St Lucia, September 28, 2017: Inspired by their visit to the Balata Government School earlier this year, Sandals guests Bruce and Melinda Edwards from Fairfax Virginia donated EC$16,000 (US$6,000) to the Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts, for the rehabilitation of the bathrooms at the Balata Government School.
The generous couple were guests at Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa in late March and participated in the Foundation’s weekly Reading Road Trip Voluntourism Program that connects visitors with young students. This trip took them to the Balata School which has been the beneficiary of a series of projects and programs funded by the Sandals Foundation targeting both the upgrade of the facility and the well-being of the students.
Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation Heidi Clarke commended the guests for their generosity in supporting Caribbean youth and assisting with the improvement of the school community.
“We are always grateful when our guests take time out of their vacation to visit schools and communities in our islands. In this case, it has been heartwarming to see Mr & Mrs Edwards not only connect with the students, but also make their own substantial contribution to this project. We thank them very much,” Clarke said.
Principal of the Balata Government School Mrs. Theresa McKean said the contribution goes a long way to create an atmosphere conducive to the best educational outcome for the children of the Balata community.
“We are extremely grateful for this generous contribution to the development of our school. I know the children are very happy to return to school seeing better bathroom facilities and the teachers will certainly ensure that the students take care of it. Our partnership with the Sandals Foundation has been a tremendous blessing to our school and community over the past several years from the Reading Road Trip Program, the school library, Christmas toys for the children, scholarships and many more programs that keeps us engaged and active,” Principal McKean said.
Sandals Foundation has a longstanding focus on improving education across the Caribbean islands in which Sandals operates, through school upgrades, teacher training, enrichment programmes, book and school supply distribution as well as secondary and tertiary scholarship opportunities. To date, over 300 schools and 129,000 students in the region have been impacted by initiatives supported by the Sandals Foundation.