Osbert DeSuza delivering remarks. Immediately behind him are from left, Emile Greene, William Phillip, Wendell Wattley, and Ms. Jewel Pelle (extreme right).

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -– On Feb. 13, a Community Enhancement and Beautification Competition was launched at Stone Fort Estate Yard, next to Bloody River by the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP). The event is part of activities on the calendar of events marking STEP’s second anniversary.

According to Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for the STEP, Osbert DeSuza, the week of activities is being observed under the theme ‘Showcasing skills, Empowering people for life.’

DeSuza said the competition’s goal is to showcase the skills of people working on STEP community enhancement groups.

“As we move around the island we realise that the STEP has many people engaged in community enhancement,” said DeSuza. “We thought when we were planning the week of activities that it will be advisable to showcase the skills of these individuals.

“I want to appeal to them to take what we are doing here this morning very seriously. It is a competition – there will be a winner and I guess everybody will try to ensure that they win.

“The community enhancement and beautification competition will be held among the different communities,” explained DeSuza. “They will include Stone Fort, Sandy Point, Cayon, Lodge, Conaree, Molineux, and Saddlers. The Challengers STEP Community Enhancement Group is the one working on the Stone Fort site, where colours of the National Flag have been used to decorate the surroundings.

DeSuza said other objectives of the competition are:
to enhance and beautify the environment at or near sites of national significance;
to promote a sustainable approach to the community enhancement programme of the country; and
to increase public awareness of the role and impact of the community enhancement teams that are involved in the STEP to provide a safe and uplifting environment to support the tourism industry.

“We have interacted extensively with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture to seek support and guidelines,” noted Mr DeSuza. “On behalf of STEP management I want to thank them very much for the support that they have provided to the STEP office in relation to this enhancement and beautification competition.”

The ceremony was attended by STEP Director, Wendell Wattley; STEP Field Coordinator William Phillip; Supervisor of the STEP Challengers Community Enhancement Group Ms. Jewel Pelle; and Steering Committee Chairman, Emile Greene.

The project at Stone Fort was a perfect example, displaying the landscaping skills of the STEP’s community enhancement groups, according to Greene who is also STEP Quality Assurance Coordinator/Consultant.

“I believe in the next few weeks and months as the beautification fever spreads around St. Kitts, then more and more persons will see the training that these persons have been exposed to,” concluded Greene.