The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Well over a thou­sand less priv­i­leged chil­dren across the length and breadth of Saint Lu­cia will have a brighter than ex­pected Christ­mas thanks to an on­go­ing part­ner­ship be­tween the Gov­ern­ment of Saint Lu­cia and the Em­bassy of the Repub­lic of China (Tai­wan).

On Thurs­day, in a brief cer­e­mony at the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fi­cial Res­i­dence in Vigie, Am­bas­sador of the Repub­lic of China (Tai­wan), His Ex­cel­lency James Chang, pre­sented 1,200 toys to Prime Min­is­ter and Min­is­ter of Fi­nance, Eco­nomic Af­fairs, Plan­ning and So­cial Se­cu­rity, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. An­thony, on be­half of the Gov­ern­ment and Peo­ple of Saint Lu­cia. The toys are do­nated by the Care 2 Help Char­i­ta­ble As­so­ci­a­tion (CHCA), a Non-Gov­ern­men­tal Or­gan­i­sa­tion in New Jersey, USA.

The toys will be dis­trib­uted to Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment for on­ward dis­burse­ment to un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren in their re­spec­tive con­stituen­cies. This is the 11th year that this ini­tia­tive has been taken by the Em­bassy of the Repub­lic of China (Tai­wan). Am­bas­sador Chang says that since the pro­gramme got un­der­way, over 7,000 toys have been pre­sented to the chil­dren of Saint Lu­cia. Said Mr. Chang:

“Christ­mas is a time of giv­ing and shar­ing, where fam­ily and friends come to­gether like we are do­ing now. It is a joy­ous thing to know and to see chil­dren with their gifts around Christ­mas time. Think­ing that not all chil­dren are this for­tu­nate, the CHCA, to­gether with the Em­bassy of the Repub­lic of China (Tai­wan) and the Gov­ern­ment of Saint Lu­cia have taken up the chal­lenge to give to as many chil­dren as pos­si­ble.”

For his part, Dr. An­thony ex­pressed his deep­est thanks to the Gov­ern­ment and Peo­ple of the Repub­lic of China (Tai­wan) as well as CHCA for their on­go­ing gen­eros­ity to the chil­dren of Saint Lu­cia. Re­flect­ing on what he says is his favourite time of year, Dr. An­thony said:

“I want to thank you, Am­bas­sador, for your ef­forts, I want to thank again CHCA for re­mem­ber­ing us and re­mem­ber­ing our chil­dren at this time of year. It is true that Christ­mas is a sea­son of good­will, a sea­son of joy. It is a sea­son when we ex­press the love we have for each other, it is the oc­ca­sion we re­mem­ber fam­ily and friends, and it is the oc­ca­sion we en­gage in a na­tional embrace. But for the chil­dren I know Christ­mas is so very spe­cial, es­pe­cially the chil­dren who live in our de­pressed com­mu­ni­ties, our de­pressed ar­eas. So I can well imag­ine the anx­i­ety, the ex­pec­ta­tion of the chil­dren as the toys are made avail­able.

“I think of what hap­pened to Saint Lu­cia last year on the eve of Christ­mas, how many of our chil­dren suf­fered as a di­rect re­sult of those floods, par­tic­u­larly the chil­dren in Bexon, the chil­dren in Vieux Fort, La­borie, Soufriere, Choiseul and to some ex­tent Anse La Raye. They were de­nied a Christ­mas, they were de­nied the op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate, be­cause of the events of that trough. I pray to God that we have a peace­ful Christ­mas, that we do not go through a sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence. But it is re­ally invit­ing our chil­dren to cel­e­brate this Christ­mas with even greater en­thu­si­asm, even greater joy as a re­sult of those events.”

Dr. An­thony also re­minded the small au­di­ence of the up­com­ing Christ­mas party for chil­dren with spe­cial needs, now into its fifth con­sec­u­tive year. The Prime Min­is­ter con­cluded his re­marks by wish­ing the Am­bas­sador and his staff a very Merry Christ­mas.

Am­bas­sador of the Repub­lic of China (Tai­wan), HE James Chang, with Saint Lu­cia Prime Min­is­ter, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. An­thony.

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