Salvation Army grateful for renovation efforts by Sandals
The Salvation Army (SA) has been serving Saint Lucia’s disadvantaged for over a century. Today, children just months old and up to five years of age, are enrolled in the organisation’s Child Care Centre, which has always been committed to providing affordable supervision and educational services in a safe space to offspring of single parent families and those from difficult backgrounds.
The Ministry of Education’s Early Childhood Education Unit has recently set criteria for such institutions as the SA’s centre, according to SA Administrator Captain Sandra Mitchell. The initiative was put in place in an effort to raise the standards of local early childhood education across the island. As it pertained to the organisation’s facilities located in Castries, there were areas of concern.
As Captain Mitchell pointed out this week: “When they came here, because the ceilings were brown, they said there was not enough lighting in the classrooms, therefore we should repaint it. The Early Childhood Education Unit is also insisting that we have computer education for our children as even at this young stage it is very important they familiarize themselves with related technology.”
In June this year, Sandals hosted the first Saint Lucian edition of Vibes on the Island, a benefit concert featuring Barrington Levy, Spice, local soca stars such as Ezra d’Fun Machine, Arthur Allain, and Sedale Semi. The purpose of the event was to raise money to fund renovation works like the above-mentioned for both The Salvation Army Child Care Centre and Faces of Cancer.
Sandals’ Regional Public Relations Manager, Alex Holder, told the “At this particular facility we assisted with renovation works to the ceiling of the school, the computer lab, the sick bay, their dry goods storage space and the kitchenette downstairs. The total value of the project was just under $18,000.”
The reason Sandals chose this project, he said, was to meet two of their three development goals as it targets education and it connects well with the community. “Located where it is, we believe for the families of a lot of the children coming out of the inner city communities, this school is their first choice to bring them into a safe environment while they go to work. So, of course, having the school up to par was important.”
Captain Mitchell expressed the Salvation Army’s gratitude: “It was a very happy moment when Sandals came on board to help us meet these standards.” As for Holder, he added: “Our partnership with the Salvation Army dates back to the arrival of Sandals on the island, about 25 years. So what used to be an annual partnership has blossomed quite a bit over the last few years into more projects throughout the year.”
Holder said the next project will likely be the setting up of a library for the Child Care institution—an initiative that Captain Mitchell welcomed as a primary need.
On Monday Advisory Board Chairman, Mr. Malcolm Burns (left), Major Derrick Mitchell (centre) and Captain Sandra Mitchell joined Sandals to reveal the renovation work recently completed on the Salvation Army’s Child Care Centre.