On behalf of the One Eleuthera and CTI family, I send best wishes to you and your family for a healthy, joyous, and prosperous 2022. I am happy to report that the positive momentum of the last quarter has carried over into this new year as we continue to pursue our community development goals and projects with renewed vigor!
This year is exceptionally significant as we will also celebrate OEF’s 10th Anniversary on Earth Day, April 22nd. I am constantly amazed and grateful for how far we’ve come. What started as a passionate dream of a “Shared Vision” for Eleuthera has blossomed into a strong and collaborative community ecosystem; one that is driving positive change, empowering people and providing tangible resources and sustainable solutions for our communities’ greatest challenges. I cannot thank you enough for your generous support, it makes all the good we do possible.
Among other accomplishments, your contributions ensure that the unemployed are given access to education and training opportunities to transform and build their lives, emergency medical transport and fire services are provided to save lives and protect property and local farmers are supported in growing and supplying nutritious food to our communities.
The mission and journey continue and I’m humbled to have partners like you who are committed to making a lasting impact in the lives of others. There’s much to celebrate just ahead, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading the highlights of the last quarter in this edition of our newsletter.
With deep gratitude,
President & CEO, One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF)
Chairman, Centre for Training and Innovation (CTI)
ONE ELEUTHERA WELCOMES U.S. CHARGE d’AFFAIRES, USHA PITTS
Chargé Usha Pitts and Chief Project Officer, Keyron Smith exchange lapel pins at the end of the property tour.
The One Eleuthera Team was thrilled to welcome U.S. Chargé Usha Pitts, and her family to our Rock Sound Campus on October 21st during her visit to Eleuthera.
Chargé Pitts participated in a property tour and presentation of OEF’s ongoing work in creating sustainable development, innovative solutions, and community impact centered on 5 Key Areas of Focus: economy, education, environment, health and heritage.
Chief Project Officer Keyron Smith shared highlights from OEF’s five-year strategic plan and insights around the impact of our most successful community programs. These include the signature “Learn and Earn” education and vocational training program, geared to unemployed students aged 18 to 35 and recent farmer training initiatives introduced to help farmers increase crop yields and profitability.
During the farm tour, Chargé Pitts learned how OEF is strengthening the local farming industry through shared knowledge, access, and cutting-edge technology. She viewed the newly constructed 1.1-acre retractable Cravo Cooling House. With its revolutionary retractable roof and wall system, the Cravo Cooling House provides the optimum growing conditions in tropical climates by reducing damaging sun, wind and rain exposure.
This is especially critical during hot summer months and periods of extreme weather. OEF’s Cooling House Operations Officer, Tim Hauber shared the organization’s vision of contributing to national food security goals by
growing year-round, while providing greater community access to fresh, locally grown, nutritious, health-boosting foods.
Chargé Pitts learned that like the rest of the farm, the Cravo cooling house will operate as a “live lab” providing hands-on training for local farmers in hydroponic growing and general operations.
While exploring best practices, Tim and the farm team will also be accruing data on this new and revolutionary “controlled environment” facility that can be shared throughout The Bahamas and the region. The next phase of development will include a seedlings lab and food processing plant to support the local production of shelf stable, added-value foods.
We look forward to welcoming Chargé Pitts and her lovely family back to our campus to see these new developments as they take place!
About Chargé d’Affaires, Usha Pitts:
Chargé Pitts began her tour at the US Embassy in The Bahamas on Jan. 1st, 2021. Prior to this post, she served at diplomatic posts in Russia, Cuba, Italy, Austria, Panama and Brazil. She has also served in Washington, DC, and New York City.
During her most recent tour abroad, she led the US Consulate General in Recife, a seaside city in Brazil’s growing Northeast region. She also worked in Rome and Vienna as a US liaison to international organizations, dealing with food security and atomic energy.
TOP: Chief Project Officer, Keyron Smith presents OEF & CTI’s 5-year Strategic Plan BOTTOM LEFT: Chargé Pitts and the OEF/CTI Team tour the Cravo Cooling House. BOTTOM RIGHT: The team leads the way showing our 16-room Retreat Hotel which also doubles as a training hotel for hospitality students.
CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT SHANTA KNOWLES PAYS COURTESY CALL
In October, we happily welcomed the new Officer-in-Charge of the island of Eleuthera, Chief Superintendent Shanta Knowles of The Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), to One Eleuthera. Chief Superintendent Knowles and her senior leadership team paid a courtesy call to our Rock Sound campus, demonstrating her office’s strong commitment to serving and supporting Eleuthera’s communities while strengthening relationships with local community-based organizations.
It was a proud moment to welcome Chief Superintendent Knowles home and provide her team with a property tour and presentation on our most recent projects and programs. As a “native of the soil” having been born and raised in Eleuthera, she is no stranger to the community development work of OEF and the Centre for Training and Innovation (CTI). Chief Superintendent Knowles expressed a keen interest in collaborating with OEF on upcoming community outreach activities and youth engagement programs planned for the new year. We are excited to have her support and partnership as she returns to Eleuthera from posts in Nassau and the Southern Bahamas.
Chief Superintendent Knowles has served as an officer and lead investigator with the RBPF for over thirty progressive years. During her tenancy, she has displayed exceptional leadership and has had the opportunity to serve in a number of Divisions inclusive of, but not limited to, the Southern Division, the Criminal Investigation Department, the Family Island District of Exuma and the National Crime Prevention Division.
TOP: Community Outreach Coordinator, Maisie Thompson presents Chief Superintendent Shanta Knowles and her team with promotional gift bags. BOTTOM LEFT: Cooling House Operations Officer, Tim Hauber conducts a tour of the farm and its facilities. BOTTOM RIGHT: Walking the beat as the OEF team escorts the visiting officers to see what’s new on property.
FRESH FROM THE FARM
L to R: DeonGibson, Agricultural Manager & Extension Officer |Dr. Selima Hauber, Farm Consultant | Tim Hauber, Cooling House Operations Officer
THE FARM GETS SOLAR-POWERED WEATHER STATION
Agricultural Manager & Extension Officer, DeonGibson next to the new Weather Station.
Weather plays a crucial role in farming and can affect many aspects of the daily activities that take place on our farm. With our newly installed solar-powered Weather Station the farm team will now be one step ahead in forecasting the weather and planning for maximum productivity.
This nifty new device is one of only a handful on the island. It will run virtually uninterrupted thanks to sustainable solar power panels as it records rainfall, temperature, wind speed, wind direction and the sun’s UV index to inform the team of specific weather conditions, whether favorable or unfavorable. Every 15 seconds updated information will be collected and posted online giving real-time readings.
Over time, the Weather Station will allow the farm team to process the data collected to detect trends and seasonal weather patterns. The Weather Station was set up and taken online with the assistance of Marjahn Finlayson of The Island School. It’s located at the Honey Shack, which is part of our apiary.
OEF MAKES HEADLINES WITH
CRAVO ON HORTIDAILY
Cooling House Operations Officer, Tim Hauber & Farm Consultant, Dr. Selima Hauber, in front of the 1.1-acre Cravo Cooling House.
One Eleuthera recently made international headlines with a feature on our Cravo Cooling House published on HortiDaily.
HortiDaily is a horticultural newsletter and the biggest online platform in the horticultural industry. It informs over 51,000 subscribers on a daily basis, many of whom are global industry suppliers and greenhouse growers.
In an exclusive interview with Tim Hauber, our Cooling House Operations Officer, HortiDaily explored how he is planning a twofold approach to growing in the Cravo Cooling House with half of the growing area devoted to soil-based growing and the other half to low-tech hydroponics.
In the interview, Tim explains that leafy greens will be produced in a Deep Water Culture (DWC) system on the hydroponics side, while vine crops will be produced in Bato buckets.
The production methods will be kept simple to ensure the facility fulfills an educational purpose utilizing accessible technology that local farmers can share in and emulate.
“Our main goal is to promote agriculture in the Bahamas since we import 95% of our food, so we don’t want our approach to be too high-tech and inaccessible,” says Tim.
Due in part to its reliance on imported, processed foods, The Bahamas has a high incidence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disorders.
Access to fresh food is particularly challenging in Eleuthera as food is typically shipped from Florida to Nassau and then Eleuthera, at which point its nutritional quality has dropped significantly. The article highlights how the Cravo Cooling House will increase food production, community access to nutritious foods and on-site training to assist local farmers.
With the external structure complete, we are eagerly looking forward to receiving the electrical components to completely finish the Cravo Cooling House build. The next phase will be planting!
(See the resource section at the end of this newsletter for a link to the full HortiDaily article.)
Join our mission to achieve food security
and improve community access to healthy food.
Our signature “We Farmers Market” continues to delight residents and tourists alike and will resume on Jan. 29th at 8am. We look forward to welcoming back over two dozen local farmers and vendors to showcase and sell their fresh produce and locally made products at our Rock Sound campus.
Together we’re building a collaborative community of entrepreneurs, farmers, and vendors working together to promote healthy eating while supporting the local farming industry and our island’s economy.
“We Farmers Market” is held every 2nd and last Saturday of the month.
FREE COMMUNITY FARMING
CLASSES ARE A HIT!
Our Backyard Farming community is growing and thriving at the Farm. Gardening enthusiasts of all ages, and from all walks of life have been enjoying this free series designed to help participants establish and maintain a lush, mixed vegetable subsistence garden.
The Saturday classes with Dr. Selima are hands-on and allow members of the community to learn and enjoy gardening in a relaxed atmosphere where all the necessary resources are provided.
Students have been able to master planting, producing seedlings and garden maintenance among other skills. We’ve been pleased to see parents and families participating and sharing the joys of growing a garden with the next generation of young farmers.
SCORES A TRIPLE PLAY FOR OEF
OEF’s inaugural “Sweeps Week” campaign took place on Nov. 29th through Dec. 2nd. Sweeps Week was created as a collaborative initiative to assist the organization in achieving three pivotal goals before the close of 2021.
The key objectives were to solidify partnerships with external organizations, help drive year-end giving, and raise local awareness about OEF/CTI and our extensive community development work.
The OEF team consisting of OEF-U.S. President, C. Lane Glaze, Chief Project Officer, Keyron Smith, and Chief Communications Officer, Yolanda Pawar traveled to Nassau for a productive and busy week. The itinerary included meetings with strategic partner organizations and board members, media appearances, and courtesy calls on Government agencies. These events also provided an opportunity to distribute OEF’s newly minted 2020/2021 Annual Report.
This document tells the story of OEF’s community impact, the many milestones reached and successful projects undertaken within the last fiscal year.
The week debuted with a national press conference announcing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and our education and training institution, the Centre for Training and Innovation (CTI).
The MOU solidifies an ongoing partnership between both organizations to work together in strengthening Eleuthera’s farming industry. Through increased training initiatives, educational workshops, and shared resources, the goal would be to give local farmers even greater support to be competitive and expand their operations, knowledge and capacity.
L to R: President, OEF-U.S. C. Lane Glaze, Chief Communications Officer, Yolanda Pawar, Minister of Works & Utilities, the Hon. Alfred Sears, Chief Project Officer, Keyron Smith.
Meeting with the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB). Second from left: Unit Head of Strategic Development and Initiatives, Sumayyah Cargill, Chairman of BDB, Senator the Hon. Quinton Lightbourne.
The Hon. Clay Sweeting, Member of Parliament for Central and South Eleuthera, and the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs attends the MOU Press Conference.
Paying a courtesy call on the Executive Director of the Lyford Cay Foundations, Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle. (second from right)
The team pays a courtesy call on the TK Foundation to discuss existing projects and future goals.
You can help support our Learn-to-Swim community program.
Classes resume in the Summer of 2022.
MEET OUR NEWLY APPOINTED OEF
BAHAMAS BOARD DIRECTORS
Anton D. Sealey spent his childhood in beautiful Savannah Sound, Eleuthera. He maintains a deep love for the island, which has now become his family’s second home.
Throughout his life, Mr. Sealey has found ways to contribute to the development of his country and community through personal leadership, professional development and civic service.
Mr. Sealey works as a Director at a leading Insurance company in New Providence. He is currently the Chairman of The Bahamas Insurance Association, Chairman of the Bahamas Maritime Authority, and President of The Bahamas Football Association.
He is keenly passionate about OEF’s mission, which aims to solve challenges by empowering people within local communities to become organized, build capacity, capitalize on their unique, lived experiences and play a direct role in building a sustainable community model.
Dr. Kim Williams-Pulfer was born in Nassau, Bahamas, and has family roots in Savannah Sound, Eleuthera,
Currently, she is a Leading Edge Fellow at the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). As a fellow, Dr. Williams-Pulfer is appointed to the Hurston/Wright Foundation as Research and Evaluation Manager. She also serves on the board of Charitable Allies. Her dissertation, “Get Involved: Stories of the Black Postcolonial Middle Class and the Development of Civil Society,” reflects her research interests and community work.
Dr. Williams-Pulfer serves as Secretary on the OEF-US Board. She has worked alongside One Eleuthera for many years providing consultancy services and deep insights into the Caribbean third sector based on her expertise and field of study.
She is a passionate advocate for the development of Civil Society, local empowerment, and sustainable community development.
HOT OFF THE PRESS! Check out our newest Annual Report.
Get a more in-depth look at some of our revolutionary projects
and programs. See first-hand how our work is benefitting our
communities and what’s next on the horizon.
To request a hard copy email: email@example.com
Give the gift of empowerment through our education
and skills training programs.
STUDIO FOR AFFORDABLE & SUSTAINABLE HOUSING PROJECT RAMPS BACK UP
Although plans to finalize the prototype for The Studio for Affordable & Sustainable Housing (The Studio Project) slowed in the last quarter due to delays related to COVID-19 restrictions, we are ecstatic to be regaining momentum in refining the final drafts submitted for this project.
Meetings have resumed between faculty, students and professionals representing One Eleuthera Foundation, Michael Singer Studios and the architecture and design departments of the participating universities, in particular the University of North Carolina – Charlotte (UNCC).
In the last semester of 2021 new student concepts were reviewed in the interest of selecting some of the more appropriate sustainability features that would naturally complement the climate and current “living culture” or living space expectations for a typical, family-style island home.
In keeping with the project’s scope of requirements, our student collaborators are continuing to work alongside industry professionals to refine their unique, innovative, resilient, and affordable home prototypes. The process requires refining the technical aspects of each design and simultaneously planning for the communal spaces that will play an important part in the overall campus layout.
The economic challenges that Bahamians face in acquiring climate-resilient, reasonably priced homes are well known. OEF is seeking to help residents break through many of the existing barriers to homeownership with The Studio Project.
Stay tuned for exciting updates this Spring as we move closer to presenting the selected model. Later in the year, we hope to announce the start of the first prototype build at our Rock Sound campus.
YOUR GIFT CAN MAKE A WORLD
Key highlights of 2020/21:
Trained 96 students in apiology, culinary, carpentry and hydroponics through our Learn and Earn Program and CTI-Harbour Island Training School;
Provided more than 8,000 persons on Eleuthera with ongoing food assistance in partnership with the Bahamas National Food Distribution Task Force;
Launched construction on our 1-acre Cravo Cooling House, the first of its kind in The Bahamas;
Supported over 38 non-profit organizations as they navigated registration under new Bahamian legislation;
Strengthened five local community partners’ strategic plans and budgets through our Social Enterprise Accelerator; and
Worked on our first prototype of a sustainable and affordable housing model in partnership with UNC-Charlotte, Florida A&M University and the University of The Bahamas.
Thank you for allowing us to be a source of support, opportunity and hope! Every amount – whether $10 or $10,000 – allows us to impact
the people of Eleuthera through our many different
programs and partners.
There’s so much more to be done. Let’s do it TOGETHER!