$200 Gift Voucher
Rotary Club of Barbados South (RCBS) collaborates on a Back-to-School Program for students in the 'Red Zone' following the La Soufriere Volcano eruption in St Vincent, earlier this year.
It was with great excitement that the Rotary Club of Barbados South (RCBS) received donations from the Barbados Art Collective and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB). Barbados Art collective is part of the Barbados Art Splash Community, which comprises an art center, cafe, gallery and play park located in Hastings Barbados.
Keen to support a regional initiative, RCBS cognizant of the devastating impact on families by the La Soufriere volcano, decided to channel the funds to support students in the ‘red zone’ who were most directly affected by the devastation on homes, communities, and infrastructure to the North of St Vincent.
This initiative was made possible through a far-reaching collaboration of entities and the Rotary family in Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  In total, the program raised an amount of EC$29,000. On Wednesday 29th September, 145 graduating grade 6 students who attended schools the ‘red zone’ were informed that they would each be the recipient of a back-to-school voucher worth EC$200.
The Rotary Clubs of St. Vincent and St. Vincent South, working with the local community program and funded through the donations was able to provide the EC$200 gift vouches to local students. Pat Downes-Grant, Chair of the Service Projects Committee of the RCBS has noted “We would like to extend our special gratitude to our Rotary family in St. Vincent, who created this excellent opportunity of cooperation. With their assistance we have been able to coordinate seamlessly among several parties to keep pushing forward in bringing this program to fruition”.
Presidents of the Rotary Club of St. Vincent and St. Vincent South, Dr Janelle Allan and Mr. Bantu Campbell respectively, have both expressed how keen the local Rotary family is to welcome collaborative initiatives such as this. They also extended their gratitude to the Ministry of Education for recommending names to ensure that the program was able to reach the students most in need of support, particularly in the very rural communities.
The vouchers are redeemable exclusively at Jax Enterprises who graciously supplemented the initial donation by 3:1 (for every EC$3 donated, a further donation of EC$1 was by made by Jax).  The vouchers can be used for items such as school uniforms, clothing, shoes, school bags and stationery – or anything that helps ready and support students to learn.
Alex Jack of Jax enterprises in commenting on his company’s involvement and contribution to the program stated “Jax Enterprises is always keen to support practical, positive programs such as this one, where the Rotary family has helped hundreds of students on their educational journey.”
The coordinator for the initiative between Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Shafia London (Assistant Governor) added “Rotary International is an International Service Organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service around the world. This program is an example of how we can join hands across borders to support communities with a shared future for humanity”
Rotary Club of Barbados South, Rotary Club of St. Vincent and Rotary Club of St. Vincent South are all members of the Rotary District 7030. Our district is home to over 2,000 Rotarians, 73 Clubs across 17 Countries & Territories in the Southern Caribbean. The District Governor (2021/22) Sonya Alleyne is a member of RCBS.
It is our sincere hope that this is just the start of locally collaborative initiatives where we may Serve to Change Lives.