A Vision of Hope for Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique
We are citizens of a Home Country that has all the ingredients that we need to create a workable, developed and indeed prospering nation for ourselves and for our children. Grenada must work for all of us! There must be equal opportunity for everyone. All that is left for us to do, is to select a team of persons who will fairly and without political bias get the job done, and lead us forward.
The greatest opportunity we can give our people is to Educate them to think, and Empower them to Act for themselves. The greatest destabilizing factor is favoritism (that some get and some don’t get) which will bring about discontent, strife, and will disrupt (disturb) the peace. Without peace in the land, things will not be settled enough to allow meaningful development to take place. For our land to grow and to be blessed by God we must strive for peace and avoid thoughts and actions that split us up.
Its been long enough now since Slavery and Independence - lets get this thing together! We have the skills and are a gifted people but our Caribbean Leaders have mostly not proved the best choices for our development over the years. We must pick good leaders and a good team that is thinking Country and Development not individual power and wealth! We could do it if only we were committed to it! The National Democratic Congress has the Leader and the Team to get the job done!
We must ‘step-past’ negative leadership trends using our mistakes and errors as stepping stones to greatness ! Let us journey in solidarity with each other, committed in action as well as words, to principled forward and upward movement for our nation ,and yet leaving room for peoples struggles, disillusionment and then a return to truth! It's time for the Caribbean to change its trend from personal power struggles, to development and a better life for its people! Forward Grenada!
Let us be the great nation we are destined by God to be!
Franka Alexis Johnson Bernardine
Franka Bernardine is the third of four daughters born to Frank Cleveland Alexis, of Marli, St. Patrick in Grenada and Aileen Alexis (nee Browne), of Mesopotamia Valley, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. She spent the majority of her life in Grenada where she attended the St. Joseph’s Convent (SJC), St. George's. She graduated from SJC in 1970 with the Valedictorian Prize of “La Rosier” or ‘the girl who best represented the ideals of St. Joseph’s Convent’. Throughout her academic career Franka was an active and vibrant member of the insitutition. She was successful in a wide variety of activities, demonstrating leadership skills from an early age. She was a Founding Member and President of the First Student Council at SJC (1968), A Queens Guide (1968) - the highest Award in Guiding, a national Netball Player in 1969, Senior Soloist St.Joseph’s Convent , and obtained Trinity College of Music Certificates in Pianoforte up to Grade 7. She was a member of the Pioneers (alcohol abstinence group) and a President of the Legion. Her academic journey continued by pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry and Zoology at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. She was also awarded a Master of Science Degree in Zoology (M.Sc. Zoology). She was also pursuing a Ph.D but after three (3) years at Cave Hill Barbados she withdrew from the program as a result of health issues and the birth of her fourth child which curbed her progress and completion of the Doctorate.
Franka Bernardine is widely regarded as a role model for women, particularly from developing countries not only for her achievements in education but also in raising five children, all of whom are professionals today. Some of her children have achieved international status in their fields of endeavour despite the limited resources that the Caribbean provides. Her mother remains a role model for her in providing loving support for the children. “If you empower a child with God given values, education and opportunity, love and support, the sky becomes the limit”.
Sister Franka’s commitment to making a difference in education began in 1989 on her return to Grenada. Although offered a position with Government she chose to accept the position of Executive Director of New Life Organization (NEWLO) with the Conference of Churches. This was an eye-opener for her and a life changing experience, addressing the needs of young people who were very capable but lacked the opportunity to complete their education. The program was dubbed ‘A second chance at 17’ project. Five years later she moved on to working with The Coalition on the Rights of the Child / GRENSAVE to establish the UNDP funded Project “Program for Adolescent Mothers” (PAM). This offered similar educational opportunities to teenage mothers, empowering young women with the tools to stand on their own two feet to support themselves and their children. PAM opened its doors in April 1995. Sister Franka was invited to remain on as its first Manager which she did for five years.
Nine years in Community Development followed, working with the United States Government Peace Corps Program as its Program Co-ordinator in Grenada and rose to the position of Manager and then Associate Peace Corps Director of the Eastern Caribbean. The position provided exposure to a wide variety of projects ranging from Special Education, Information and Communication Technology, Youth Development, Literacy and Income generating projects, thus helping to build communities and Human Resource Capacity throughout the State.
Minister of Education and Human Resources
Sister Franka served as Minister of Education during the 2008 – 2013 NDC Administration. Some of her achievements include – The JW Fletcher Secondary School, The T-VET Council, Caribbean / National Vocational Qualifications (C/NVQ’s), Refocusing of the School's Curriculum to include Personal Development Skills & Technical Education, The Scholarship Desk, The School Books Program, changes in the Education Act to immediately remove sex offenders in the schools. She was the first Grenadian to be elected to serve on the Executive Board of UNESCO, PARIS, 2009 - 2013. She is widely regarded as one of the Best Ministers of Education to have served Grenada and the Caribbean Region.
At the party convention in 2019, Sister Franka was elected as Political Leader. She is committed to the development of the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. As a widow and mother her caring and nurturing disposition provides key support particularly in the areas of Health and Education. Coupled with a strong drive for excellence, and her wide experience in Administration and Management, Sister Franka is committed to improving the lives of our people.
Together we can make Grenada a better place for all of us!