Plans for the people

The establishment of Barbados’ first “Constituency Bank for the Poor” is among the economic and social plans proposed in the “manifesto” of independent candidate for St. Michael West Central, Herman Ras Bongo Spear Lowe.

Lowe, who describes himself as a human rights activist, explained to Barbados TODAY this afternoon, that the bank would assume integrated approaches based on the “pioneering” Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, Grameen and Cooperative combine.

“The Grameen is a system where there is no security required for borrowing loans; where four or five members would guarantee each other and its continues to revolve. This approach to banking has been one of the more successful in the world,” the St. Michael West Central candidate said.

The political aspirant, whose background is in architectural products manufacturing, customs and inland freight forwarding services, disclosed that the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee has suggested a $50,000 initial investment of seed money from them with matching funds to get the bank going.

His manifesto is also proposing to pioneer a multi-purpose agricultural settlement concept.

“This addresses import substitution of food crop commodities and its derivatives, complements starter housing, expands collectivism and incorporates the use of green technologies and enterprise-based training modules as industrial credits,” he noted.

Under his social agenda, Lowe is also promising a new service industry, with focus on youth centre operations.

“Youth centres are an innovative way to interest and equip young people in wholesome after-school/work activities, leading generally to more information responsive and industrious persons,” observed the graduate of the University of the West Indies and International Institute for Development Cooperation in Israel.

His “social contract” with the people of St. Michael West Central added that confidential counselling surrounding sexual reproductive, labour and gender rights, courses in business planning, family planning and finance and management, would all be core components of the youth centre.

Lowe, describing himself as the free candidate, said he wants to also promote youth workforce development and networks through cultural and sports exchange programmes between constituent clubs and international destinations.

He said he was also considering undertaking, in association with “reputable” British academics, a facilitation role in a Researching Alternatives in Sustainable Technology and Agricultural Sovereignty project.

Such projects, the manifesto pointed out, addressed the contemporary ecological problems confronting minority/traditional populations of the Barbadian society.

The founder/president of the Barbados Football Association-registered Bavaria Lions Soccer Club, also pledges to tackle community tourism, advocate for, promote recognition of, and champion affirmative action for disaffected minority groups, disadvantaged populations and the politically-excluded of St. Michael West Central.

Lowe, a member of the Rastafarian religion, said he would be campaigning tomorrow afternoon in the Long Gap and Grazettes communities. (EJ)

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