It’s that time of year again when the summer holidays have finished and you see lots of children heading off back to school. I’m heartened that Virgin Unite, Unite BVI and many partners are working together to support children in the BVI to continue their education, as many have been unable to do so after Hurricane Irma devastated the region.
I’m so grateful to everyone who donated to the BVI Community Support Appeal. We are focusing on three areas – the community, the environment and entrepreneurship – to help the region recover.
One of the biggest ways I believe we can help the community recover is to help children get back to school. I couldn’t agree more with Nelson Mandela, when he said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Helping children continue their education is one of the best ways to protect their futures and give them the knowledge needed to make the most of opportunities that come their way.
I previously wrote how we are working with the government to help rebuild the public high school on Virgin Gorda, the Bregado Flax Educational Center, and have provided additional funding to the Chromebook project, a collaboratively funded project which will donate more than 650 computers for students and staff at the 10th-12th grade levels.
We have also been supporting a Write to Read programme, which is helping children to read, write and develop reasoning and problem solving skills. It means the children have a safe space to learn through the day, and allows parents to go to work without worrying about their children.
Another great group we are supporting is the YEP Foundation, a youth centre in the BVI that is a place where children can come and have some fun – and learn something at the same time. A new computer lab has been set up, which kids will have access to after school and on some weekends. The computer lab allows children to study, play some games but also to stay in touch with those who have had to move because of the hurricane.
We have also provided funding for Mentoring Anointed Leaders Everywhere (MALE), a fantastic youth engagement and empowerment organisations. To ensure their work continues, we have provided funding for summer programming and to purchase minibuses so the projects can expand their reach across the BVI.
Supporting education will help children to grow up empowered, resilient and prepared for whatever the future brings. Find out more about our work to support education in the BVI here.