Barbados (February 2019) – After over 20 years of being a beacon of hope and transformation for at-risk youths in Barbados, The Nature Fun Ranch has finally been renovated. The Sandals Foundation, the non-profit arm of Sandals and Beaches Resorts, has provided US$40,000 towards the renovation of the facility.
Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke, said the Foundation has been committed to supporting programmes that positively engage youths and help them toward achieving bright futures.
“At the Foundation, we have long believed that with the right intervention and opportunities, at-risk youths can have a chance at making significant contributions to society. We applaud the work that has been done at the Nature Fun Ranch with the many partners over the past 20 years and are thrilled to be able to make these renovations under ‘Operation Uplift’ with funding through the Sandals Foundation and project management by Sandals Barbados projects team. We are happy to be able to provide a safer and more inspirational environment for the youths here,” Clarke said.
Clarke added that she hopes the upgrades will help the Nature Fun Ranch realize its vision to become a visitor’s center and a sustainable program in the future.
Some of the renovations done included: reroofing, tiling, remodeling the kitchen with new cupboards, providing furniture to the main living area and computer room, the construction of new horse stables and the renovation of a small building that will be used as a shop to encourage entrepreneurial skills. The building was also repainted with new windows and doors and plumbing upgrades.
Founder of the Fun Ranch, Corey Lane, thanked the Foundation and others involved in the project for making his dream a reality.
“Today we have an updated facility that they can feel proud to operate in. I want you to understand that it is not just about having a nice place. One of the things I recognized and our studies show is that we operate in the environment we come out of. We had a dilapidated barn, a dilapidated building, and a dilapidated stable. Unwittingly, what we are telling our young people is that you are not worthy of working somewhere that you think you should be. Today we tell them, yes, you are worthy” said Lane.
Clarke also expressed extreme gratitude to the many individuals and partners who assisted in “Operation Uplift” including Infra Rentals, Carters General Store, Mr. Dustin Edwards, Harris Paints, BRC, The Robinson Smiles Charity, Phoenix Foundation, William’s Industries, and the United States Embassy.