Clean water, sanitary facilities and good hygiene practices are all integrally linked to a child’s right to an education, which is why the Sandals Foundation is partnering with local and international organisations to invest in upgrading the water systems in several schools across the Caribbean.
Last Friday, the nonprofit partnered with the Rotaract Club of Grenada to hand over the first of these water catchment systems to students and staff at the Park View Preschool (located in Queen’s Park, St George), ensuring that the new school year will see an improved and healthier learning environment. The foundation will soon hand over a similar system to the Beaulieu RC Primary School. These systems will benefit over 350 students annually.
Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke said the project is a step in the right direction toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030.
“Improving access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation is critical to creating proper learning environments for our children. SDG Goal 6 calls for organisations across the globe to work together to ensure access to safe and sustainable water sources and sanitation for all. We want to work toward ensuring that children in this region have ongoing access to water in their schools in order to avoid the spread of preventable diseases and missed school days. We are grateful to our partners for working alongside us to make this happen,” Clarke said.
The World Health Organisation has found that climate change also represents a threat to water and sanitation systems, especially for the most vulnerable populations such as children.
Similarly, Rotaract has placed this important developmental concern on their priority list. “Water sanitation and hygiene is one of our core focus areas and as such, it is definitely gratifying, knowing that this life resource, can be made available for use, for the students and teachers,” shared Arkera Lessey, Outgoing President of Rotaract Grenada.
She continued, “We are very delighted to be able to provide support to the Park View Preschool. We heard their stories and with the support of Sandals Foundation, we made a difference, by taking action.”
This act of change and improvement was very well received by the school. Gail Blackette, teacher in charge of the Park View Preschool, expressed immense gratitude for this added convenience, “Thank you, and thank you, 1000 thousand thank yous to Sandals Foundation and Rotaract for making this happen for us. It will come in handy especially during the dry season when there is no water and we had to close the school. Now that problem is solved.”
The Sandals Foundation, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, has partnered with organisations such as Coca Cola to provide similar systems to other schools in Jamaica.