Minister of State in the Prime Minister???s Office, Senator Patrick Todd, is of the view that a significant difference has been made in the lives of the 30 families who participated in the ISEE Bridge Pilot Project.
He expressed this belief while addressing the closing ceremony of the project last Saturday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
???This is a rather momentous and important opportunity that we must embrace fully, for it has the potential to bring lasting and positive change in the social and economic outlook of our country,??? Senator Todd asserted.
Initiated in 2012, the ISEE Bridge project was one of the solutions created to eradicate poverty under the National Poverty Alleviation and Reduction Programme. It falls within a wider Caribbean initiative – Puente in the Caribbean.
The Minister of State reported that ???real change and progress??? took place in the experiences of the families, and commended the participants for seizing the opportunities provided to make a difference in their lives.
???Extracts from the interviews conducted by the facilitators of the programme reveal heart-warming stories of family members who now believe that they can lift themselves and/or their children out of poverty,??? he stated.
The programme focused on targeted intervention at the household level within four critical areas: Identification/Assessment, Stabilisation, Enablement and Empowerment.
Additionally, it was built on seven pillars of Personal Identification; Education and Human Resource Development; Health Promotion; Family Dynamics; Housing Conditions; Employment; and Income and Social Benefits.
Although the pilot project has proven to be successful, Senator Todd admitted that there were some aspects that ???did not work as speedily and proficiently as expected???. ???These matters will be resolved as another group of thirty households enter the programme this year,??? he assured the audience.
The Minister of State thanked all the facilitators and persons who contributed to the project and lauded the work of the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, especially its Welfare Department.
He also used the occasion to announce an upcoming proposal to implement a Poverty Alleviation and Job Insertion Programme in 2016, through a loan financing arrangement with the Inter-American Development Bank.