St. Vincent Cooperative Bank partners with UK-SVG Friends for SVG relief efforts

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Cross-posted from https://uksvgfriends.org/.

The UK-SVG Friendship Trust has teamed up with the St. Vincent Cooperative Bank as its local partner to assure the framework for the disbursement of its EC$ 800,000 La Soufriere Volcanic Eruption Recovery Assistance Programme.

The UK based Trust has engaged the bank due to its long-standing commitment to the country as one of the oldest indigenous banks. The “penny bank” with its strong roots in local communities will act to ensure that all funds spent locally are accounted for and that the programme delivers for its intended beneficiaries.

The UK-SVG friends is comprised of over 7000 donors in the UK. Collectively, they have so far contributed more than £250,000 in a campaign launched on the GoFundMe platform which was supported by the SVG High Commission. The Fund will have three components, (1) A specific sum to be transferred to the Government’s volcanic relief fund (2) A portion to be reserved for assisting persons who were evacuated and are returning home on advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (3) Purchase of items for immediate needs for those in shelters and those staying with families or friends.

According to Chairman of trustees Cenio Lewis, “the funding framework for the programme is to provide for the relief of hardship by persons directly impacted and displaced by the La Soufriere Volcanic eruption particularly those evacuated from the red zones. The Trust is especially concerned about the plight of women, girls and persons living with disabilities and those who are otherwise at high risk.”

Lewis further indicated that “as far as practicable, the Trust intends to directly procure food and personal care items in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to boost the local economy with particular attention to small enterprises. Given the double challenge of dampened economic activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic and now the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano, we wish to do our part to keep the economy afloat as we respond to individuals in most need.”

Executive Director of the St. Vincent Cooperative Bank Mr Albert Porter has welcomed the partnership stating that “this is an interesting time in the country’s history and the bank is pleased to be playing a pivotal role in helping to bring people back on their feet in partnership with the UK-SVG Friendship Trust. The bank stands in solidarity with the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and will help to rebuild the nation in whatever way possible”

Mr. Porter also highlighted that “The St. Vincent co-operative bank is known as the peoples bank because of its good track record of accountability, trust and a people centric focus. It is because of this we can forge these types of partnerships to ensure that those who are most in need can have access to the help they deserve.

The La Soufriere volcano began erupting explosively on April 9, 2021 after months of continued effusive eruptions which began on December 27, 2020. The explosive eruptions have led to the displacement of thousands of people who live near the volcano and have significantly destroyed agriculture and infrastructure, mainly in the northern region of St. Vincent.

Please continue to follow us on our social media platforms for further updates.

WELCOME DONNA FRASER OBE OLY TO TEAM UK SVG Friends

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Four times Olympian for Team GB announced this week on LinkedIn that she is now an official Ambassador for the UK-SVG Friendship Trust.

As a British Vincentian, Donna will continue to use her platform to support our La Soufriere Volcanic Eruption – Recovery Assistance Programme (SVG-RAP) which aims to assist families and friends directly impacted and displaced due to the ongoing eruption.

Our team is ecstatic to work alongside this great champion!

Your donations will help to reach those in need and with Donna’s support, we will ensure that our women, young girls and those living with disabilities are given greater attention.

Remember to share our GoFundMe campaign link and find us on your favourite social media platform by searching for @uksvgfriends.

#StrongerTogether #UKSVGFriends#IdonatedtoSVG#DonatetoSVG

More donations on the ground, 40ft container shipped AND Amazon Wishlist donations. Let’s keep going!

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This week we have helped even more people on the ground including a donation of 1,500 Sanitary pad packs to the Ministry of National Mobilisation, Social Development, the Family, Gender Affairs, Youth Housing and Informal Settlement to buffer their various welfare interventions. This is on top of the 3,000 Sanitary packs and 300 food care packages distributed – you can see images in the gallery above.

But we have also sent off a Shipment from the UK this week including donations purchased by an Amazon Wish List link which was created by Mina, a member of our donor community. Mina was inspired to create the Wish List by Ava Vidal who had previously created a Wish List for another crisis. She appreciated that those wanting to donate would appreciate the ease and wanted to do her bit to ensure that St. Vincent and the Grenadines got the support it needed during this terrible time.

Mina’s Amazon Wish List generated £2,673 worth of much needed donations and the UK-SVG Friendship Trust are very grateful to her for all her efforts to raise awareness and donations for the La Soufrière Volcano Recovery Assistance Programme. You can see some of what was purchased in this video:

These donations have been shipped along with other emergency aid contributions. We would like to give a heartfelt thanks to Waypoint Shipping, SVG High Commission, Geest Line NCSVGA, volunteers, donors and fundraisers once again.

For further updates on how the funds are being spent and where your donations are going, please check our social media links here: https://linktr.ee/UKSVGFRIENDS

Please like, share and comment on our updates because we want to hear from you.

#HelpSVG #StrongerTogether #LaSoufriereEruption #UKSVGGofundme #DonatetoSVG

Approaching £100k

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This story has been cross-posted from https://uksvgfriends.org/2021/04/13/approaching-100k/.

Great news! We are inching closer and closer to £100,000 and with your continued support, we will get there soon.

However, we are excited that we have received official communications from the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines through the High Commission’s Office that our campaign has been officially endorsed. See photo below! This helps us to focus on what matters!

Thanks to new friends to the Trust like Björn and Gemma who reached out to us today after making a donation, we will be getting a spanking new website shortly to better communicate with you. Björn and Gemma from www.opendeved.net have volunteered their services to get this important work done.

We have heard, you want us to get this right and we promise we are in this for the long haul. #forMother Hairouna!