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Family Island News
Long Island schools receive facelift from holiday travellers
Submitted by Mieko K. Smith   
Friday, 15 January 2016 09:28

Simms Primary School Head Girl Knia Adderley helps paint her school.LONG ISLAND, The Bahamas -- Hurricane ravaged schools in Long Island benefited from the community service of The Domestic Tourist and a group of island hoppers this Majority Rule Holiday, as the crew travelled to the island for a weekend of giving back.

The travellers donated their time to paint lunch benches at Mooresville Primary School in south Long Island and the exterior walls at Simms Primary School in the north, jobs which would have cost the cash strapped schools hundreds of dollars. Morrisville was the last school to open in Long Island after Hurricane Joaquin. Both schools suffered major water damage and lost electronics and other school supplies. The entire computer lab at Morrisville was wiped out.

“Harambee is an East African (Swahili) call to action; it is a rallying cry for the community to pull together. We use the call to action to rally the children of The Indaba Project, a community based organisation I am a part of,” said Noelle Khalila, owner of The Domestic Tourist, an innovative publishing and marketing lifestyle company dedicated to promoting travel throughout the Islands of The Bahamas.

The company kicked off its 2016 season of travel by introducing the first in a series of all-inclusive thematic trips planned for this year. The Domestic Tourist Harambee Weekend combines community service with island adventure. In addition to working at the schools, the group explored Long Island, visiting Hamilton’s Cave, Columbus Harbour and Turtle Creek and Dean’s Blue Hole, bringing much needed economic activity to the island.

“I was inspired by the work we do at The Indaba Project and decided to launch the inaugural Domestic Tourist Harambee Weekend, which is all about pulling together and travelling with a purpose. Every year we invite seasoned and aspiring island hoppers to join us on the Majority Rule Holiday for a weekend of giving back,” said Noelle Khalila.

Andros residents donate to Hurricane Joaquin relief
Written by BIS   
Thursday, 14 January 2016 07:21

NASSAU, The Bahamas – Members of the South Andros Disaster Relief Committee and the People of South Andros, churches, businesses and the community from Mars Bay to Driggs Hill donated $5,000 and 10 cases of water towards the Hurricane Joaquin Relief effort.

The presentation was made to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Wednesday, December 9, 2015.

Pictured from left are Captain Stephen Russell, Director, NEMA; Gregory Knowles, Family Island Administrator for South Andros; and McRory Wilson, South Andros Disaster Committee Chairman.


Holy Land Park opened in South Andros
Written by BIS   
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 07:44

Guests, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development the Hon. Philip Davis (third from left), view sites on the 20-acre property of the Religious Theme Park. ANDROS, The Bahamas – Androsians celebrated the opening of the first phase of the Bahamas Holy Land Experience, an eco-adventure religious theme park in Andros Monday, January 11.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development the Hon. Philip Davis headed a delegation to Andros and officially opened the three-phase development which is in its initial stage.

The park is situated on a 20-acre property in Deep Creek, and on completion will offer 49 Holy Land biblical replicas including the Jordon River Bridge, the Sea of Galilee, the Upper Room, the Well of Samaria, the Tomb of Jesus, and a Prayer Grotto. The park will also offer nature trail walks, fishing in the Creek, corn roasting, story-telling, cooking and opportunities to view ecological and geological sites which include a variety of birds and animals in their natural habitat, natural rock caves, flat and hilly terrain, and species of tropical and medicinal plants.

In attendance were the Hon. Picewell Forbes, the Bahamas’ Non-Resident High Commissioner to the Caribbean Community; Andros Island Administrator Gregory Knowles; Kevin Simmons, Chairman of the Straw Market Authority; Local Government representatives; President of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Paul Scavella, other representatives of the Seventh Day Adventist church; and members of the local community.

Pastor Jeremiah Duncombe, founder, said the Commonwealth of The Bahamas has reason to be proud of this park, which offers “infinite potential.”

Resorts World Bimini launches improved transportation initiative – 'Break for Bimini'
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Sunday, 10 January 2016 10:33

BIMINI, Bahamas -- Resorts World Bimini (RWB) announced Friday the launch of a new, multi-faceted transportation initiative, “Break for Bimini,” which is designed to deliver guests of the resort more seamlessly and quickly from the United States to the shores of the island of Bimini in the Bahamas. The initiative will improve upon existing transportation options and allow guests to spend less time in transit and more time enjoying the resort’s new amenities and trademark “Bimini Bliss.”

“Our guests want to spend more of their vacation enjoying our beautiful resort and less time spent in transit,” said Ed Farrell, President of RWB. “In advance of the grand opening of our 300-room, luxury hotel in Spring 2016, the resort is embarking on a comprehensive transportation improvement initiative. The ‘Break for Bimini’ initiative will provide all of our guests with faster, more direct access to the island. Guests will be able go from their hectic lives to the bliss of Bimini quicker than ever.”

A critical piece of the Break for Bimini initiative is the reintroduction of daily, non-stop commercial air service from the United States to Bimini. The RWB team recently led the charge to restore multiple, daily commercial flights to Bimini by Cape Air and Silver Airways. Coupled with five, luxury private aircraft to service the resort, there is now capacity to transport approximately 500 people to the island per week, meeting the demands of both the resort and the island.

Cape Air will be launching twice-daily seaplane flights to Bimini from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on January 3rd, increasing to five-times daily by January 10th and with additional flights from Watson Island Seaplane Base in Miami. Silver Airways is currently operating three flights a week to Bimini from Fort Lauderdale and will be expanding to daily service beginning December 28th. Guests can now book from their home airport direct to Bimini with both airlines code sharing with major U.S. air carriers, including Jet Blue and American Airlines.

Dermalogica Skin Centre opens at Valentines Resort and Marina
Submitted by Mieko K. Smith   
Tuesday, 22 December 2015 08:39

HARBOUR ISLAND, Eleuthera -- A new spa facility at the award winning Valentines Residences Resort and Marina will open late December/early January. The Dermalogica Skin Centre will offer all Dermalogica professional skin & body treatments, massage therapy and Dermalogica nail services. Also the entire Dermalogica retail line will be available in the boutique.

“Dermalogica is the number one professional skin care brand in the world. We are very excited to be opening in Harbour Island and situated on the iconic main street and to be a part of Valentines property,” said Sarah Beek, President and CEO of Dermalogica Caribbean and Dermalogica Skin Centre.

“For quite a while now we have had many clients from Harbour Island and Eleuthera visit Dermalogica Skin Centre in Nassau, Bahamas. We wanted to bring our Dermalogica brand and spa experience to our clients and prospective clients in Eleuthera” said Beek. “Dermalogica is well recognized and we believe many tourists visiting the island are going to be excited to see the brand and Dermalogica treatments available while on vacation.”

Dermalogica Skin Centre will be located next to the coffee shop, Cocoa. The newly renovated professional space has added a new retail boutique complete with Dermalogica Skin Bar, where clients can receive complementary Face Mapping Skin Analysis and try out the products on their skin. All the treatment rooms were completely renovated. The Body Treatment Room and massage room has a new shower facility. The Skin Treatment room will have all the latest technology and equipment to give the most amazing, result-oriented treatments. There will also be Dermalogica hand and feet treatments along with nail services. “To be able to provide professional hand and foot treatments using Dermalogica while you receive a manicure and pedicure is something I am very excited to offer to our clients” said Sarah.

WSC to spread holiday cheer throughout the southern Bahamas
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Monday, 21 December 2015 14:40

WSC to Spread Holiday Cheer Throughout the Southern Bahamas - During the holidays, it’s better to give than to receive and Water & Sewerage Corporation (WSC) is continuing their tradition of celebrating the holidays by giving back by sending presents to children affected by Hurricane Joaquin. After the storm ravaged the islands, the Corporation knew they had to do something to make the holidays full of cheer for children.  As such, the WSC team will be sending Christmas gifts to the affected islands to donate toys to children. (Photo courtesy of BVS for Barefoot Marketing)NASSAU, Bahamas – During the festive season it’s often said, ‘it’s better to give than to receive’ and the Water & Sewerage Corporation (WSC) is continuing their tradition of celebrating the holidays by giving presents to children – this year to those affected by Hurricane Joaquin.

After the storm ravaged the southern islands, the Corporation knew it had to do something to make the holidays full of cheer for those struggling to find normalcy. As such, the WSC team organised Christmas gifts to reach the affected children in Long Island, Acklins and Crooked Island.

“Last year our customers joined us and gave wonderfully to our Angels promotion, which helped the children at Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home,” said Visna Armbrister, WSC Public Affairs Manager. "After all the country has done for our islands in the south, we did not want to burden our people who have already helped. So we pooled resources with our IDB partner, MIYA Bahamas, and together we are hoping to help over 250 children get a little extra something this year.”

To help prepare for the gift-giving exercise the team purchased the presents, wrapped them in their offices. “My thanks go to MIYA Bahamas for supporting this initiative and to Western Air who donated shipping costs. Special thanks to our Nassau staff who wrapped the gifts and our southern islands staff who will help make this great gift-giving initiative happen.”

Some presents were delivered last week and some this week, and the WSC family encourages everyone to do something this holiday season that’s more about giving than receiving. “We are our brother’s keeper and it’s at times like these we must help one another,” said Sophie Kanellopoulou, MIYA Project Manager. “We are very pleased to help spread some much needed Christmas cheer in the south.”

Louis Bacon’s Moore Bahamas Foundation will partner to rebuild ‘heart and heartbeat’ of Crooked, Acklins and Long Cay
Submitted by DP&A   
Monday, 21 December 2015 07:43

Restoring hope in Crooked Island – Louis Bacon’s Moore Bahamas Foundation announced today that The Bahamas Hurricane Restoration Fund would receive a share of the $250,000 donation pledged to rebuild lives, homes and businesses on islands impacted by Hurricane Joaquin. The latest donation will help rebuild ACL Hall in Crooked Island, a gathering place that serves as the lifeblood of Acklins, Crooked Island and Long Cay and will be additionally purposed to house construction workers for the reconstruction of the islands on a temporary basis. Lack of housing has hampered reconstruction and the grant will allow the immediate completion of the hall’s reconstruction, inclusive of solar power generation for running reverse osmosis for clean water.NASSAU, Bahamas -- Louis Bacon’s Moore Bahamas Foundation today announced that the Bahamas Hurricane Restoration Fund is the third and final recipient of an overall $250,000 commitment to help the remote southern islands of The Bahamas recover from the devastation of Hurricane Joaquin. The final grant will go towards supporting the Bahamas Restoration Fund’s efforts to rebuild ACL Hall on Crooked Island.

Immediately following the storm that hovered for more than 48 hours over the islands starting September 30, Mr. Bacon pledged $250,000 to help restore homes, lives and local businesses. Applications for funds poured in and The Moore Bahamas Foundation reviewed proposals, needs assessments and project plans. Two weeks ago, the Foundation announced it would award the largest grant of $120,000 to Rotary and The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce for the joint long-term rebuilding project, REBUILD BAHAMAS. A second donation of $50,000 to BREEF was announced last week. Those funds will be used to provide students with supplies and to re-stock schools with materials including books, videos, posters and educational materials related to reefs and species in islands where the marine environment lies at the core of the culture.

“My family and I were moved by the appeal and impressed by the solution,” said Mr. Bacon. “The badly damaged ACL Hall plays an essential role in the communities of Acklins, Crooked Island and Long Cay. It provides a space for people to gather in times of sorrow and joy, a place to host weddings, events, ceremonies and celebrations. The necessity of restoring this special place was obvious, but what makes the project even more appealing is the plan to incorporate environmentally sound practices.”

According to Bahamas Hurricane Restoration Fund founder Betsy Dingman, the grant will help the Fund add solar power generation to the building, including reverse osmosis for clean drinking water.

Building a foundation for nature tourism in The Bahamas
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Sunday, 20 December 2015 08:39

Building a foundation for Nature Tourism in The Bahamas - The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) in partnership with National Audubon Society and the Inter-American Development Bank group (IDB), and the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) recently recognised sixty-six (66) new bird guides in two graduation ceremonies, held in Matthew Town, Inagua and Fresh Creek, Andros. The successful graduates completed ‘Basic Bird Level Guide Training’ to prepare them for bird guiding as a means of income generation in National Parks on their islands.  Pictured are the North Andros bird guides during their graduation ceremony. (Photo courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing)INAGUA & ANDROS, Bahamas – The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) in partnership with National Audubon Society and the Inter-American Development Bank group (IDB), and the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) recently recognised sixty-six (66) new bird guides in two graduation ceremonies, held in Matthew Town, Inagua and Fresh Creek, Andros.

The successful graduates completed ‘Basic Bird Level Guide Training’ to prepare them for bird guiding as a means of income generation in National Parks on their islands. Additionally, these aspiring guides completed BahamaHost training and First Aid certification. Attending the graduation in Inagua were Harrison Thompson, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism Maria Florencia Attedemo-Hirt, IDB Country Representative for The Bahamas, Matthew Jeffery, Deputy Director for the Caribbean International Alliances Program, National Audubon Society, Eric Carey, Executive Director, and Lynn Gape, Deputy Executive Director of the BNT.

Addressing the graduates Mr. Thompson said, “We see Audubon as key to improving marketing to drive more visitors to The Bahamas as a birding tourism destination. Inagua, with its flocks of flamingos, resident population of Bahama Parrots, great numbers of wetland bird species and Morton’s Solar Salt operation certainly has great potential in this niche tourism market.”

In speaking to the graduates Mrs. Attedemo-Hirt emphasized that the strength of this particular project was its innovative approach to building potential small businesses and the possible powerful model for conservation–minded community development.

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