***Source- Caribbean News Now, News Editor, first published Jan 30, 2023
Release – Under the theme ‘Enabling Sustainable Futures- Be The One To Make The Change”, Republic Bank on Wednesday, January 25th unveiled its 2023 Power To Make A Difference (PMAD) partners within the East Caribbean Territories.
PMAD is Republic Bank’s overarching social investment programme built on the knowledge that the bank has the power to make a difference by empowering others to learn, help, care and succeed. It is done through collaboration with advocacy groups in the pursuit of building successful and sustainable societies.
The in-person event was held in St. Kitts, with token handovers occurring last week in the other territories of Anguilla, Dominica, St. Maarten, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Following the pre-event cocktail, welcome remarks were delivered by the General Manager Legal Department/Corporate Secretary of Republic Bank (EC) Ltd Group and PMAD Executive Champion – Janelle Bernard. This was followed by a video presentation of Republic Bank EC’s Corporate Social Responsibility Journey, a message from PMAD Advisory Council and a feature address by Republic Bank (EC) Managing Director, Michelle Palmer.
In explaining the introduction of the program to the East Caribbean islands, and the process of the partner selection, PMAD Advisory Council member Pierre Liburd, explained that the bank recognized the need to quickly augment its institutional knowledge of the region’s diverse community development ecosystems and therefore constituted an External Advisory Council comprising persons from the various islands with decades of experience in grant writing, project implementation, community service, local knowledge and expertise.
The highlight of the event was the announcement of the sixteen (16) partners who will be walking hand in hand with Republic Bank to spearhead social transformation in our East Caribbean territories.
Two partners were selected in Anguilla – The Rotary Club of Anguilla, spearheading, the “Cool Green Learning Scene” project to give communities easier access to affordable, renewable green energy; and the Anguilla Cancer Society whose initiative is to provide continued public awareness and psychosocial support for cancer victims in Anguilla.
Likewise in Dominica, two partners were selected, the first being the West Dominica Children’s Federation Inc, giving young boys grades 3-6 career counselling, environmental awareness, traditional cultural practices, basic life skills and health and wellness education; and the second, The Rotary Club of Portsmouth whose project will not only save the bees but give young women the opportunity to undertake sustainable beekeeping.
On the island of St. Maarten, The K1 Britannia Foundation, whose program provides workforce entry-level youth, access to a Training & Social Development Program, was selected as a PMAD partner, in addition to Freegan Food Foundation, targeting food security in times of emergencies and economic hardship via a well-stocked foodbank that eliminates wastage.
Four PMAD partners were selected for Saint Lucia, the St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association whose project will help lower preventable blindness by improving diagnostic capabilities and access to services; The National Council of and for Persons With Disabilities Inc, through the provision of technology, making learning more inclusive and less ableist; The Daren Sammy Foundation supporting disadvantaged families with scholarships that include tuition payments, school supplies including stationery, uniforms and shoes; and Orbtronics whose project will better enable Saint Lucian youth to be ready for employment and entrepreneurship in the world of AI and robotics.
For the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, three PMAD Partners, The Rotary Club of St. Vincent through the provision of a new school bus to help students get to school; St. Martin’s Secondary School providing at-risk youth with training and psychosocial support to make them more employable; and the Rotaract Club of Kingstown through promoting literacy, improving access to books and cultivating a spirit of generosity among primary school-aged children.
Live announcements were made of St. Kitts and Nevis PMAD partners by Country Manager Pamela Herbert-Daniel. They are the St. Kitts & Nevis Association of Persons With Disabilities, with an upcycling and recycling of plastics project; The Business and Professional Women St. Kitts, whose project is helping to lower the non-communicable diseases (NCD) rate among working women with regular cancer screenings and proactive health management; and The William Marcus Natta Memorial Scholarship Fund which will be enhancing the learning and playing environment of children in underserved community schools.
Managing Director Michelle Palmer, in applauding the new partners, captured the spirit of PMAD, stating; “Republic Bank wants to invite the whole Caribbean region to bear witness to the power of one regional thrust, by one corporate entity, supporting a diverse array of changemakers on the ground. Please follow closely the progress of our Power To Make A Difference Partners in your respective islands as they hasten our achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. We look forward to this momentum continuing into the following year with even more activists, NGOs and community leaders applying for the next cycle of Republic Bank’s Power To Make A Difference. Our Bank has demonstrated our commitment to this Region and now we are confident that it is sufficient to prove to even the most skeptical that anyone, from even the humblest beginnings, can Be The One, To Make The Change.”