Premier League Football star, Jermain Defoe, has launched a foundation in Saint Lucia. The foundation will be known as the Jermain Defoe Foundation.
The Foundation plans to assist the Children’s Society of Vieux Fort to construct a shelter for vulnerable and disadvantaged children in the south. The Foundation also plans to establish a Football Academy in Vieux-Fort to provide an avenue for the youth to direct creative energy through sports and to develop skills necessary to pursue careers in football.
Parliamentary Representative for Vieux-Fort South and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Dr Kenny Anthony says he is elated at the prospects of establishing a football academy in the south of the island. Speaking at the formal launch on Wednesday the Prime Minister Expressed:
“As Representative for Vieux Fort South, I am reminded daily of the hardship that the residents of the south face. For many years, development focused on the northern part of the island, forcing the south to resemble an abandoned frontier. It was commonplace to feel that the south was left out and would only benefit from the leftovers. The consequence was under-development in programmes and care for the youth, elderly and poor. Therefore, there is a critical need for greater focus on the south and to ensure that we put in place the necessary support structures needed to deal with the plight of our people.
This initiative to launch a Foundation to assist and support social programmes in the South is, therefore, most welcome. I am sure too that the youth will be delighted to know that the Foundation will place a particular focus on working with them on various projects.
I am aware that the Foundation’s first initiative will be to assist a local group in Vieux Fort to work on a shelter for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, many of whom are victims of abuse. I pledge my support for this initiative and look forward to a full briefing on the project and to receive a request for assistance from Government.”
During his address, the Prime Minister thanked Defoe for his outstanding history of support to Saint Lucia, through the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and other agencies.
Dr Anthony accepts that while it may have been easier to set up this Foundation in North London, it is the commitment to make a difference and contribute to his homeland which led Defoe to Saint Lucia.
Anthony also praised Jermaine’s mother, who hails from Desruissaeaux. He said, Sandra, Jermaine’s mother, “is never one to forget that she is from Saint Lucia; she has an incredible love for her land and people— qualities she nurtured in Jermaine. All the way she guided and shaped him into what he is today.”