Since the introduction of the Covid-19 pandemic on the shores of the Caribbean, the Sandals Foundation has earmarked resources and galvanized the support of government, non-governmental organisations and corporate partners to strengthen healthcare facilities, support frontline workers, and provide aid to the most vulnerable including the elderly and families in underprivileged and tourism dependent communities.
Strengthening Healthcare Services
- The Sandals Foundation donated US $36,000 (JM $5 million) to the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) as they raised a total of JM $150 million to purchase ventilators for hospitals selected by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) in the country.
- The Sandals Foundation also donated just over US $14,000 (over JM $2.1 million) to the PSOJ’s Private Sector Vaccine Initiative to purchase much needed supplies as the Ministry of Health and Wellness commences it national vaccination programme. Items include igloos to safe storage of vaccines, info red thermometers, batteries, tables, tents and chairs.
- Through a generous from United States Company, Tito’s Love, Sandals Foundation outfitted a sterile medical lounge for doctors and nurses at the St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital who respond to Covid-19 patients. The lounge consists of a sleeping quarter outfitted with a twin bed, a general space with three wipeable recliners and television and a dining space with a microwave, electronic kettle, a refrigerator and a four-seater dining room table. (Jamaica)
- Sandals Foundation supplied food and beverage for 70 medical practitioners including doctors and nurses who spent a day in an emergency quarantine operation in Annotto Bay, St. Mary, Jamaica. The meals helped sustain frontline teams as they tested hundreds of individuals, treated patients and conducted awareness activities to empower community members to be able to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Investing in Education
- In August 2020, the Sandals Foundation launched the Lessons Alive campaign to raise funds for purchasing supplies and resources to help vulnerable families facing back-to-school expenses. On October 5, the Foundation expanded the campaign to raise funds for purchasing digital tablets for vulnerable primary school students across the region. Over 2500 tablets were distributed across the Caribbean to support online learning needs.
- The Sandals Foundation is also helping to facilitate the distance learning needs of our “Care for Kids” scholarship recipients in Barbados and Jamaica by providing tablet computer devices and covering the cost of connectivity so students can access the internet and stay on track their studies.
- Additionally, to support the online learning needs of participants in our partner, Grow Well Golf Programme in St. Lucia, laptops have been purchased to help youths have an equal opportunity to continue their academic studies in this digitally-led school curriculum.
- Through ongoing Tito’s Love partnership, new handwashing stations were installed and sanitation supplies purchased for 12 infant and primary schools across St. Ann, St. Mary, Westmoreland and St. James in Jamaica. The stations will help the island’s learning institutions meet the health, safety and sanitation measures in time to commence the 2020/2021 academic year.
- Brand new handwashing stations were also built at 6 primary and secondary schools across the island of Antigua. The activities form part of the ‘Rotary Schools Handwashing Program’ being implemented by the Rotary Club of Antigua Sundown and will help schools get prepared for the new school year.
- In partnership with Coca Cola Latin America, hand wash stations and sanitization stations were also installed at two schools in the Turks and Caicos Islands, two in St. Lucia and one school in Exuma to support some 2100 students.
- The Sandals Foundation helped some two hundred (200) vulnerable residents across five marginalized communities in St. Lucia meet their welfare needs during the holiday season by providing grocery vouchers redeemable with Massy Distributors.
- The Sandals Foundation donated an additional JM $2 million (US $414,400) to the PSOJ Covid-19 Response Fund to support food security and welfare needs in Jamaica. The Fund is a multi-sectoral partnership with the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) and the American Friends of Jamaica that mobilizes and distributes by-weekly care packages to the most vulnerable citizens and underserved communities. The activities were made possible with the help of additional partners such as Food for the Poor, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, United Way of Jamaica and Red Cross Jamaica.
- Working alongside Sandals South Coast Resort and Sandals Negril and in partnership with local Community Development Committees, the Hanover Poor Relief, Justices of the Peace and religious leaders, we purchased care packages of grocery supplies from the Lasco Chin Foundation and distributed to senior citizens in the communities in Jamaica.
- Partnering with the Department of Health and Wellness in St Lucia, we engaged the services of local seamstresses to sew some 1500 reusable cloth masks to help residents in vulnerable communities safeguard themselves and others against the spread of COVID-19. By employing local seamstresses, the garment makers were able to earn income to provide for their families. Some 500 masks were distributed by Sandals Foundation Ambassadors and Sandals Resorts team members to the communities of Anse LaRaye, Dennery and Babboneau.
- The Foundation extended financial assistance for recipients of our secondary level education, “Care for Kids” scholarship programme to help their families meet their nutritional and welfare needs during this time.
- We also provided funding for individuals who are part of the critical supply chain to local Artisans working within the tourism sector. These primary resource suppliers have had their livelihoods negatively impacted due to the closure of the tourism industry and the halt in sale to artisans who in turn create products for hotel resorts. The financial grants help approximately 50 supply chain workers provide much needed essentials for themselves and their families.
- Sandals Foundation joined the outreach arm of the Ebenezer Union Baptist Church in Exuma, Bahamas to fund a food drive providing food vouchers to feed 50 vulnerable families.
- Our partnership with the Sweet Water Foundation in Grenada, has seen a 24 hour sexual abuse helpline be expanded to provide counselling service for persons struggling to cope with COVID-19 related challenges.
- The Foundation also provided emergency funds to the Nature Fun Ranch in Barbados to assist with operational challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. The funds benefited some 60 young people, provided stipend for staff and helped in day to day property maintenance.
More Opportunities to “Recover Better”
The Sandals Foundation will continue to work alongside government, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and corporate partners to respond to the developing social needs. We will:
- Strengthen the capacity of hospitals, clinics, and local healthcare services in tourism dependent communities;
- Provide for the welfare of the elderly and most vulnerable who depend on the livelihoods of hotel workers for their sustenance; and
- As part of the medium to long term strategy fund ‘back to school’ grants to assist children/wards of workers within the tourism industry. These grants will be available to applicants whether or not they were or are employed to the Sandals or Beaches Resorts.