De road to hell is paved wid…
In de Bible, dey is a Powerful Quo-taste-shun written by King Solomon: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Solomon was ah Prolific and Prophetic Writer whom God gave not only Knowledge and Wisdom, but also Riches, Wealth and Power. But every now and den when certain things manifest itself, dat lickle (Quid foh) Quo-taste-shun tickles my mind; for example, “de Newest Ah-dish-shun to de Labour Love Box, ‘PRYME’! ” Dey’s ah short promo dat goes wid it: “If you’re a budding entrepreneur aged 18 to 40 years old, make sure you apply for the Go-Venom-mint’s Program, PRYME i.e. “Promoting Youth Micro Enterprises.” Trust my poor judgement, it sounds good, has good Intent-shuns, but Ole People say “The road to hell is paved with good intent-shuns”. In other words, Hell is full ah good meanings, but heaven is full ah good works.
Ah vividly recall back in de 1970s when de SVG Christian Council assigned ah few young leaders back den, to serve on de Social Action Commission. An Arm of de Council created to deal with Development Projects foh Skilled Youths, mainly youngsters with skills who needed funding foh tools and materials but could not approach de Banks foh assistance. So even back den, 50 years ago, de ole money problem was like de proverbial “Knee in de Necks” of de poor, our very Youths.
De Fund had ah ceiling of $6, 000 dat could ah bin ah grant or part loan/part grant. Liley Cato was de man on de ground and quite ah number of young talented youths in Arts, Craft and Music got assistance. Leather craft was quite popular thru-out de country, some ah de youths from Paul’s Lot, Bottom Town and Layou still around. Troumaca/Ontario Secondary School, under its Principal Alpian Allen, got funding for ah Poultry Project dat was ah tremendous success. De late Jim Maloney, ah Socialist to de bone, was trained right hey in Layou, in de art of tanning leather using ah unique, vegetable process, wid herbs and de barks of de Log Wood and Berry-Berry trees. Patches got funds to start his Band and School. Today he’s still around teaching Music to youths foh free.
De Council’s biggest project was on de island of Mayreau. Fr Divonne, ah French Priest on dat island presented ah case for drinking water and fishing equipment foh de citizens of Mayreau. Grant Funding came from CUSO, ah Canadian Organization, to build ah (cylindrical shaped) Ferro-cement water tank for every family (home) on de island and an out-board engine foh every fishing boat owner; de women on de island were each given two fish pots. The males managed de fish-pots. But Nothing lasts forever, and may I add “Nothing Free lasts forever!”
DE PULL-IT-TEK-ALL TWIN SISTER
So when de ULP took office in 2001, one of de Party’s first development project was ah Micro Project foh young “Budding Entrepreneurs.” De Project was funded by de CDB wid ah few hundred thousand. Laced wid Good Intend-shuns, but remember de Quid foh Quo-taste-shun: “de road to Hell is paved wid Good Intend-shuns!” Ah local gentleman experienced in Projects was placed at de top, and an experienced field officer was given ah desk at de NCB to manage. From de start de Project was stained wid Pull-it-tek-all intend-shuns. Some ambitious boutique owners even got funding to go shopping in de USA. No one seems to know whatever became of dat project? Lie-Za was not even around, but she swears nobody who got free funding is still functioning.
Ah doh know all de details, requisites or pre-requisites foh candidates looking foh Funds from PRYME, but from what ah hearing dis is de Container of all Love Boxes, 100 percent grant Funding up to $ 40, 000, “better dan all.” And when Lie-Za tells me dat one ah de Project recipient is Petrus Gumbs, an IT Teacher and Founder of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) ah seven-year ole Summer Program foh students, ah must add-myth dat PRYME has Good Intend-shuns. It comes at ah time when COVID-19 has put brakes on de E-con-Amy, but most significantly, one cannot refute as fact dat PRYME wid its hundreds of thousands of dollars, comes into full effect less dan six months before General Elections, and is de Pull-it-tek-all twin sister to Free Cement, Galvanize and Lumber. All Good Intend-shuns foh whom? Remember dat (Quid-foh) Quo-taste-shun: “De Road to Hell is Paved wid all Good intend-shuns!”
And wid dat is gone ah gone again.
One Love Bassy
Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.