Saint Lucia’s Minister of Education, Honourable Dr. Robert Lewis has given the thumbs up to the Sandals Foundation ‘Care for Kids’ Scholarship Programme, which continues to bring much-needed financial assistance to families.
The Sandals Foundation presented education subsidies, each totaling US$400, to 27 students on the eastern Caribbean island.
Speaking at the presentation, Dr. Robert Lewis commended Sandals Foundation for its significant contribution to education.
“Education is a very necessary but expensive business and in small developing states such as ours, it is extremely important that a collective approach to its development be adopted. When I think of my own experience and the level of support I received through scholarships from secondary to bachelor’s, to master’s and PHD study, my parents could not have afforded that. So Sandals Foundation is meeting a great need and is contributing significantly toward changing lives,” Lewis explained.
Meanwhile, the Director of Programmes of the Sandals Foundation Heidi Clarke said that the four-year-old organization will continue to place strong emphasis on education, which she rates as the panacea for development of the Caribbean.
She noted that the organization’s efforts encompass the building of schools, development of computer labs and libraries and a very aggressive drive to provide better quality children’s books among other initiatives.
“A student should not be prohibited from the right to an education because they are from a family of limited means. We must exhaust every effort to give all of our students a fighting chance and an education is the best way. An educated man is an empowered man whose limits are beyond the skies,” Clarke asserted.
Parents and students of the programme were also full of commendation, noting that it has been a great source of assistance and relief to their economic situations. This much was evident during the vote of thanks from Philipa James, an outstanding ‘Care for Kids’ student.
Last year, the Sandals Foundation committed to awarding 42 children in the Caribbean with scholarships over a five-year period valued at more than US$100,000.
Since 2009, the Sandals Foundation – the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International – has seen to the disbursement of scholarships, under the ‘Care for Kids’ programme, to high school students in Saint Lucia, Jamaica, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Antigua, and the Bahamas. The grants cover the costs of tuition, uniforms, books and annual medicals.