The dream of a single mother of two is about to come true thanks to a partnership between Events Company of Saint Lucia (ECSL) and Cabot Cares.
Cabot, Wednesday, donated ECD $20,000 to ECSL which will go towards the completion of its ‘Beauty With A Purpose, Home for Jessica’ project.
Launched in November of last year, the project, ECSL revealed, was part of a ‘Miss World’ initiative.
“As part of our preparation to present on an international stage, it was required that our national representative (Tyler Theophane) engage in charity work on the ground to help build her character and establish a footprint of social work,” Mineva Ross, Public Relations Officer of ECSL, said.
Jessica Gaillard was later identified. Desperately in need of a home for herself and her two sons who both suffer with mental and developmental delays, Gaillard gladly accepted ECSL’s offer.
“Our search brought us to the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth Development, Sports, and Local Government where we were presented with a case file for Jessica Gaillard of Soufriere, a single, young unemployed mother,” Ross said.
ECSL agreed to undertake the construction of a small house for Gaillard and her sons with support from other state agencies, including the St. Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF) and the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation (SRDF), both providing technical and construction services for the project.
Invest Saint Lucia donated a plot of land in Pierrot, Vieux Fort, to accommodate the new home for Gaillard. Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) and private businesses also helped resource the project which was featured on the Miss World platforms leading up to the 2021 Miss World Pageant.
“We broke ground on November 18, 2021, however, there has been and is a need for more investment. On this basis, we approached Cabot Cares and they have graciously agreed to provide us with funding to assist with completing the home. They’ve invested ECD $22,000 which is the largest single cash investment in the project,” Ross said.
Chief Executive Officer of ECSL Lorraine Sidonie also thanked Cabot for the donation, stating that it had recognised the importance of the project and therefore embraced the opportunity.
“Cabot Cares, they really do, and we’re so happy that they care enough to present us with this cheque which will allow us to complete the house for Miss Gaillard; she is part of the Welfare Services Unit and Disability Programme,” Sidonie said, adding that “at the time when we were looking to see what charitable venture we (could) embark on, she was unfortunately evicted from her rental home in Soufriere so it presented us with quite a good opportunity.”
“I need to specifically mention Invest St Lucia because admittedly we approached them late and they still came on board and they did so in a big way. The land which was donated by Invest St Lucia (is) a beautiful plot of land (6000 square feet). With all those sponsors and contributions we did quite a bit,” Sidonie said.
“We’ve done the foundation for the house, we’ve done exterior walls, some interior walls, the roofing of course; the house is even painted. It’s painted in a colour developed by Harris Paints for Tyler Theophane called Tyler’s blush,” Sidonie added.
“We’ve reached as far as we could so now we usher in Cabot Cares. We have electrical work to do, plumbing, a sewage system, we need to put furniture, fixtures, fittings, the whole works, so we’re extremely grateful for that $22,000 (and) we will stretch it as much as possible,” ECSL’s CEO said.
Further, she stated, “I know Cabot Cares is big on sustainability so we’re happy to say that there is a sustainable arm to this project. We’re hoping to make sure that Jessica is in a position to feed her family, herself, and to earn an income from farming activities in particular.”
Chester Hinkson, a member of the Cabot Cares advisory committee who presented the cheque to ECSL said Cabot’s main objective is to inspire and empower.
“It is very heartening to see that this initiative has had the support of a broad section of the society. This is precisely how we develop our community together, so Cabot Cares welcomes the opportunity to play its part in contributing to the completion of the home for Jessica,” he said, adding “there are many Jessicas out there.”
“I am more than proud to stand here today to be part of this presentation, something that will hopefully change Jessica’s life for good,” he added.
Once the house has been completed, ECSL is expected to hand over the project to other local organisations who will be responsible for developing and implementing a sustainability programme for Jessica and her family.
The house is scheduled for completion and handover by Wednesday June 15th, 2022.