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Rotary Wheelchair Project Gets Big-time Tourism Enhancement

By Marius Modeste
Image: Rotary’s 5th female President, former Banker Soraya Warner-Gustav received the cheque from Mr Azeez on behalf of the club.

THE Rotary Clubs of Saint Lucia recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association’s Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).

Former Rotary President Konrad Wagner introduced Mr NooraniAzeez, the Consultant and Representative of the TEF and also the Club’s Guest Speaker to the Membership .

Image: Rotary’s 5th female President, former Banker Soraya Warner-Gustav received the cheque from Mr Azeez on behalf of the club.
Rotary’s 5th female President, former Banker Soraya Warner-Gustav received the cheque from Mr Azeez on behalf of the club.

“Today we are benefiting from a project supported by Mr. Azeez, which started during his stewardship at the SLHTA,” Wagner said.

The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) is a private sector initiative established in 2013, designed to allow the tourism industry a greater opportunity to play an integral role in the sustainable development of our destination.

TEF is financed by a small, voluntary donation from guests of US$2 per night that goes towards community development and environmental projects and actions which will affect the livelihood of our current and future generations.

By collecting a small voluntary fee from visitors, the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) is able to support projects specific to ensuring that our island is clean and safe for visitors and residents alike, including the beautification of specific areas of Saint Lucia.

In his address, Azeez said “We have developed several other projects like, ‘Jus Sail’ — Youth Development progamme helping young men learn how to sail — and also, we have created a WhatsApp platform for some four hundred farmers and hotels enabling them to sell directly to the hotels.”

Azeez continued, “After months of discussion, I am pleased to announce TEF will back the Wheelchair Project to the tune of $12,000, which will be delivered in three tranches of $40,000.”

Accepting the cheque, the Club’s fifth female President, former Banker Soraya Warner-Gustave, said: “Disabilities affect entire families, emotionally, physically and financially.

“In recognition, we strive to provide this simple but impactful resource that improves mobility, encourages independence, and by extension enhances the overall quality of life for these individuals and their families.

“This significant contribution, will enable us to fulfill what we consider to be an obligation to serve this particular unit in society, and to provide hundreds of wheelchairs to children, teenagers and adults within our communities with these physical disabilities. We are truly grateful for this partnership”

The Wheelchair project, which began some fifteen years ago with the Wheelchair Foundation, has delivered over five hundred wheelchairs to needy persons on the island.

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