The Bahamas is a country of
700 beautiful Islands and Cays set in a backdrop of the crystal clear
waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Some of the Islands are more
infra-structurally developed than others.
The most developed Island is
the Island of New Providence, housing the capital city of Nassau. Hence
in the 1960’s, women who became pregnant on any of the other Islands
(Out Islands) who may not have felt comfortable giving birth with the
assistance of a Midwife opted to relocate to the capital for the event.
If there was no one on the Islands to be caregiver to her other
children, she would advise the Hospital or Social Services for
assistance in securing shelter for her children. Out of these requests,
a need was seen for the construction of a temporary Childcare Facility.
In 1962 a group of clergymen opened a temporary care shelter in the
Oakes Field area for newborn babies and children up to 11 years old.
The Kiwanis Club of Nassau later erected
a building situated on an acre of prime land, which was part of a
residential area located on McKinney Drive off Carmichael Road in the
southwestern district of New Providence, now more popularly known as
The Bahamas Children’s Emergency Hostel
was incorporated in April 1970 under Section 59 of the Companies Act as
a non-profit charitable organisation. It was formed for the purpose of
providing administrative and financial management of the emergency
placement facility that was originally started by the Kiwanis Club of
Nassau. The sole purpose of the Hostel is to provide temporary
accommodation, food, clothing, medical care and other necessities for
the benefit of abandoned and neglected children, until more permanent
arrangements could be made for their welfare.
The current Administrator of the
establishment whenever referring to this Institution, calls it a
"home" and it is just that, a Home for children whose ‘biological’
environment has broken down, usually due to no fault of their own.
The Home is ideally capable of housing
approximately 35 children at any given time. In the past, before
additional space was constructed, over 50 children would be accommodated
at any given time. However due to the purpose of the Home – a shelter
for indigent, disadvantaged children - and the needs of the children
becoming more and more complex over the years, the provisional needs of
the children was better served by having a smaller clientele.
The Home is a charitable non-profit
Organization that strives on donations, and funds raising, from the
Church, Civic and Business Organizations, the Government, and
individuals from the Private Sector. As partners with the Bahamas
Government through the Ministry of Housing and Social Service’s
Department of Social Services, the Hostel receives a grant to subsidize
the payroll costs. The Department also provides an Administrator, who is
also a trained Social Worker, along with a Case Aide and a Social Worker’s
The Hostel is operated by a Board of
Directors set that oversee the Home and handle its administrative and
financial management. The Administrator looks after the childcare and
housekeeping management of the Home.
Arthur Peet - Chairman of the Board of Directors and the
children of the Builders club, Carlton Francis Primary
|| The Board consists of volunteers
from the Kiwanis Clubs in New Providence, private citizens and
representatives of Government agencies related to childcare welfare.
In the past the Friends of the Hostel, a
special fund-raising Committee, spearheaded a Ball to provide additional
funding for the Home. This Committee has not been functional in the past
few years. The Administrator and Staff of the Home have implemented
various methods to supplement the funding of the Home’s operations.
In February 2001 the Home hosted its
first annual Gift of Love Event. The purpose of the event was twofold:
to raise funds for the Home and to educate the public and heighten its
awareness to the needs of the Home in the community. This project was
held again in 2002. With the costs of suppliers and services continuing
to rise and with the increasing need to provide adequately for the
children in a modern, technological age, The Hostel is always in need of
assistance whether in direct donations of cash, supplies or services.
There is always a need for improvement in the facilities and services to
TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE CARE AND SHELTER IN A LOVING PRODUCTIVE
ENVIRONMENT FOR CHILDREN FROM BIRTH TO ELEVEN (11) YEARS
Mrs. Katie Gardiner
CHEQUES CAN BE MAILED TO:
THE BAHAMAS CHILDREN'S EMERGENCY HOSTEL
P.O. BOX CR 54506
HOSTEL ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
Mrs. Nakita Adderley-Smith
FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE HEAD
Mrs. Michelle Patterson
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER & TREASURER
Mr. Philip Stubbs