way and needed psychological assessment as well as counselling in order to rebuild their lives, and to begin to rebuild our community."
He continued, "This seminar is very timely because after an event like Hurricane Matthew, we do not realize the impact Hurricane Matthew has had on individuals and their ability to perform in the job place, and their ability to perform effectively in the community."

The professionals, counselors and administrators, were all brought together to ensure that residents take advantage of the counseling sessions.

According to the Minister, as partners "we realized it was very important to move swiftly for the resurgence of the Grand Bahama economy. And so Licensees of the Port Authority, as well as Licensees from East and West Grand Bahama will now have the opportunity to be a part of small and medium seminars where we will definitely be able to assist businesses to be able to get back on their feet."

Discussions have been held with the GB Chamber to see how assistance can be given to these businesses in their rebuilding.

Also present and making presentations were: Port Authority's Vice-Chairman, Sarah St. George; Paula Marshall of the Department of Social Services; Island Administrators -- City of Freeport's Preston Cunningham, West Grand Bahama's Brenda Colebrooke and East Grand Bahama's Harvey Roberts; Michelle Reckley, Deputy Director of Urban Renewal; and President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Seymour.

The Family Seminar in Eight Mile Rock will be held at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Jones town at 9:00 am. It will then move to West End to St. Mary's Anglican Church Hall at noon. It will then be held at the Bishop Michael Eldon High School Auditorium at 3:30 pm for Freeport.

There is no need for registration for these seminars and they are free of charge.

Seminars for small and medium sized businesses will be held on Friday, November 4 at 9:00 am and 2:00 pm, and will focus on advice and recommendations for business owners on how to begin the rebuilding phase following the storm.
Both sessions will be held at Pelican Bay Hotel and attendees are asked to register at the Grand Bahama Port Authority or by contacting the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce.