LUCELEC recognises that health care and access to funds for major medical expenses remain a challenge for many. Our Power of Caring, therefore, seeks to support preventive, diagnostic and treatment programmes and facilities.
Through our annual contribution of $25,000 to the National Community Foundation since its inception we continue to support requests for medical assistance.
We work closely with the St. Lucia Diabetic & Hypertensive Association, the St. Lucia Heart, Lung and Blood Foundation, and various other health and wellness organisations to provide equipment, support workshops, health and wellness outreach programmes, and fundraising efforts, to assist in encouraging healthy lifestyles and supporting initiatives that seek to prevent and treat lifestyle related diseases.
We provide major support for our medical facilities as well. In 2009, LUCELEC contributed over $45,000 towards the extension of the electrical system and installation of uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) for the Intensive Care Unit, Radiology Department, Operating Theatres and Recovery Room at Victoria Hospital. And we responded immediately to the St. Jude’s Hospital fire with nearly $100,000 in urgent assistance to upgrade the power supply at the George Odlum Stadium to facilitate its transformation to a temporary hospital and for the air conditioning of medical supplies, and another $250,000 in cash to the rebuilding effort.
YOUTH AT RISK
Caring has the potential to turn lives around. That’s why LUCELEC's Power of Caring embraces the more vulnerable among us our youth at risk. In 2009 through our various philanthropic and sponsorship initiatives we supported programmes that sought to provide basic needs and new experiences and opportunities in the classroom, on the playground, in sports, arts, culture, and at the community level for those who otherwise may not have had these opportunities or experiences.
That's why our Power of Caring was indelibly stamped on initiatives such as annual Summer Youth Clinics put on by the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, the Ministry of Youth & Sports, and Options Designs that provided opportunities for underprivileged students from Ciceron Primary and Secondary schools, the Morne Du Don Primary School, and Castries to be gainfully occupied during the summer vacation.
Similarly, LUCELEC moved to assist disadvantaged students, at the Ciceron Secondary School and in Aux Lyons, Dennery, to meet the costs of stationery, uniforms, other school supplies and bus fare. We also donated footballs and first aid kits to the New Village Development Committee in support of a Discipline Campaign for primary schools in the Castries Basin and provided scholarships to three underprivileged primary school students to allow them to participate in the Valley Soccer Academy’s programme for a year. And we were a major sponsor of the Castries Football Council’s 2009 Youth League played in 3 divisions targeting children 15 and under, inclusive of youth at risk.
Our efforts to provide new experiences to the disadvantaged included contributing towards the "Swim to Change" Programme put on by the Community Action Programme for Safety (C.A.P.S.) which sought to teach underprivileged children from Marchand, Wilton's Yard and New Village to swim using the pool at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre.
And LUCELEC’s Power of Caring really came through in the Orchestra Programme for Youth at Risk in St. Lucia – a collaborative effort between the OAS, Ministry of Social Transformation, and the School of Music. This potentially life-changing project involves sixty (60) young people from the Marchand community participating in this special programme to develop a youth orchestra, choir and centre for teaching orchestra music to youth in that community. The project provides after-school classes in orchestra and choir at the Marchand Combined and the Entrepot Secondary School, for 2 hours a day, up to four days a week. It is designed to reduce violent behaviour by redirecting spare time for youth at risk into an activity that takes advantage of their inherent strengths and talents. The programme complements regular education with musical training to stimulate intellectual and cultural growth, contribute to instilling civic values, increase school retention levels, and create future employment opportunities.
LUCELEC's initiatives targeting youth at risk included support for institutions like the Holy Family Children’s Home and the Upton Gardens Girls’ Centre, and the Lions Club of Castries Kids-in-Sight project administered by the St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association to correct eye problems in underprivileged children.