The CDD participants. Also present: first two, front left are: Deborah Blakeney - Director of Human Affairs, Permanent Secretary - Wayne Carey. The last three, front right are: Laurie Shiell - Bermuda Women’s Council, The Hon. R. Wayne Scott, J.P., M.P., and Judy Gonsalves, EVP, ACE Bermuda. In between them are: CDD participants. *Photo supplied
The CDD participants. Also present: first two, front left are: Deborah Blakeney - Director of Human Affairs, Permanent Secretary - Wayne Carey. The last three, front right are: Laurie Shiell - Bermuda Women’s Council, The Hon. R. Wayne Scott, J.P., M.P., and Judy Gonsalves, EVP, ACE Bermuda. In between them are: CDD participants. *Photo supplied

 

The ACE Women’s Forum hosted a celebration for 17 participants of Bermuda’s first Community Driven Development Programme (CDD). A luncheon and awards presentation held in the ACE Building was attended by The Hon. R. Wayne Scott, J.P., M.P., Minister of Community, Culture, and Sports, Permanent Secretary – Wayne Carey, Deborah Blakeney - Director of Human Affairs, Laurie Shiell - Bermuda Women’s Council, representatives from the ACE Women’s Forum-Bermuda, and other key stakeholders. 

The Community Driven Development programme was launched in Bermuda early this year through the Department of Human Affairs, under the auspices of the Bermuda Women’s Council. CDD is a grass-roots approach that gives control over the planning and development of business projects to community groups. CDD is an initiative designed to strengthen skills, competencies and abilities of people to help them transition from a position of needing assistance to being self-sufficient. 

“The objectives of the CDD programme are directly aligned with the ACE Women’s Forum mission of empowering ACE women to become leaders internally and externally, not only in our insurance/reinsurance industry, but also in the community we serve. ACE is proud to be a community sponsor of the CDD programme, partnering with the Bermuda Women’s Council and the Department of Human Affairs in support of this unique and valuable community initiative”, said Judy Gonsalves, EVP, ACE Bermuda. 

Since the inception of the programme, ACE has provided the use of its Learning facility and resources to conduct workshops. ACE women gave their time, talent, and business expertise to present several workshops on topics such as strategic planning, customer service training, interview and resume writing skills, project management, communications, personal leadership, and nutrition and health. The ACE Women’s Forum also held a “Dress for Success” event for the participants to provide them with professional business attire and guidance for entering the workplace. Several representatives from other Women’s Forums were invited to attend to learn about the CDD initiative and how their members could become future contributors. 

The Hon. R. Wayne Scott, J.P., M.P., Minister of Community, Culture, and Sports said, “The CDD programme is changing the lives of the participants. It has helped them to gain self-esteem and be more productive in our community. The contribution that ACE has made to the programme has not only been extraordinarily valuable, but has been key in the overall success of the programme. In order for us to truly engage in social recovery for our community, we must have buy-in and partnerships from organizations on the island.” 

Deborah Blakeney, Director of Human Affairs added, “We are pleased to have the ACE Women’s Forum as a partner in our CDD programme. We could not have achieved the success we have had without their encouragement and support. We look forward to our continuing partnership in 2014.” 

“The CDD programme has restored my hope and helped with my initiative to move ahead in pursuing what I would like to accomplish in my life. I am extremely grateful for the programme and thankful for all its facilitators”, said Cyrika Dowling, CDD participant. 

“The ACE Women’s Forum congratulates the participants as they enter the employment phase of the programme, and applauds them for the courage they have shown in transforming their lives. We look forward to welcoming and working with the second group of CDD participants in January”, said Judy Gonsalves, EVP, ACE Bermuda.