November 22, 2019

Sandals Foundation Improving the Lives of Caribbean People

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Heidi-Clarke-Sandals-Foundation-640x425By Marlon Tingling From JIS

Story Highlights
Speaking at a JIS Think Tank in recently, Ms. Clarke said since 2009, US$1.5million is being spent annually on projects to uplift the lives of hundreds of thousands of citizens.
“We have been able to prove ourselves with our projects. Our mission will not change. Education is the major focus, looking at the environment…health and the community and how we bolster that. For us is about identifying key partners who will help us to grow and expand,” Ms. Clarke stated.
The which has as its theme “Our Promise-Our Caribbean”, is run by an advisory board that is mandated to review every project proposal and assess their sustainability and the impact they will have on improving communities and the lives of residents.

at the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke is expressing satisfaction with the work that the seven year old entity has been doing in helping to improve the lives of Jamaicans and citizens in other parts of the Caribbean.

Speaking at a JIS Think Tank in Montego Bay recently, Ms. Clarke said since 2009, US$1.5million is being spent annually on projects to uplift the lives of hundreds of thousands of citizens.

Some of the projects implemented by the Foundation are in areas such as Health, Education and Marine preservation.

Ms. Clarke cited the Caribbean Sick Kid Initiative, where the Foundation seeks to build the capacity of hospitals across the region.

“That programme is about giving our children in the Caribbean a better chance of surviving paediatric cancers and blood disorders,” she stated, while highlighting another initiative called ‘Project Sprout’.

“It is an early childhood intervention. It focuses on the holistic approach (in) dealing with parents, teachers, the administration at the school, having a special education teacher and a social worker at the schools and being able to help our children in the early childhood sector matriculate successfully to primary schools,” Ms. Clarke explained.

Apart from the successes in health and education, the Programmes Manager said the Foundation has been addressing issues relating to the care and protection of the marine environment through the establishment of Marine Sanctuaries across the Caribbean.

Currently the Foundation manages 14 marine sanctuaries in Jamaica in collaboration with the Government.

“When we look at Boscobel Marine Sanctuary (in St. Mary) we are now looking at a 250 per cent increase in fish bio-mass. Fishermen are now (asking) can we make these sanctuaries larger…and that’s huge because they can see how it is making a difference to their lives,” Ms. Clarke stated.

The work of the Foundation is supported by over 16, 000 volunteers-most of them being employees of the Sandals group, as well as guest who visit the resort.

Meanwhile, despite the Sandals Foundation being privately driven, it has been receiving tremendous support from the Government, which Ms. Clarke describes as “very rewarding, especially for community development.”

Looking ahead, the Programmes Manager said the aim is to take the work of the foundation into all sections of the Caribbean, especially Jamaica.

She added the fact that the work of the Foundation has been receiving international recognition, will also ensure that support improves.

“We have been able to prove ourselves with our projects. Our mission will not change. Education is the major focus, looking at the environment…health and the community and how we bolster that. For us is about identifying key partners who will help us to grow and expand,” Ms. Clarke stated.

The Sandals Foundation which has as its theme “Our Promise-Our Caribbean”, is run by an advisory board that is mandated to review every project proposal and assess their sustainability and the impact they will have on improving communities and the lives of residents.

IMAGE: Programmes Manager at the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke speaking at a JIS Think Tank in Montego Bay recently. Photo: Marlon Tingling Photo

SOURCE: http://jis.gov.jm/sandals-foundation-improving-lives-caribbean-people/

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