Newsletter for January 2022

Glen Herbert
The Grenadines Initiative
Elena Glynn was recently in touch about two students that we sponsored at the Bequia Kiai Karate School. Glynn is president of the school, and she writes that Shania Roache passed the exam, and is now a 2nd Kyu brown belt. Similarly, Nickel Thomas upgraded to yellow Kyu. Elena writes that the attainment of the new ranks mark "a great achievement after a lot of hard work and endurance during unprecedented times." She notes that it's also a welcome hint that things might be getting back to normal, given that this was the first round of exams since the beginning of the pandemic. She adds that they are "hoping we can get back to our full program which includes Camp, Beach Training, Moonlight Training with BBQ, Inter Club training sessions and of course another grading."

She's right to look forward to all of that, given the impact that it has in the lives of the young people involved. Programs like hers build confidence, they provide connection with peers and mentors, and give students a sense of mastery. Getting a new rank is an accomplishment, one that says "you can do this," something that carries over into other areas of their lives. That they are celebrated for their work, the lesson is "people care." They learn many things in those classes, including some classic moves, like the hiza geri, and the fumikomi. But ask them, twenty years from now what they remember, and they'll talk first about the people they met, and about how they felt, and about that one teacher who changed their lives.

Elena wrote, in light of the sponsorships that we've been able to offer, "we remain sincerely grateful for all the good work you do not only for the Karate School but also for Bequia and its neighbouring islands." I'd like to pass that on, and thank those donors who made those sponsorships possible. They aren't just Karate classes after all.
Students at the Bequia Kai Karate Club, showing their certificates denoting the new ranks they've achieved.
For more on the youth programs and activities that we fund, and for ways of helping out, write me at the contact below, or simply respond to this email.
Glen Herbert
Executive Director
Ph: 289 439 7052
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