The 35 students and staff at Barbary Hill Basic School in St. Ann will return to school in September to a burst of colorful renovations and new furniture thanks to Sandals Ochi Beach Resort cost clerk, Monique Gordon. Gordon is the resort’s winner of the Sandals Foundation Team Member Support Project (TMSP) initiative.
Gordon, who was a student at the Barbary Hill Basic School over two decades ago, saw the need for furniture and proper facilities for the children, all of which she says are essential for learning.
“This school happens to be the only one in the community and I felt it would be very important for both students and the general community if the upgrades were to be done. This particular school is very rural and at times, is used for community health fairs and other activities so it is very important that we try to get it in its best state,” Gordon said.
As the Sandals Foundation continues to inspire hope across the region, they provide the opportunity for Sandals and Beaches Resorts team members to advocate for projects in their communities that are in need of support and would be beneficial to the development and betterment of the people. Throughout the region the Sandals Foundation provides funding for one initiative per resort to assist in the effective execution of said projects.
“I am, of course, overjoyed that my project was selected as the winner to be supported by the Sandals Foundation. The community members and the school staff were very appreciative of the donation and I am very happy that I was able to help,” Gordon said.
As part of the renovations to the school, The Sandals Foundation provided chairs, tables and renovated the school’s single classroom with replacement of damaged partitions and ceilings as well as renovations and enhancements to the school’s play area. The school was also given a much needed paint job, all to the tune of over $300,000.
Barbary Hill Basic School Principal, Beverley Martin, in expressing her gratitude for the support said, “The classroom will definitely be more conducive to learning and I am also happy that it was one of our past students who led the charge for the donation. It warms my heart that, though people leave, they still come back to help to build the community”.
Sandals Foundation Executive Director, Heidi Clarke said she is impressed that so many of the projects submitted to the Sandals Foundation as part of the TMSP initiative include renovations and support to schools.
“As we continue to work towards sustainable development throughout the Caribbean region, we are indeed impressed to see that our team members also understand the need to invest and support the education of our youths. The foundation sees the support that we provide as a donation to overall community educational development and as such, we do our best to take hold of any opportunity to do so. The Team Member Support Project is just another way to extend our helping hand.”