The Sandals Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, celebrated its fifth anniversary with a visit to the annual Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Caribbean Week in New York earlier this year. Headquartered in Barbados, and with offices in New York and London, the main objective of the CTO is the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of people in the Caribbean.
The Sandals Foundation funds projects in three main areas: education, community and the environment. It was created to expand upon the charitable work that Sandals Resorts International (SRI) has undertaken since its founding in 1981, which is to play a meaningful role in the lives of the communities where SRI operates throughout the Caribbean. One hundred percent of money contributed by the general public goes directly to programs that benefit the Caribbean community.
The Foundation announced its High #5 Campaign, in honor of its fifth anniversary, and introduced three of five new programs and partnerships that support education across the Caribbean region. The High #5 Campaign currently has three core initiatives with two more programs to be announced later this year.
From the press release …
Project Sprout – An investment of nearly half a million dollars has allowed the Sandals Foundation to create this comprehensive program that will provide a lifeline to tackle the challenges currently hindering early childhood development. According, to a recent study by the Planning Institute of Jamaica, only 50% of grade one students are ready for primary level education, resulting in a serious deficit in reading and writing skills. This targeted intervention will help young children achieve their developmental milestones.
In addition to facilitating parental involvement at school and at home, Project Sprout will provide upgrades to:
- School infrastructure
- Teaching and learning aids like books, computers and educational toys to enhance the learning environment
- Human resources
Under its umbrella, Project Sprout will also provide for the construction of the West End Early Childhood Institution in the parish of Westmoreland, Jamaica.
Providing Access to Continued Education (P.A.C.E.) Program – Located in the Bahamas, P.A.C.E. is an initiative that provides education and support to teenage mothers and promotes awareness of policies to help reduce teen pregnancy. Approximately 700 teenage girls become pregnant each year within The Bahamas, and many are often forced to interrupt their education, reducing their ability to provide for themselves and their family. The Sandals Foundation has joined forces with 350,000 women of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, through its Nassau, Bahamas Alumnae Chapter, to reinforce ongoing fundraising efforts in support of P.A.C.E. Over the next three years, the two organizations will work towards raising needed capital for the refurbishment of a first-of-its-kind support center that will accommodate administrative, health care, nursery and academic services.
Wade’s World Foundation – This three-year, premiere partnership with NBA star Dwyane Wade’s charitable organization will launch programs and initiatives to benefit youth in underserved communities in the Caribbean and Miami. The partnership’s first collaboration, Game Changer, will give underserved youth access to planned sports, recreation, healthy lifestyles and family engagement as well as activities that include new camps, after school training and coaching sessions.
Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International and President of the Sandals Foundation …
“We are the Caribbean and we remain committed to investments in our home region that foster positive and sustainable initiatives.”
Sandals Resorts and the Sandals Foundation
Sandals has luxurious and romantic all-inclusive resorts in the Bahamas, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Antigua, Grenada and Barbados as well as family-friendly Beaches resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos. Beaches Barbados will be opening in 2016.
The mission of the Sandals Foundation is to unite the Caribbean region with a common goal of elevating its people and protecting its delicate ecosystem under the pillars of community, education and the environment. Since its creation in 2009, the Sandals Foundation has hosted more than 10,000 volunteers, raised $3.6 million (U.S. dollars) and developed more than 300 programs and initiatives across Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas, The Turks & Caicos Islands, Grenada and Barbados valued at more than $16 million (U.S. dollars).
For more information or to donate to the Sandals Foundation, please visit SandalsFoundation.org.