Holy Family children’s care home, St Lucia: Library Conversion

The Holy Family children’s care home in Gros Islet, St Lucia, made an appeal in November for help. Their primary need was to create more desk space in the current ‘library’ for the children to use computers.

The care home looks after 18 children, 24 hours a day, except when they are in school. Their ages range from one to 16. They are in the care home largely because they have been abandoned or abused and so no longer have suitable parents. There are 12 staff in total; this may seem a large number but some of them work on a rotational basis as they have to stay overnight to look after the children.

As soon as I heard about this very sad but very worthy charity, it felt obvious to help. They were initially asking for just £500. This would go towards the materials and labour to reconfigure the room and put in more ‘work stations’. The second phase will be to redecorate the room.

When I first visited the home in early December, I was amazed at how dedicated the staff were, notably Sister Anthonia David. And also how much sheer love and fun the children were getting from the staff and the home. As I appeared at the door initially, I was mobbed by half a dozen children under 6, who were just looking for love and attention; it was really quite emotional.

Winchester Rotary trustees agreed that we could use £500 of the £1600 donation I had obtained from Riviera Travel (which has close links with Rotary). So, no monies came from members or the Trust Fund. The Rotary Club of Gros Islet (RCGI) would oversee the work and would eventually help with the decoration.

RCGI arranged a mini-handover ceremony for Friday 8 December. I handed over £500 in local cash (East Caribbean Dollars) so they could purchase the materials and start the work.

The reconfiguring work is due to be completed by early January.

For additional photos, please see here.

Richard Spalding handing over £500 to Sr Anthonia
Handover ceremony participants (from Holy Family children’s care home and Rotary Club of Gros Islet)

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