Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 20, 2019 (S.T.E.P.) —
Ministry of Tourism’s request for the Skills Training Empowerment Programme to partner in the Best Village Competition stems from the fact that the STEP had launched its own Community Enhancement and Beatification Competition among the various STEP Community Enhancement Groups on February 13 this year at Stone Fort Estate Yard, next to Bloody River.
“We the members of the STEP are very delighted to be here today to take part in this event,” said Mr William Phillip, the STEP’s Field Coordinator, at the launch of the Best Village Competition on Friday May 17. “I should let you know that it is only in February this year the STEP had celebrated its second anniversary with the change from the People Employment Programme (PEP) now to STEP.”
According to Mr Phillip, in February the STEP observed a week of activities to mark its second anniversary that included the launch of the Community Enhancement and Beautification Competition among the various communities which had STEP Community Enhancement Groups. The competition was aimed at beautifying a number of popular spots which would appeal to both locals and tourists.
This undertaking by the STEP did not go unnoticed as they were contacted by the Ministry of Tourism with the request that the Ministry partners with them to make the competition more widespread as there was need to have sites that tourists visit kept clean. The Department of Agriculture also contacted them and offered to supply them with the different plants that they may need for the competition.
“So today, for us it is an occasion that we look forward to – beautifying the various areas in the villages is good, but to maintain them is a different issue,” said Mr Phillip at the launch of the Best Village Competition. “Sustainability is very important, so we were happy when Tourism and Agriculture came on board and now we are making an effort in partnership to make sure that this Best Village Competition becomes a success.”
The 2019 National Best Village Competition, which was launched by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Mrs Carlene Henry-Morton, is aimed at the beautification and preservation of communities and the promotion of community togetherness. She noted that the competition will result in a more attractive and appealing tourism product to be shared with others.
Apart from the Skills Training Empowerment Training Programme (STEP), other partners in the Best Village Competition include the St. Kitts Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC), Parks and Beaches Unit, St. Kitts-Nevis National Trust, Department of Agriculture, Department of Community Development, Ross University, the Planning Unit, TDC, Horsford’s and a number of small entrepreneurs.