basseterre, St. Kitts, December 19, 2022 (SKNIS): EC $1 million was allocated in the 2023 Budget for much-needed upgrades and renovations to community centers in St. Kitts.
“We have allotted over $1 million to make sure that we can facilitate renovations and upgrades to our community centers, and the Ministry wants to prioritize our community upgrades because they have served the people and they seek to facilitate community cohesion,” said Junior Minister of Youth Empowerment, Social Development and Gender Affairs, Aging and Disabilities, the Honourable Isalean Phillip during her Budget presentation on day three (December 16).
Junior Minister Phillip said that the repairs are important as several community centers are used to provide various services to the public.
“Part of the Ministry’s mandate is to facilitate community and social cohesion. We want people to use our community centers; we want our youth groups and young people to have a safe space where they can go and have their meetings,” said Junior Minister Phillip. “Despite the not so great condition of our community centers’ infrastructure, we still use them still. As a matter of fact, the Department of Community Development and Social Services do use our community centers around the island as satellite offices and this is to ensure that persons in our rural communities have access to social services and to community development officers so that they don’t have to travel all the way to Basseterre.”
Senator Phillip appealed to the general public to stop vandalizing the community centers
“While we are committed to upgrading and improving our community centers, you, members of the public, community folk have to take responsibility and respect the centers. Our Community Development officers are assigned to the different centers to oversee the use, but we need our community members to take ownership of the maintenance and care,” she said. “We can’t upgrade and sustain our community centers for use and community cohesion if our people and communities don’t take care of these spaces as if it’s an extension of their own home. So better community centers are coming.”
The McKnight community center is at the top of the list for major repairs in 2023. Repairs will include plumbing and ventilation. The McKnight Community Center serves as the location base for the daily programming of the St. Kitts/Nevis Association of Persons with Disabilities “so that’s also why this center is on top of the list. Then I’m told we’ll make our way around the island to do roof repairs in Old Road and St. Paul’s, but you have to help up sustain them,” said Junior Minister Phillip.