The Star (St. Lucia) - Business Week - - VENEZUELA - BY THE RO­TARY CLUB OF SAINT LU­CIA For more in­for­ma­tion on the TEF visit: www.saintlu­ci­

Past Pres­i­dent Kon­rad Wag­ner in­tro­duced our guest Noorani Azeez, CEO of the Tourism En­hance­ment Fund (TEF).

He also went on to brief us on dis­cus­sions which had been on­go­ing with the TEF for sev­eral months, to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity of a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ro­tary on the pro­cure­ment of wheel­chairs through the World Wheel­chair Foun­da­tion.

Our thanks go out to Past Pres­i­dent Kon­rad for his on­go­ing com­mit­ment to the work of Ro­tary, hav­ing spear­headed dis­cus­sions on this ini­tia­tive.

Noorani Azeez gave an over­view of the ori­gins and work of the TEF which cov­ered a broad seg­ment of the tourism sec­tor as well as the com­mu­nity as a whole: “The TEF is a pri­vate sec­tor ini­tia­tive es­tab­lished on 1st Oc­to­ber, 2013, de­signed to al­low the tourism in­dus­try a greater op­por­tu­nity to play an in­te­gral role in the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of our des­ti­na­tion.

“The TEF is fi­nanced by a small, vol­un­tary do­na­tion from our guests of US$2 per night which goes to­wards com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment and en­vi­ron­men­tal projects and ac­tions which will af­fect the liveli­hoods of our cur­rent and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. By col­lect­ing a small vol­un­tary fee from our vis­i­tors, the Saint Lu­cia Ho­tel and Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion will also be able to sup­port projects spe­cific to en­sur­ing that our is­land is clean and safe for vis­i­tors and res­i­dents alike, in­clud­ing the beau­ti­fi­ca­tion of spe­cific ar­eas of our is­land.

“The TEF is man­aged by a Board of Trus­tees com­pris­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors who en­sure that projects un­der­taken by the fund con­tinue to have a strong ed­u­ca­tional, en­vi­ron­men­tal and de­vel­op­men­tal im­pact. For more in­for­ma­tion on how you can par­tic­i­pate or ben­e­fit from one of our grants please reach out to us at [email protected]­ci­”

At a re­cent meet­ing, the Ro­tary Clubs of Saint Lu­cia and Gros Islet signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing with the TEF to as­sist with the pro­cure­ment of 270 wheel­chairs of as­sorted types and sizes for do­na­tion to per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties, through the World Wheel­chair Foun­da­tion.

Un­der the agree­ment, the TEF will com­mit to fund­ing EC$120,000 to­wards the ini­tia­tive. The fi­nanc­ing will be made avail­able in three equal in­stal­ments, the first of which was pre­sented to Ro­tary Club Pres­i­dent So­raya Warner-Gus­tave. Ro­tary will com­mit to the im­por­ta­tion of the wheel­chairs and se­lec­tion of ben­e­fi­cia­ries, and will fa­cil­i­tate dis­cus­sions to es­tab­lish a train­ing pro­gramme for dis­abled per­sons to re­pair/ ser­vice wheel­chairs, thereby gen­er­at­ing part-time em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The tar­geted ben­e­fi­cia­ries are per­sons who are un­able to walk and who would oth­er­wise be un­able to ob­tain such chairs due to fi­nan­cial con­straints. This will en­able mo­bil­ity of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties to un­der­take em­ploy­ment, pro­vide for their fam­i­lies and en­cour­age in­de­pen­dence of re­cip­i­ents, thereby restor­ing or en­abling their pro­duc­tiv­ity and a sense of self-con­fi­dence.

The han­dover of the first in­stal­ment of EC$40,000 was made by Noorani Azeez at our reg­u­lar lun­cheon. The remaining funds are ex­pected to be handed over by mid-Septem­ber and mid-Oc­to­ber re­spec­tively.

Our club regis­ters its deep­est ap­pre­ci­a­tion to the TEF and its Trus­tees for their sup­port with this im­por­tant ini­tia­tive that will go a long way to ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity we mu­tu­ally serve.

CEO of the Tourism En­hance­ment Fund Noorani Azeez presents the first in­stal­ment of funds to Ro­tary Club Pres­i­dent So­raya Warner-Gus­tave

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