Felicity is a writer and blogger who lives on the island of Bequia. She has asked me to forward this appeal for aid to the victims of the recent volcanic eruption in the region.
If you are in a position to help, please use the link.
On April 9, disaster struck the small island nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines when the La Soufriere volcano erupted. The country was already experiencing significant economic hardship from a steep decline in tourism due to the COVID 19 pandemic. In response, I am pleased to report that the Community Foundation for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (CFSVG) and its generous donors have raised over $70,000 US to date to support direct disaster relief efforts.
I am part of a multi-generational Vincentian family that maintains a strong allegiance and concern for the welfare of the country. About ten years, we were part of a group of committed individuals who started CFSVG as an organization through which primarily American donors could make tax-exempt donations to support important efforts to improve the lives of Vincentians. Since that time CFSVG has worked to support a wide variety of excellent organizations on the ground in Bequia and Saint Vincent. Our Vice President Karen Hinds, one of the founders of CFSVG, is originally from Saint Vincent and brings many of the opportunities for support on Saint Vincent to our attention.
Recently we’ve been working closely with our donors to raise funds for the volcano humanitarian crisis. The organizations CFSVG has been supporting for their on-the-ground efforts in both Saint Vincent and Bequia include: Rise Up Bequia, an organization primarily composed of young locals who want to make a difference; Action Bequia, a community-development and ecological improvement organization, comprising both local Bequians and non-locals with a local Board; and the Rotary Club of Saint Vincent, which is also part of the on-the ground humanitarian efforts.
For those of you who have so generously donated to CFSVG, your support is helping to begin restoring a sense of safety and security to Vincentian families who have been feeling so displaced and disrupted.
As always, Rise Up and Action Bequia rely on the assistance of their amazing volunteers and friends for their exceptional relief efforts during this humanitarian crisis. They also rely, in part, on the generosity of the many donors to CFSVG.
CFSVG continues to be amazed by the acts of solidarity and caring that pour out of the hearts of people over the humanitarian disaster that has befallen this group of Caribbean islands.
Bequia is now home to over 170 displaced people. This week, Rise Up Bequia is focusing on providing relief for these refugees families, many of whom have very young children. The organization has been receiving supplies and preparing boxes of care items, ranging from children’s food, pampers and women’s essentials. In addition, they haven’t forgotten the snacks and stuffed animals for the little ones. Rise Up’s team of volunteers are also busy getting clothing sorted to send to shelters and families on the mainland.
Action Bequia has been involved in many efforts to ensure people have fresh water. This includes facilitating the entry with customs of private tugs bringing water from Martinique and Guadeloupe, and truckloads of water delivered to Hamilton and Paget Farm. They’ve also provided thousands of dollars’ worth of food vouchers as well as mattresses, pillows and bedding to the many of the disabled who have moved in with friends and family, and also to the general population of refugees. They’ve given over $20,000 in matching funding to organizations who are agile and swift in their delivery of humanitarian aid to the mainland including Rise Up Bequia and the Red Cross. They’ve supplied mops, buckets and cleaning materials to people in many of the shelters on the mainland. In a three-way partnership with Rise Up and Bequia Threadworks they’ve filled 100 special reusable bags and made 150 masks embroidered with From Bequia With Love.
Please understand this is an ongoing humanitarian crises and the dire need for donations and disaster relief aid will likely continue for weeks, if not months.
If you are interested in donating please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org