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Ministry of Environment Adds Naturalists & Horticulturalists To BNT

Learning to prepare for the unpredictability of life, Naturalist and Horticulturalist of the first graduating class of the Youth Environment Corps (YEC) program received words of encouragement from Minister of Environment, Kenred Dorsett at their graduation and awards ceremony at the Bahamas National Trust (BNT), yesterday.

The program, under the Ministry of Environment recruited over 200 persons to be apprenticed in the area of the environment.

Encouraging the young men and women, Mr. Dorsett noted that many things in life may not be certain therefore preparation is key to life’s success.

“Being the first graduates of the more than 200 YEC apprentices in this program you have set the benchmark.


“Life is unpredictable. Graduates, you have to be prepared for the curveballs. You have to be prepared that you will not always get your desired outcome.


“Do not fret about it, life happens. If you always received your desired outcome then perhaps you would have less of an impetus to give your very best in all situations,” Mr. Dorsett said.


Mr. Dorsett also noted the enthusiasm of the YEC apprentices when the program first began and commended them on the efforts they had put in after their first major undertaking as a result of Hurricane Matthew.


“When this first-of-its-kind Youth Environmental Corps Programme was initiated by the government last year, for young adults to learn valuable skills in administration and trade jobs and environmentally friendly professions, such as marine management, plant identification, and park management, all of you graduates thought that you would hit the ground running in your identified areas immediately.


“The Naturalists were eager to start the countdown to their 300 hours of specialized training and the Horticulturalists were anxious to begin their four-week training and skills program.


“But Hurricane Matthew hit and that was your curveball.   Instead of Naturalists being engrossed in Bird Biology or Protected Area Management or Horticulturists learning about Plant Management you apprentices were assigned to remove debris and clean up the Botanical Gardens.


“The Retreat here and various beaches and verges across New Providence. You all stepped up to the plate and as the saying goes “you hit the curveball out of the park,” Mr. Dorsett said.


Mr. Dorsett further encouraged the graduates to be committed, noting that the governing Progressive Liberal Party saw a need to provide jobs and thus the creating of the YEC, further noting that in order to win in the end the journey to the end must be one met with determination.


“Graduates, you have to be prepared to win by committing to the journey.   Winning is no absolute, past performance is not a guarantee that the results will be the same again. You have to direct all your energies into completing whatever tasks you started and as apprentices continuing in this program, whatever assignments you are given, you have to keep at it.


“For all of you sitting here, you have completed the allotted time and work prerequisites to qualify for graduation.   Remember the hard work and determination that was needed. Being prepared to win means during the next stage or course in your career path, your efforts may need to be doubled,” Mr. Dorsett stated.


Executive Director of The Bahamas National Trust Mr. Eric Carey, in his remarks to the graduates also noted Mr. Dorsett’s commitment to the program.


“I remember when we were discussing this program back when the Minister said the government is looking to employ people and create some job opportunities and he felt that he had an opportunity to create real careers.


“He challenged us at the BNT, those of us that would be entrusted with your development and your care, to provide meaningful opportunities for you, because he felt that it was really important to invest in you as people, as human beings.


“We also obviously had a selfish objective in that we knew that we would be getting the support for our national park system and you all have done an incredible job. Let me particularly note for the record the Minister’s commitment to this program in providing support for the Bahamas National Trust,” Mr. Carey said.


In her remarks as one of the first graduates, Naturalist, Debra Brandon-Gardiner, noted that in order to have success planting and cultivating must be done she also noted the life learning experience being a part of the program.


“In our time of training we have learned and experienced the wonder of the bio-diverse Bahamas; we’ve also learned how to serve, manage and protect. We’ve uncovered a new world not seen before.


“In order to reach a harvest one must plant seeds, seeds grow and are nurtured until a harvest comes to yield from the work. Alone a seed will be by itself and nothing will bear, and nothing can come from it, but when planted a harvest can come. Each harvest is expected to be used carrying on to its fullest.


“We were planted in good soil and nurtured and cultivated here at the Bahamas National Trust. Now we are hopeful to be good fruit and serve as stewards of the national treasures of The Bahamas,” Ms. Gardiner said.


The Youth Environment Corps Programme, which began in October 2016 trains apprentices in various areas of the environment and will see 48 apprentices added to the Bahamas National Trust system, while others after their training will take positions in other parks and recreation systems.







Written by Jones Bahamas

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