(MAGNETIC MEDIA) – Responding to the utter devastation in Turks & Caicos as a result of Hurricane Irma, the Sandals Foundation began delivering emergency relief on Providenciales on Monday September 11.
Sandals Foundation and the team from Beaches Turks & Caicos partnered with the Salvation Army and the Red Cross to deliver desperately needed food items to victims of one of the most powerful hurricanes in history.
“Our priority is to give those in shelters immediate relief with perishable and non-perishable food items and water,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, who flew into Turks & Caicos with a senior team to assess the damage this week. “So many people have lost everything; it is hard to imagine how devastated these islands are.”
Clarke added that in coming days the Foundation will launch a drive to collect tinned food, diapers and baby formula through their group’s locations in Jamaica for the benefit of Turks & Caicos victims. This is in addition to an international online drive through the Foundation’s website (sandalsfoundation.org) to collect donations for ongoing disaster relief work.
“We are doing multiple assessments in Turks to also look at long term projects that will need our assistance,” added Clarke. “We need to get kids back to school to provide some normalcy and stability again in their lives as well as to get these distressed communities back on their feet.”
Clarke said the Foundation will be working with the Turks & Caicos Ministry of Education and the principals and staff of both the Clement Howell High School and Enid Capron School to assist in their rebuilding efforts as both schools have suffered extensive damage.
Over the years, Sandals Foundation has been involved with multiple disaster first response relief programs and several redevelopment projects throughout the Caribbean including on the islands of Haiti, Bahamas, Dominica and St Lucia. After both earthquake and hurricane destruction in Haiti, Sandals Foundation supported various partners including Population Services with 205,000 Aqua Tabs; Global Orphan with clothing; the Salesian Missions with recovery kits for 400 families; and All Hands Volunteers with the recovery of six schools and health clinics. Other projects include: the restoration of the Cancer Society Centre, Senior Citizen Centre and St. Andrew’s Kirk Elderly Home in the Bahamas; the construction of a new Multipurpose Room at the Petite Savanne Primary School in Dominica; and the provision of school supplies to children in St Lucia.