The financial services industry always has been committed to the development of The Bahamas. In the immediate aftermath of the devastation brought on by hurricane Joaquin to the southern islands, the members of the Association of International Banks and Trust Companies (AIBT) and The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) felt compelled to contribute to the recovery efforts which remain underway today. A relief fund was established from the generous donations of member financial services firms from both organisations.

The hurricane left a number of southern islands severely devastated. BFSB was made aware that the schools and clinic were in need of computers and office equipment such as printers on the islands of Acklins and Crooked Island as they were lost or severely damaged in the storm. *”We wanted to make sure the funds were used to further the hurricane relief efforts in a manner that would directly benefit the lives of the citizens on the island in a tangible and meaningful way – in particular the children. Education is important and the children of the Southern islands should have access to state of the art computer equipment as they seek to get back to normalcy. Hence, we determined that it was important to invest in equipment for the schools in particular as well as lend support to health care providers on the islands – some of whom now operate from the same premises as the schools.”* remarks BFSB’s CEO, Tanya McCartney.

AIBT Chair Antoinette Russell adds, *”Social Partnership is one of the founding and guiding principles of AIBT, and our Members wanted to do their part as an Association to directly and positively impact the lives of those affected by last year’s devastating hurricane. As a people-driven sector, we know that there is no more important resource than our youth. They represent the next generation of leaders of our country and our sector and through this donation, we hope to help the affected students and communities of Acklins and Crooked Islands return to their daily pursuits, fully equipped to achieve their goals and future success.”*

Upon request for assistance for the community of the Southern Bahamas, the Bahamas’ financial services sector was able to make a significant impact. AIBT and BFSB acquired over thirty thousand dollars’ worth of equipment for the following institutions in the Southern Bahamas:

* Ulric Ferguson Primary School
* Crooked Island High School
* Colonel Hill Clinic, Crooked Island
* Acklins Central High School

In total, thirty (30) desktop computers, eight (8) copiers/printers, two (2) laptops and one (1) multiple tray copier/ printer were procured to service the students and teachers of these communities, as well as the local clinic. Technical support was provided by Micronet Technology to help with the installation of the multiple tray copier/printer sourced at their company. Plans are underway to provide equipment to the remaining schools in Long Cay, Crooked Island and Acklins.

*Photo Caption: Ms. Anastacia Johnson, The Association of International Banks & Trust Companies, Miss Tessa Nottage, Principal, Ministry of Education, Ms. Linda Moultrie Missick, District Education Officer – Southern Bahamas, Miss. Tanya McCartney, CEO & Executive Director – The Bahamas Financial Services Board*