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Community Development Festival Gets Off the Ground

photo - ciroslandscape.comAntigua St. John’s - The 2012 competition for the fifth annual Homes, Families and Garden Festival (HFGF) is now open and residents are encouraged to embrace the initiative.

The 2012 activity is being promoted under the theme “Think Beautification for the Nation’s Health & Wealth” with an aim to preserve the environment, and promote broad-based participation among communities, businesses and civic organisations.

 Director of Community Development at the Ministry of Social Transformation Brenda Thomas-Odlum explained that the registration process for participants wishing compete in the HFGF will continue until October 26th, 2012.

Already, several residents in Antigua have signaled their intentions to participate in the three categories: Flower Garden, Fruit/Vegetable Garden and Garden or Landscape Pools, Ponds, Aquarium, Hedges, Ornamentals. Two residents on Barbuda have registered.

Plans are also advanced for the Poetry and Research component of the festival, which is being executed among the age groups 7 -12 years, 13 - 18 years and 19 - 35 years. The Poetry and Research Competition was introduced in 2010, and encouraged youths to enter poems based on the Homes Families and Garden Festival, or research paper based on the history of his or her community, notable persons or events.



In 2011, the entries increased by 80 percent with a total of 53  participants community wide. Terrikia Benjamin, a student at the Antigua Girls’ High School was the winner of 2011 Poetry Competition.

Registration deadline for the Poetry and Research Competition is 9th November 2012.

Meanwhile, with an aim to continue strengthening the capacity of related activities such as the introduction of innovative business opportunities such as community tourism, efforts are in its advanced stage to seek sustainable partnership with various agencies for sponsorships.

Several businesses among them are Sandals Grande Resort, Stingray City, Victoria Villas and Antigua & Barbuda Development Bank have confirmed 2012 financial support for the HFGF.

Thomas-Odlum is urging other businesses to contribute towards sustainable community development.

The HFGF continues to provide incentives for our residents to adopt good practices for community management to include tidiness and layout, pest control, consistency in appearance and general health and vigor.

The continued success of the project will depend on our collective efforts and commitment to its sustainable implementation, she said.

Meanwhile, the festival’s coordinator Dale O’Brien said a community festival is earmarked for the East Zone on 15 December 2012  to encourage synergy among the community residents to showcase their culture and heritage while fostering competitive spirit and community pride.

Residents are informed that distribution of registration forms is ongoing and those interested can contact the Community Development Division or obtain them from the field officers assigned to the various zones.

Mark Your Calendar

Registration Deadline for Homes, Families and Garden Festival - October 26th
Judging Process for the Homes, Families and Garden Festival - November 5th-7th
Deadline for submission Poetry and Research Competition - November 9th
Awards Ceremony - December 13th
Community Festival –East Zone - December 15th





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