Antigua and Barbuda: Antigua and Labour Party stated that, On Sunday, March 28th, residents and friends from the Villa and Point community gathered to clean and organize the completed Villa Community Centre on Blackburn Park.
Approximately 15 persons participated in the cleaning on the hot Sunday afternoon after a call for greater community participation.
According to the cleanup organiser, Constituency Liaison Officer Kem Hodge, “Since the handing over the community centre, it has not been cleaned. Knowing the Government is strapped for cash in this critical time in was a volunteer effort on all who participated.”
Mr Hodge explained that the work required in cleaning the multifunctional centre would have required significant financial support; however, he noted the community centre would be for everyone, so everyone should welcome the opportunity to help take care of it.
“Most of the persons were one-time residents of the community, and some still reside in Villa and Point”, Hodge noted. The cleanup crew consisted of a wide array of persons, including Parliamentary Representative for the area, Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
“A magistrate, police officer, marketing personnel, civil servants, musicians were all part of the effort,” Kem continued.
The liaison officer further noted that although much of the work inside was completed, the group intends to make the community centre clean-up sessions more frequent.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Browne accepted a timely donation of 5,000 books from Mr Ronald Mind towards a community library in the centre.
PM Browne used the opportunity also to explain that the community centre is also a multipurpose centre that will even serve the creative arts.
The community centre mainly includes an entrance hall, auditorium (70 people) and supporting makeup room, audio-visual room, meeting room, power distribution room, equipment control room, athletes’ locker room (2), pump room (underground), storage, and management room of sports equipment and ground equipment, auditorium equipment room, western-style kitchen, reading room, telecommunications room, computer room, public toilet, and sanitary ware storage room.
The community service centre is divided into three functional areas: auditorium, education and training, and logistics supporting area.
The Center, which has an accompanying Polyclinic, was built with the support of the Government of China through China-Aid Antigua and Barbuda.
According to the China-Aid project, “the configuration of community services is mainly based on the needs of the Antiguan part, providing holiday venues, reading, computer using, meeting arrangements, leisure and entertainment.
As a place for community citizens to communicate and gather, it can strengthen social connections between different ages and social groups, enhance community identity, and promote community residents’ physical and mental health.
The project cares specifically for the livelihood of people. The completion of the project will generate significant social benefits in Antigua, promote as well the improvement of Antiguan medical and health services and people’s health level, deepen the friendship between the peoples of China and Antigua, meet the goal of a China-aid project.”