Less than a week after announcing its possible closure due to serious financial problems, the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association (SLBWA) has suffered a break-in at its headquarters in Sans Souci, Castries.
Executive Director of the organisation Anthony Avril confirmed this on Monday to HTS News4orce. Luckily, however, a preliminary assessment of the property had revealed that there were no missing items from the association.
“We were extremely surprised when we came in this morning, to find that we had a break-in….during the course of the weekend. This is the last of what we would have expected. We are absolutely baffled. We do not know what they may have been looking for. It certainly couldn’t be money because that’s our problem, you know. We are struggling to stay alive, struggling to stay afloat… When it rains it pours. It certainly is not pouring in the right way for us,” he said.
Avril took the opportunity to call on the burglars to reconsider their behaviour.
“We would like to appeal to the burglars…Why continue to do the work of the ‘prince of darkness?’ The ‘prince of darkness’ is just using you, and to your own detriment. So desist from doing things like that. You’re breaking into a place like the St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association… which is really screaming and asking for help. So, what did you expect you can find here?” Avril asked.
On July 21, the association had said that after 45 years of existence, it may have to shut its doors within three months as it has been struggling for some time. But still determined to put up a fight, Avril said that the SLBWA will seek to raise some funds at a national dollar-drive in August.
“But the situation is hard. It is bleak. Eighty percent of the association’s services are being given free and it’s just not possible to continue to operate under the pressure,” he had said last week.
The SLBWA was established in 1972 by an act of parliament to provide education and vocational training, employment, and assist generally with the provision of social and other services for blind and visually-impaired people.