The Sandals Foundation and the Ministry of Tourism joined forces to deliver two hundred and fifty back packs with stationery to every child that is registered and attending an educational institution on the island of South Caicos.
Additionally, the foundation distributed t-shirts to the three schools on island, namely the Iris Stubbs Primary School, Calvary Christian Primary School and Marjorie Basden High School. The t- shirts were donated for arts and crafts or textile projects such as tie and dye. Chinaware were also donated to the Home Economics Department of Marjorie Basden High School.
The Sandals Foundation contingent of seven members was led by general manager of Beaches Turks and Caicos, James McAnally who enjoyed the company of Hon. Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Maritime, Gaming and Disaster Management and her team from the ministry, members of the Fisheries Department who provided the vessel to transport the team by sea, and members of the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR), who provided ground transportation and an island tour for the party.
The Ministry of Education was represented by Reinwald Lewis, Education Officer. This was truly a collaborative effort that left a smiling face on every child’s face.
The invaluable contribution of the tourism minister and her team cannot be overstated. McAnally praised Minister Connolly and her team on their collaborative effort. “The Ministry of Tourism did not hesitate to help and we appreciate all that they did to ensure the success of our visit to South Caicos.”
McAnally recognizes the short and long term effects of the team’s visit and donations to these schools. According to McAnally, “Such initiatives foster a sense of community and collaboration between the tourism industry and local residents. It makes a big difference for us to be here interacting with the students and the staff.
This is a joy that could not have been experienced if we had just shipped the packages across. By being here, the community is reminded of the fact that we genuinely care as we are committed to community development, not just in Providenciales, but to all the isles that make up the Turks and Caicos Islands, and we also have a first-hand experience of what the community has to offer.”
Minister Connolly, noted, “This was a win – win for all parties involved. The locals had an opportunity to showcase the history and aspects of the culture that are unique to South Caicos, all students received school supplies, and schools were given additional resources. The Sandals Foundation’s sustained contribution to Education and community development on a whole, throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands, is priceless.”
Public Relations Coordinator and Sandals Foundation Ambassador, Jodian Scott–Banton shared: “It was an activity packed, fulfilling day of adventure across the Atlantic Ocean. I especially enjoyed dancing with the students of the Iris Stubbs Primary School. Upon arrival at the school we were greeted by a rake and scrape student band and students singing and dancing to cultural songs like, “Throw out Your Line”. I also appreciated the exhibition done by Calvary Christian Primary School in their school hall.
“They showcased the local talents and all the rising stars or prominent figures who hail from South Caicos. Several historic artefacts were also on display. The Sandals Foundation values the sharing and preservation of culture throughout the Caribbean. We are therefore very pleased to see that the traditional folk forms as well as the history of the island, are being passed on to the younger generations. We travelled to South Caicos to impact them but the experience also left a lasting impression on us.”
Orville Morgan, Public Relations Manager of Beaches Turks and Caicos acknowledges the impact of the project on enhanced learning. “More children now have access to essential learning materials, thus increasing the likelihood of improved concentration which results in enhanced learning. The provision of school supplies helps to reduce barriers to education and knowing this, brings great joy.”
Orville thanked all the Sandals Foundation ambassadors who assisted with the project from the planning phase to its execution, “Thanks to Devon Williams and Jaseth Wilson who worked on the logistics and packed the boxes well in advance of our trip. Thanks to Erline Raphael, Tanya Swann, Shanice Maxwell, Bernard Florvil, Jodian Scott–Banton and the “captain of the Beaches Turks and Caicos ship”, Jams McAnally for always supporting the Sandals Foundation projects.
He also made special mention of Kathy Lockhart, Assistant Director of Fisheries and Marine Resource Management (FMRM) who received the Beaches team at the Seaview Marina Dock. “Kathy was instrumental in the organization of the ground transportation. She was also our tour guide for the day. She was well informed and she was a gracious host.”
Ronlee James, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism emphasized the importance of other entities taking note of what was accomplished through this collaborative venture and he encourages more stakeholders to seize the opportunity to give back. “Education is everybody’s business,” he continued, “when we invest in education and local development it leads to a more attractive and sustainable tourist destination. Thank you Sandals Foundation.”