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‘Do Nation Foundation’ Aims to Make a Difference!

By Reginald Andrew

A recently launched philanthropic group is seeking to eradicate social ills within the Gros Islet Community. The group will also be reaching out to deprived persons in the society.

The group’s core objective is to offer assistance through volunteerism and to utilize a holistic approach that involves ‘highly skilled volunteer professionals’ to carry out its mandate in becoming a referral Centre.

According to the Foundation, its “one –stop location” intends to offer holistic and client-centered care and services to various disenfranchised populations, inclusive of but not limited to victims of violence and abuse, the poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable in society.Executive Director, Claudia Niles, at Sunday’s launch, informed that the group was conceived five months ago and its mantra embodies the community tradition of the ‘Koudmein’ spirit – in lending a hand to assist underprivileged persons.

“How can we volunteer our time to give at least an hour or two of our professional lives to make a difference in the lives of the people around us, the less fortunate, the ones who are suffering and the ones with no voice – how are we going to make an impact?” she asked.

Niles asserted that it was time to “reignite the spirit of volunteerism” within the communities.

She added that other services Do Nation intends to offer will include counselling, rehabilitation for troubled youths and teaching single parents different skills.

The executive director also touched on the issue of job placement to assist unemployed youth “with very little education background …and some just barely completing secondary school, but do we leave them by the wayside.”

Nonetheless, Niles said, there is “always hope and a light at the end of the tunnel.” She said the agenda would also include “community projects designed to foster positive change in our society and a triage of service before referral.”

The Foundation’s motto, she said, embraces the slogan: “One person at a time, to bring the change in the lives of the most vulnerable and becoming more resilient in the process.”

The collaborating agencies in this initiative, includes – Ministry of Equity, Social Services, Local Government and Empowerment; Girls Who Brunch Tour; Baby Village; and Good Deeds Day.

Nicole Mitchell, Founder and CEO of Girls who Brunch, USA via video conference call urged residents to support the Foundation, “support your community …and help make a difference in someone’s life.”

In her presentation, Founder of the Do Nation Foundation, Diane Felicien lamented that society has failed in its attempts to eradicate social ills within the community.

Referring to the hardships that she and her family experienced growing up at Trou Rouge, Marchand and their void expectations, she said: “Others continue to be optimistic that society will come together and advocate against these ills that it deems social.”

Felicien added, “It is the hope that all of us …will stand, leaders and all and realise that our failed attempts to eradicate the root cause of our social misfortunes” is under review.

She said the initiative involves “providing families with hampers and unnecessary recognition of social media …we have cultured to ignore the effect of the fundamental issues shared by society and these at many times beyond the control of individuals.’

Citing the need for greater social intervention to mitigate against a disjointed society, Felicien declared: “The impact of a fragmented social structure, a challenged health sector, a system where justice hardly ever prevail and a disheartening state of mental health and wellbeing where ‘real issues’ are swept under the carpet.”

Consequently, she said, the situation arose “where there was a dire need for sweepers to remove the rubble …and this was the genesis of Do Nation Foundation.”

Felicien explained that the group is “more than an organization, but a foundation with an objective to create stronger foundations amongst families, amongst communities across the nation and eventually a home to touch the world.”

Reiterating the foundation’s core values, she said, “It is a wholesome approach that involves volunteerism and a desire to see social change. Volunteerism and social reform go hand–in-hand because in reality, through volunteerism we come face to face with the challenges that exist in the nooks and crannies of the communities.”

The Do Nation Foundation Executive consists of the following persons; CEO/ Founder – Diane Felicien, Executive Director- Claudia Niles, Secretray – Sharon Montoute, Assistant Secretary –Modestus Louis, Community Liaison – Yealeen Comeau, Youth Coordinator – Joelle Louisy, and Assistant Youth Coordinator – Aiden Vincent.

The Directors include ; PR &Marketing – Damally Esteve-St Ange, Projects – Clyelle Flavius, Human Resource – Maurice Francis, Finance – Jeanique Louis, and Research/Proposal – Kashar Daniel.

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