by Linda Straker
Although he was not presented at the launch, a new non-governmental organisation has been launched in the name of Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, and the Board of Directors has given the assurance that the entity is a non-political gesture established to assist needy persons.
“You don’t have any colours with this Foundation,” declared Sir Royston Hopkin, Chairman of the Board of the Directors of the Keith Mitchell Foundation Inc., which was launched on Monday, 22 February 2016, at the Spice Island Beach Resort.
“This Foundation is non-political, and as funds flow into the foundation, there will be a Committee doing an assessment to determine the recipients of the funds,” said the Chairman, who explained that the Foundation’s first set of funds is money generated through the recently launched book “Words in Service.” Sold at EC$50, the book is a collection of speeches delivered by Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell at various events. It is published by Ronald “Pappy” Charles.
Sir Royston said that to date, the money generated is in safe-keeping, because the legal work for establishing the foundation as a non-governmental organisation is not yet completed. “However, we as a board have all agreed that this Foundation will not be limited to raising funds here — we will not take a micro approach — planet earth will be our source of funding, as we are looking way beyond setting a target, and giving each person EC$200 or EC$300,” he said.
Tight-lipped on the amount of money generated so far, Dr Elliot McGuire, who is assigned as the Treasurer of the Foundation, indicated that the intention is to “bring it up to EC$100,000.” As an NGO, financial legislation requires that its annual financial report be presented to the registrar of companies annually.
The aim of the Foundation is to assist needy persons, and its initial focus will be in the areas of health and education, but as more funds become available it will spread out to other areas, including that of community projects. “But right now to start, our focus will be on persons or individual needs,” said Jerome McQuilkin — another member of the Board.
The members also anticipate that the Foundation will be registered in other parts of the world, so that companies who donate to it will be able to claim tax credit.
The other members of the Board of Directors are: Hon. Jean Augustine, Ronald Charles, and Kent Mitchell.