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Red Cross hands over UK donations to schools

Red Cross hands over  UK donations to schools

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The Commonwealth Caribbean Staff Network of the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, UK, have contributed a consignment of books to two schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines, based in communities that were affected by heavy rains and flooding last December.{{more}}

The consignments also included 200 book bags with stationery items for distribution to students in need. The materials were sent to schools in Spring Village and in DuBois. The group worked with JEMS YaCEDI, Tottenham, UK, to identify and agree on the schools which would receive the support. The consignments were distributed by the SVG Red Cross Society on behalf of the above agencies.

Through contributions from friends and well-wishers, including High Commissions from the region and publishers such as Scholastic Book Club, the group was able to ship 29 boxes of books and school materials. Doris Charles, deputy High Commissioner of St Vincent and the Grenadines High Commission, welcomed the support provided to her country and the benefits that the books would bring to the overall development and delivery of education in these rural communities.

Charles, who also made a contribution to this effort, indicated she was overwhelmed by the gesture of goodwill. In reflecting on her own childhood days, she said “Growing up in St Vincent, more so in the Vermont/Dubois areas, (the location of one of the recipient schools), I too did not have access to a wide range of educational materials and many parents in the village struggled to provide the basic educational needs for their children. Many parents worked very hard on their farms to assist their children to get the best education possible, despite all the competing factors for such limited resources. I am happy that the children in these communities, would have access to such rich reading materials. The Commonwealth Caribbean Staff Network and the JEMS YaCEDI Tottenham must be commended for a job well done. I hope that the children and parents of Spring Village and the Vermont/DuBois/Number 8/Penniston areas make the best of it.”

These donations fall under the project “Operation Bookworm” which was launched in October 2010, by the Commonwealth Caribbean staff. It was aimed at providing a more varied range of reading materials to children and young people from low income communities of Caribbean countries affected by natural disasters. Similar donations were sent to St Lucia and Dominica.

The initiative came about through the co-operative efforts of the staff members that saw the need to assist in this way. They recognised that many children in the region did not readily have access to a varied range of books that were exciting and fun to read. Emphasis was placed particularly on those books that stimulated an interest in educational subject matters such as History, Science and Social Studies.

Cheryl Bruce, the chair of the Commonwealth Caribbean Staff Network said: “Through this initiative, we aim to help children broaden their minds and explore a range of possibilities; and hope that in doing so they will grow to become responsible citizens who will contribute positively to the development of their communities and countries. Above all, we hope that they will have tremendous fun entering the exciting world of books.”

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