Recently, hundreds of people flocked to the Lions Centre. They were there to register for the NiCE Summer Project which offers temporary positions and decent pay to unemployed residents of Cayman who have the right to work. This program has been touted by the government as valuable for the facts that it offers that part of the population a chance to earn some money and also allows the island to be cleaned up a little better during summer. The program, however, is not without its critics, and each side of the issue has several strong points supporting their belief.
Proponents of the program speak of the impact the program on the cleanliness and beauty of the island because the large group of individuals that are signed up set up clearing roadsides, picking up trash, painting roadside curbs, and other important tasks. It has always been the Caymanian way to brighten up and beautify our communities, starting with our homes and yards, so in a sense this program is simply an extension of that practice customized for the wider community.
Opponents of the program might simply state that this beautification would not be necessary if the money allotted for this mass-hire were to be spread out over 12 months and used to pay existing civil servants in the NRA, DEH and PWD. Perhaps, that money could be used to hire a few Caymanians in those aforementioned departments on a permanent basis, thus making a more significant impart in the lives of those individuals and their families.
Arguments for the program might also include the fact that since the program is done at this time of the year, it will make a great impact for the participants, their families, and the community as a whole. It would be argued that summer is often the time of the year that financial stress increases in families, causing other problems, including marital and parenting problems. This program being held at this time helps to alleviate some of that stress and to afford an opportunity for more families to have a stress-free summer holiday as they prepare for the new school year.
Those against the program might then choose to go back to their point of hiring permanent employees instead. They might say that permanent job would help alleviate those same stresses in a more effective and long-lasting way.
Regardless of what side of the fence one falls, this program appears like it is something that will continue to be utilized, year after year. Even opponents have to admit that this is something that helps people and the community as a whole. The arguments are simply as to whether or not this is the best option and whether another solution might be more appropriate. Perhaps, this is one of those times where agreeing to disagree might be the best option.
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