The Government of Dominica through the Ministry of Community Development’s Local Government Department has allocated $150,000 toward community projects across the country as part of National Day of Community Service this year.

Approximately three years ago Government made a shift from the traditional concrete projects to beautification projects on Community Day of Service.  These beautification projects encouraged communities to be involved in cleaning up the environment and planting flowers.

Local Government Commissioner, John Fontaine indicated that the shift met its objective and nationals are now more conscious about keeping the island clean, green and beautiful.

He said the decision by the Cabinet to revert to the traditional community day of service will allow communities to this year focus on several outstanding projects in their various communities.

Fontaine expressed his anticipation of island-wide participation on November 4, 2013.

“We are looking for as usual partnership with the private sector, corporate citizens, and community residents. [All] are encouraged to participate in community projects identified by the community based organizations like the village councils; development committee’s and sports groups.”

Fontaine said that the move back to concrete projects should not deter nationals from keeping their environment clean and beautiful.

“For the last three years we were on the beautification drive and so for the flowers that have been planted, we have to continue to nurture them and to groom them and continue planting flowers, because we are the Nature Isle.”

The National Day of Community Service concept was implemented by the Dame Eugenia Charles Administration in 1981 to instill the practice of volunteerism among Dominicans.

Fontaine highlighted that this National Day of Community Service concept in Dominica is the envy of many Caribbean countries and nationals should continue to embrace it.

“It’s something that we need to actually promote in the region. It is something that is very unique and special.  Persons who are usually on a busy schedule, be it in the medical field or legal field, they get the opportunity to go back to their communities to mingle with the locals and the residents of the area and participate in a project of their choice,” he said.

The Ministry of Community Development through its Local Government Department this year will once again provide to village councils and registered community-based organizations, groups and committees, materials such as steel, cement and tarish at their request to execute projects within their respective communities.