CASTRIES, St. Lucia, May 11th 2017 – Efforts by the Salvation Army to upgrade its pre-school and daycare program have received much needed support.
Through the program, they have been making daycare and early childhood education accessible to three-month to five-year old children of families which cannot afford the cost of such a service. The Salvation Army has been operating in Saint Lucia since 1902. Currently there are approximately 70 children enrolled in the two programs.
On Thursday May 11th, 2017 CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Country Manager Mrs. Ladesa James-Williams, presented a cheque on the behalf of the bank for EC$67,500 to Captains Derrick and Sandra Mitchell and the Salvation Army’s Advisory Board Chairman Malcom Burns, at the preschool on High Street.
Mrs. Williams said the bank, through its charitable arm, the FirstCaribbean ComTrust Foundation, was delighted to support the work of the Salvation Army. She said the bank’s relationship with the Salvation Army dates back 115 years through its heritage bank, Barclays.
“We are happy to continue this tradition, because we recognize that the Salvation Army does exceptional work in the community, that children are major beneficiaries of your work. And children are especially dear to our heart,” she said, adding that more is gained when “we link hands with social partners with real impact”.
Captain Mitchell expressed gratitude to the bank for the generous donation noting that it would assist those with the greatest need – single mothers and their children.
“Many mothers are single. The day care and preschool continue to enable single mothers to find work, and hold down a job when they become bread winners. Sometimes they work late, so there is a peace of mind in addition to early the childhood education learning we provide here ”, Captain Mitchell said.
Board Chairman, Malcolm Burns, described the donation as timely, and expressed thanks “not just on behalf of the Salvation Army, but more importantly, on behalf of the children and the parents.
The Saint Lucia Chapter of the Salvation Army was established in 1972, and has, for the past 45 years been delivering on its mission to exemplify Christian love through social support. In addition to the preschool and daycare programs, the organization’s annual outreach programs include a daily feeding program, monthly delivery of food baskets and parcels, a thrift shop which makes recycled clothing, furniture and household items available to families, emergency disaster services and outreach to housebound disadvantaged elderly, sick and shut-in persons.
Apart from this latest donation the bank’s annual contribution to the Saint Lucia chapter is now in its 4th year and takes the form of assistance with the Christmas Kettle Appeal and food and toy drives by staff.