Helping young people in the Caribbean stay creative and connected
Since launching, Unite BVI has brought together the best people, ideas, and resources to tackle local community and environmental challenges - the foundation’s driving vision is to inspire and empower a generation of world-changers.
The last 12 months have been especially difficult for communities across the BVI – lockdown has left many families without access to an income and many children without access to an education.
While hardship across the BVI has increased during the pandemic, so too has generosity and care for those in need. Nowhere has this kindness been more evident than in the creation of The Good Deed Feed programme by Dan and Lynn Peirce.
Dan and Lynn are close friends of the Necker Island and Unite BVI teams, and when learning about the devastating impact COVID-19 was having on young community members in the BVI they immediately swung into action.
Dan and Lynn powered The Good Deed Feed programme with an initial donation of $5,000, which they quickly doubled when they met the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) leaders and learnt more about their plans and how much impact they were able to make.
During a normal calendar year, young people from across the BVI visit their local youth centre for access to materials and programming. Over lockdown, students moved to an online service and youth leaders struggled to provide creative activities due to lack of resources at home.
Over several months the Good Deed Feed provided four rounds of resource bags to 200 young people across the BVI. The Necker Island team assisted with packing over 4000 items into individual bags for each programme module. The bags included art supplies, gardening supplies and other home-based activities, ensuring everyone could have some fun and get creative.
Stacy Mather, Executive Director at YEP, was delighted by how the community coming together to support young people: “On behalf of YEP, the children, and the parents – I want to say thank you to Unite BVI, to Dan Peirce, to the staff and management of Necker Island, and to everyone in the community for helping make this programme possible.” YEP’s youth leaders worked to ensure that young people’s creativity could continue to shine during what was otherwise a dark time, bringing some much-needed happiness to local communities and households.
Rowella took part in the Good Deed Feed programme and shared her thoughts and thanks about the at-home support: “My name is Rowella and I’m a ‘Yeppie’. During the summer reprogramme I had to spend a lot of time at home due to COVID-19. The YEP instructors were so kind to give us the supplies we needed to complete our assignments. I would like to thank Miss O for coming up with the great idea of the messy canvas and for going out of her way to get us our water colour journal, our paint palate and our brush.”
YEP was created in 2007 as the first dedicated youth facility in the BVI. It continues to provide opportunities and activities for young people and is an extremely valued partner of Unite BVI. Programmes such as the Good Deed Feed are an important part of Unite BVI’s commitment to being a driving force for community engagement, supporting education and delivering widespread social benefits.
Unite BVI Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation with a vision to create opportunities that inspire and empower a generation of world-changers, starting in the beautiful BVI. The NPO works to bring together people, great ideas and resources for sustainable positive impact. For more information check out the NPO’s website at unitebvi.com