by Marius Modeste

The Rotary club of Saint Lucia recently  signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association under the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).

The fund was setup  during the leadership of Noorani Azeez.

Former Rotary President Konrad Wagner delivered a brief bio on Azeez, who was also the guest speaker and said” Today we are benefiting from a project  by Mr. Azeez, which started during his stewardship at the SLHTA”

The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), is a private sector initiative established in 2013.

It was designed to  allow the Tourism industry a greater opportunity to play an integral role in the sustainable development of our destination.

TEF is financed by a small, voluntary donation from guests of $2 USD per night, and goes towards community development and environmental  projects and actions which will affect the livelihood of our current and future generations.

By collecting a small voluntary fees from visitors,  the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association is able to support projects specific to ensuring that our island is clean and safe for visitors and residents alike, including the beautification of specific areas of  Saint Lucia.

In  his address the former  Executive Director of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, Noorani  Azeez said ” We have developed several other projects like, Jus sail youth development progamme helping young men to learn how to sail, also the we have created a WhatsApp platform for some four hundred farmers  and hotels enabling them to sell directly to the hotels.”

Azeez  went on to say “ After months of discussion I am pleased to announce TEF will back the wheelchair project to the tune of one hundred and twenty thousand dollars, which will be delivered in three tranches of forty thousand.”

In accepting the cheque the club’s  fifth female president, former banker Soraya Warner-Gustave said “ As we seek to provide this simple but impactful  resource that improves mobility encourages independence, and by extension enhances the quality of life  of these individuals this significant contribution, will therefor enable us to fulfill what we consider to be an obligation to serve  this particular unit in society, and  provide hundreds of wheelchairs to children, teenagers and adults within our communities with these  physical disabilities. We are truly grateful for this partnership”

The project, which began some fifteen years ago with the wheelchair foundation, has delivered over five hundred  wheelchairs to needy persons on the island.