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The Swaby’s Hope New Testament Church of God in Manchester is hosting a series of community fora, aimed at addressing the development needs of the area.
At the sessions, which got underway last month, residents identified a clinic, a community centre and basic school, as among the most pressing needs. It was proposed that funding for the projects could come from the efforts of residents, aid agencies, and the Member of Parliament through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Already, the collaboration is paying off, with the church working with the Manchester Health Department to host regular two-day clinics, until a location for a permanent health centre can be identified.
Pastor of the church, Ernie Nelson, speaking at Sunday’s (April 27) meeting, said that the monthly gathering “to manage and organise efforts for a better community, is an integrated process that we are committed to. It is of great relevance and will bear much fruit.”
Councillor for the New Port Division Anthony Bryce, in the meantime, lauded the church, noting that the sessions serve as a means of facilitating community development.
“For (the church) to dedicate a day for the building of the community, is an opportunity that we must all make use of. It is a very good gesture, when different minds meet. Better understanding is created between the church and the community,” Mr. Bryce said.
He urged residents to never allow any other interests to break the bond that has been forged.
He noted that “we won’t be able to take on everything at once, but we are starting with a project that can benefit the entire community and then move to other things.”

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