On Tuesday, October 14, U.S. Embassy and Ministry of Health officials participated in a signing ceremony at the Ministry of Health to announce the recipients of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) small grants program. The U.S. Embassy’s Political/Economic and Commercial Chief David Allen was on hand for the event along with health officials including the Ministry of Health’s Acting Permanent Secretary Marco Rolle, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Glen Beneby, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Delon Brennen, Director of the National AIDS Program Dr. Nikkiah Forbes and Managing Director of the HIV/AIDS Center Nurse Marva Jervis. The objective of the PEPFAR initiative is to support national programs in the prevention of HIV/AIDS, while strengthening the capacity to monitor current cases and collaborating with civil society groups to reach key at-risk populations.
PEPFAR funds totaling over $14,000 were presented to four community-based organizations dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS in order to assist with their outreach programs on New Providence and the Family Islands. The Bahamas Sexual Health & Rights Association will use the grant to promote its campaign “Safe Space Module II: Peer Leadership Program for Persons Living with HIV and Support Group Recruitment” which will provide support for persons living with the disease. The Bahamas Chapter of Beta Lambda will promote HIV/AIDS awareness among young Bahamians. One Eleuthera Foundation will launch “Body Talk: HIV/AIDS Awareness through Writing, Designing and Performing” to engage Bahamian teenagers and young adults about HIV/AIDS. The Haitian Organization for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS and STDs will coordinate the “Full Contact Attack against HIV/AIDS” campaign in an effort to promote safe sex and eradicate language and reading barriers in Haitian communities in Nassau, Abaco and Eleuthera.
In 2014 alone, the U.S. Embassy presented PEPFAR small grants totaling over $32,000 to local organizations. Other recipients this year included the National L.E.A.D. Institute, the Youth Ambassadors Program for Positive Living and the Family Enrichment and Resource Training Center on Grand Bahama.