North Sophia residents welcome $13.6M community centre

Moments after the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development signed a $13.6 million contract with the North Sophia Community Development Council to develop a community centre, residents expressed their elation about the new development.

The project will see a number of youths from North Sophia being gainfully employed to construct the centre.

Several residents shared their thoughts with the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Friday following the contract signing.

Anastacia Lewis stated that youths will be benefitting tremendously, “especially the ones that does be loitering on the corner and what’s not. It’s gonna help them, especially the ones not going to school, the drop outs.”

Anastacia Lewis, North Sophia resident

Donna Newsum expressed, “For me it’s a good initiative and I am very very happy for this because sometimes you have the children playing in the street and all sort of thing […] so, this initiative is very well executed. And work, the idling boys would have something to do.”

Donna Newsum, North Sophia resident

Damuka Ngqondo said this concern was expressed months ago and now it is really coming to reality.

“My thoughts are that this is a great thing that has happened for North Sophia. North Sophia has been partially my home for a long time. I have a lot of family here and I am one of the persons that met with the minister initially and took some of North Sophia’s concern and some of the things we needed […] Now, that’s a couple of months ago to now, seem very fast and things look like it’s looking up.”

Damuka Ngqondo, North Sophia resident

Sharon Jones another resident added, “I am so grateful for this move. I don’t have words to say, I am so anxious and so glad. Most of all I thank God has spared my life to live to see this moment because first of all, I am one that was in here from nothing, now it’s to become something and I am so proud and happy for this moment.”

David Goocharan told DPI, “I am very happy, finally getting a community centre because we had a lot of promises back then, but now in the future we getting one so I am very happy.”

Travis Perreira, a youngster said he is glad he will be employed.

“I feel good, I feel okay, I feel proud about it, I glad it happen because I glad fuh the work and so on. I am proud of what he is doing (President Dr Irfaan Ali) getting the country bigger and bigger, every day.”

“It will be nice because the centre is very good, the centre will be really good for the children and the children them need it. All who does deh running around by gutters and streets and these things, they gone be in the centre and we’re very thankful.” Eon Moore added.

Gillian Samuels explained that a community centre was needed and now its going to be constructed.  “I feel very good about it because a long long time we have been waiting concerning the community centre and the development in this community, road, light, water, drainage.”

Chairman of the North Sophia CDC, Uriah France told DPI, residents within the community will be given preference to gain employment from this project.

“It’s something really good for the community, youths as well as persons who are seeking employment in the area. It’s a really good move and I have to commend the government on another promise that they delivered on. If you look around, they did some street lights for us recently as well as they had this clean up enhancement programme where they hired six persons.”

The construction of a community centre was a commitment made by the government following an outreach led by Local Government Minister Nigel Dharamlall, Tourism Minister Oneidge Walrond and Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy to North Sophia.