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BNTF is Five Years Old

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Contact: Rose Marie Harris

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - The Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) will soon mark its 5th year of operation and the new BNTF five-year programme will be launched here later this year. Under its mandate of commitment to human resource development and poverty reduction, the Fund has assisted a number of communities and organisations throughout the length and breath of Saint Lucia.

The latest community to benefit from the BNTF is the Anse La Raye/Canaries constituency where carpentry equipment was presented to two Centres for Adolescent and Rehabilitation Education (CARE).

According to Chairman of the Basic Needs Trust Fund Projects Steering Committee Ezra Jn Baptiste, “Many of us who know the history of the BNTF would recognise that poverty reduction has been one of its major goals and indeed through providing skills, technical, educational and other skills, it is an effort in addressing the whole issue of poverty. The BNTF is also involved in income generating activities.”

Jn Baptise explains that while it may not be conspicuous as some other agencies like the BELFUND, BNTF does, to some extent, help to provide the kind of infrasture that can support income generating activities. “It is also seen as one of the agencies that is involved in social protection because there are a number of youth, young people, members of the society who sometimes fall between the cracks, who sometimes do not get a second chance or opportunity to either pursue education or to take advantage of economic opportunity and so the BNTF is also involved in assisting persons to obtain a second chance.”

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