On Tuesday, November 19, the Urban Renewal Commission donated $1,000 to two local organizations – Vessels of Purpose Elite (VOPE) and Reach Out Youth Organization (ROYO) for their commitment in mentoring young boys and girls to live above violence and strive for success.
Commission’s Acting Director Kellen Russell, made the presentation to representatives of the receiving organizations in the office of the Urban Renewal Deputy Director, Senator Jasmin Dareus, where he described ROYO and VOPE as ‘two stellar’ programmes.
Highlighting their efforts of transforming the lives of many youths, Russell said, it was important for the Urban Renewal Commission to recognize local organizations.
“It is always the mandate of Urban Renewal to partner with persons who are presenting themselves as stellar contributors within the community and today, I am here on assignment by the Minister of Social Services and Urban Renewal Frankie Campbell to award to stellar organizations within this Grand Bahama community.
“The group Vessels of Purpose Elite (VOPE) have mentored our girls who are the precious commodity of any nation, and we found it necessary to award them for the excellent job they are doing in helping the young ladies to become exceptional and productive citizens in our country.
“Then of course, we have Mr. Dudley Seide, who is proving himself to be the hands of God extended in the earth by doing outreach ministry to those who are in need,” said Russell.
“Urban Renewal saw it fitting during this time, where Grand Bahama would’ve gone through a devastating blow, we thought it was fitting to be the wind beneath these two organizations that are already in operating by presenting a cheque for $1,000 to continue to aid in the job that they are doing within the community.
“We are forever grateful for our Deputy Director in the person of Senator Jasmin Dareus, who did her investigations and she caused these two organizations to merge to the top at this particular time,” he added.
Russell noted that addition presentations will be made to other organizations to assist with their efforts.
As many NGO’s continue presenting to local organizations and churches, Russell expressed, the presentation was one charged a notable significance.
“We want this message to be resounding. We would’ve heard so many things, in both Grand Bahama and New Providence, that Urban Renewal is lying dormant and it has not been active as time passed. As a result, our minister is ensuring that we make the country understand that Urban Renewal is alive, Urban Renewal is kicking, Urban Renewal is seeking to expand as we begin to do our partnership with the communities both in Grand Bahama and indeed The Bahamas.”
VOPE’s Public Relation Consultant, Sharell Lockhart accepted the donation and thanked Urban Renewal on behalf of the President Brennamae Rolle-Cooper.
“Our organization is headed by Brennamae Rolle-Cooper, who started this organization in the East Grand Bahama community. Despite the devastation that would’ve been brought upon the young girls in East Grand Bahama by Hurricane Dorian, they have still gone out, and they have still done what they can to assist those who are hurting after hurricane Dorian. Today, we are grateful to Urban Renewal; we are grateful to Minister Campbell, Senator Dareus and Director Russell for thinking about us in this time.
“This donation is going to go far as it relates to helping and assisting our girls in East Grand Bahama, as well as forwarding the mission to mentor girls and to help them in the various programmes and goals that have been set by Vessels of Purpose Elite.
“We believe in being the hand extended to the community,” expressed Lockhart.
“We want to say thank you very much, particularly on behalf of our president, who would’ve suffered losses as well and as a result is not able to be here physically, but here in spirit.”
Seide, who is founder of ROYO, revealed he was surprised by the presentation; however, he noted it was comforting to know local organizations on the island were not forgotten.
“When I got the phone call last night, I was elated and humble. I would also like to ask Urban Renewal to adopt ROYO because what Urban Renewal does here in Grand Bahama is exactly what we do here in ROYO. Urban Renewal is here in the community of Grand Bahama to assist persons in need.
“So, on behalf of Reach Out Youth Organization, the countless young boys and families that we assist, this cheque will go a long way,” he added.
Seide expressed to both of the directors, “We lost our home during the storm, it was under water, but we decided from September 1 to go at the ROYO Community Centre and prepare hot meals every day. We also supply canned goods and water for the folks in our community, but I just want to say how humble I am to Senator Dareus that you decided to choose us because the organization was getting lost in the shuffle. Everyone was remembering the pastors and was forgetting the folks that are on the ground, like us.
“To know that Urban Renewal trust our work and believe in our programme, will give us a boost to continue our work here in Grand Bahama. I am happy to be a part of this and one of the foot soldiers in Grand Bahama, to continuing doing this work.
“I love what I do, and I think after the hurricane, it gave me a better appreciation of what Urban Renewal is, of what youth organization is and what reach out is because people didn’t have to go looking for us, they knew where we were,” ended the ROYO Founder.