Sandals Resorts and Sandals Foundation: Empowering People
Investing in the community
Sandals Resorts International created Sandals Foundation, and it has this philosophy: We have seen that when we invest in one person, we are empowering an entire network of people – their families, friends, communities, and nations who are all set to benefit from their contributions.
“The best part of being involved in this work is knowing that at the end of the day, despite the hard work and sometimes significant challenges, we are helping to make people’s lives better,” said Joseph Wright, Great Shape! Inc, Executive Director.
The challenges that face the Caribbean are as diverse and complex as the people they affect. The communities must battle issues such as poverty, inequality, and violence each day. By working closely with government agencies, civic leaders, and private donors, Sandals is helping to create new sustainable solutions that empower at-risk youth, women, local entrepreneurs, and the underprivileged.
Sandals Programs & Projects
The School of Business Entrepreneurs (Entrepreneurship Training)
“Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.” Entrepreneurial training is designed to provide individuals to develop the requisite skills to identify, start, and nurture successful business, creating employment opportunities for themselves and other members of their communities.
Authentic youth engagement benefits communities, organizations, and nations at large. The ability to positively engage at-risk youths is critical to ensuring a positive future for any nation. Young people benefit and gain life skills and academic opportunities through sports, music, skills training, and other intervention programs.
Pre-term babies born in Antigua have a greater fighting chance following the donation of 2 comprehensive Infant Care Centres from the Sandals Foundation (valued at almost $20,000) to the Pediatric Unit of the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre. These machines provide critical care to pre-term babies when the need arises. To date, 299 babies have used these units.
One of the most important aspects of strong communities is good health, and, therefore, Sandals Foundation has been working assiduously alongside medical facilities like Mount St. John’s to help build their capacity by providing access to training, donations of much-needed equipment, and donations of updated technology which link local hospitals to international ones.
These Infant Care Centre machines provide critical care, such as temperature control, monitoring of vitals, weighing, and respiratory assistance to preterm babies when deemed necessary.
Flanker’s Music Program
The Flanker Marching Band is a group of promising youths from the inner city – Flanker community in Montego Bay, Jamaica. During Mega Fam trips, travel agents came together to donate to the Flanker’s Resource Center.
Funding for this program has provided new musical instruments and repair to existing instruments, lessons and tools for weekly theory and practical classes, uniforms for band members, a band coordinator, and examination fees for theory level exams. The band is now performing at a level where it has been paid to play at Sandals Montego Bay area resorts once a week.
“Over my years of musical experience, I have known of organizations assisting with a level of help towards band programs, but Sandals Foundation has taken their quality of assistance to a different level. I’m proud that Sandals Foundation has been the first to have gone through such great lengths to revive the Flanker Marching Band Program,” said Mikel Turner, Band Director.
“Before being part of the band, I didn’t really know how to be a part of a team and how to believe in myself and my abilities. The band gives me something to look forward to and a positive way to express myself,” said band member Renaldo Hendrick.
The Sandals Foundation has made a commitment to the entire Caribbean region to respond promptly to national emergencies caused by natural disasters.
The Foundation lobbies support from resort guests, trade partners, travel agents, suppliers, and other organizations to bring relief to communities affected by disaster. Additionally, local organizations that are on the ground are engaged to ensure efforts are sustainable.
Sandals Foundation continues its partnership with the SickKids Foundation Caribbean program, impacting the islands of the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines. The goal is to provide training and resources to better diagnose and treat children with cancer and serious blood disorders across the Caribbean.
The Sandals Foundation has been instrumental in funding 3 main initiatives:
Creating a telemedicine room in St. Lucia so local medical experts can present patient cases to SickKids for advice, as well as connect doctors at neighboring islands.
Training of a pediatric oncologist, Dr. Chantelle Browne, who will return to her home country, Barbados, after completing a 2-year fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and become the second pediatric oncologist in the Eastern Caribbean.
“As part of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at SickKids, I will have an opportunity to observe and become immersed in the management of over 22,000 annual patient visits to the Sears Cancer Clinic and the approximately 350 children whom are newly diagnosed with cancer each year in Toronto,” said Dr. Chantelle Brown.
Women Helping Others Achieve (WHOA)
The Sandals Foundation and The Bob Marley Foundation have joined forces to address the chronic issue of gender inequality in the Caribbean. WHOA provides support, mentorship, education, and skills training to empower marginalized women across the region.