Fox Hill Children Benefit From Back-To-School Giveaway
Nassau, The Bahamas – Children in the Fox Hill Constituency are involved in after-school programmes at the area’s Urban Renewal Centre to gain other educational and social skills.
“The challenges we see in Fox Hill are educational. We have an after-school programme during the months that schools are open. We offer homework help, the boys’ club and girls’ club, a band practice, liturgic dance lessons, these are talented children and we try to enhance their talents,” said Brenda Murray, assistant manager facilitator for the Fox Hill Urban Renewal Centre.
“We find that children are better, one on one. So, our programmes run from three in the afternoon to five, and some until seven. We go beyond our working hours. But if it helps the child, then it is worth it in the end.”
The Fox Hill Urban Renewal Centre held a back to school giveaway for the children Wednesday, August 25, and handed out packages with books, pencils, geometry sets and book bags, donated by Fox Hill businesses and outside corporate philanthropists.
“We are expecting about a hundred and fifty to two hundred children that will come in to collect school supplies through the entire day. We have enough for everyone,” said Mrs. Murray. “Community businesses and people outside the community will donate to Fox Hill Urban Renewal and we are grateful for them.”
She said many Fox Hill parents are employed in the hotel industry, working flexible hours, which place children on their own and without the support of Urban Renewal programmes.
“Sometimes a parent might work three to eleven or seven to three, different hours because most of our parents work in the hotel industry. When their children stop here, we do the best we can to help them with their homework or give them a snack to go home,” said Mrs. Murray.
“I find that most parents are involved and when they can’t be involved they come to us and say they need help. Single parents make up the majority of the parent population in the Fox Hill community. The Centre helps with unemployment issues that parents may have including writing resumes and job placement.
“There are a lot of single mothers that are trying to do the best they can. Some of them are not working so we help them with resumes and job searching right now,” said Mrs. Murray.
The centre also becomes a mediator for the breakdown of communication between unmarried mothers and fathers, who are not on speaking terms but care about the welfare of their children. Some fathers feel uncomfortable going to the house of their children’s mother.
“The men respond but it is not at a high percentage… I find the ones that do respond are caring fathers. Their communication has not broken with their children but it has broken with their mother,” said Mrs. Murray.
“We are like a medium here where the child would be here and the father would come here and give the child lunch money. I would truly say the fathers are trying, but they need a medium besides the court. We see it all the time but we don’t interfere,” she said.
By Gena Gibbs
Bahamas Information Services