Newsletter for January 2021

Glen Herbert
The Grenadines Initiative
Thanks to a number of donors who came forward, we’re able to continue our program of relief vouchers. We’ve distributed 120 of these so far, each valuing $100 to be spent at Knight’s Trading in Port Elizabeth. They are intended as a help as well as a way of saying that we’re thinking of you. That we know times are hard, and we want to wish you well.

This year, sadly, is getting off to a bit of a bad start. Cases continue to rise, affecting new communities throughout the Caribbean and around the world. This is the year that the pandemic will effectively end, though the echo of the experience will carry on well past the administration of the vaccines. It will continue to depress the tourist industry throughout the region, making any relief we are able to offer well worth the effort. 

One of the nice aspects of a voucher program is that it helps recipients through support of local businesses. We’re not importing anything, and that’s intentional. Instead, supplies are sourced through local provisioners, administered by local staff. The administration and distribution of the vouchers is accomplished through a volunteer committee along with island staff. 

The program began as an idea. Could we do this? Would it work? We’ve proven, I think, that we can and it will. The question now is, Can we do more? Can we make it bigger, delivering more to more people? In the coming months, we’ll hope to do more. With your help, especially, we can do this. The next round of vouchers will be distributed later this month, and we’ll look to augment it throughout the year ahead. 
Hands Across the Sea book donation

By Tylisha Miller
The month of December greeted us with boxes of some of the greatest gifts a child can ask for, books! Our friends Darcy and John brought us boxes of interesting children’s book ranging from all genres and levels.

The books were a donation was from Hands Across the Sea. John and Darcy volunteer to assist in the Caribbean islands, primarily SVG and Mayreau. They found the need for new books in the Bequia Learning Center, as well as several other schools here in Bequia and Mayreau. Working with the school principals, they gathered all information necessary, and submitted to Hands Across the Sea, who was happy to assist these schools with new books. They will continue working with the schools they’ve helped get the books to follow the library standards Hands Across the Sea would like implemented and followed, which are incredibly wonderful ideas and very successful.

The kids did not hold back their excitement at the unboxing of these books. With the current book report programme at the center the kids expressed interest in reading the new books for their reports.

The staff and children at The Learning Center are grateful for such an amazing donation and for that we say a very big THANK YOU to Hands Across the Sea. We look forward to taking in all the knowledge that you have given us in the form of books
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