Caribbean Grains donates $4,000 to UBUNTU Movement’s SEEDS Community Resource Centre


Caribbean Grains Saint Lucia donated $4,000 to the UBUNTU Movement’s SEEDS Community Resource Centre in Vieux Fort this week-proceeds from the company’s recent participation in the Saint Lucia-Taiwan Partnership Trade Show.

This social intervention, aimed at redirecting youthful energies towards more positive outcomes, further demonstrates the impact of government, civil society and private sector collaboration, the Government of Saint Lucia noted in a post this week.

“Caribbean Grains submitted an application to participate in the Saint Lucia-Taiwan Partnership Trade Show. Since the company is not small it was a challenge, but like we have done in the past we made exceptions for certain companies to participate and we allowed Caribbean Grains’ participation because we believe that it was an opportunity for the company to create some brand awareness,” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce Sophia Alfay-Henry, said, adding that “quite a few persons in Saint Lucia are not aware that there is a flour mill located right here in Vieux Fort.”

Noting that the Ministry helps businesses advertise their products and that the partnership trade show allows individuals to promote and buy local, Alfay-Henry said “it was a great opportunity for Caribbean Grains.”

Ultimately, she said, the company decided it would donate the money from “every package of flour sold; we’re very happy the company agreed to make that donation to the UBUNTU Movement …  the SEED Resource Centre was recently established and it has a very important purpose and that is to develop our young people in Vieux Fort.”

SEEDS (also known as Seeds for Justice: Peace and Economic Prosperity) is a collaborative consultancy group intent on facilitating restorative social justice and healing across Saint Lucia beginning with the Vieux Fort community.

The collaboration includes the UBUNTU Movement, Citizens for Peace and Prosperity (Dr. Stephen King) and Safe Spaces (Betty Jean).

Priest Kailash Leonce, a representative from the UBUNTU Movement said that, “when we heard what was happening in Vieux Fort – it came to the point where you had babies being murdered, it touched my wife sincerely to the point that we had to actually see what we could do to help to alleviate the situation. That is how myself, Dr. King, Mr. Dhanpaul and Betty Jean came together.”

According to him, from inception “our first step was speaking with the women … and everyone just wanted peace. After six months we were blessed to see some statistics from the Prime Minister’s Office that showed that there was a sharp decrease in violence and criminal activity in Vieux Fort.”

“I give thanks for that opportunity and I pray that the relationship grows. SEEDS represent partnership… that space where people could come together and help to uplift whatever we are doing in the south,” Leonce added.

Commerce Minister Emma Hippolyte
Commerce Minister Emma Hippolyte

Commerce Minister Emma Hippolyte also spoke on the situation in Vieux Fort noting that it cannot be changed by government alone.

“As Minister for Commerce, I’m extremely pleased to be here because what I’m seeing is what we’ve been asking for a partnership between (the) private sector, civil society and government. I want to take a moment to thank in a big way the Honourable Priest Kailash and Dr. King for the work that you have done in the past and continue to do in terms of transforming the lives of our young people.”

“As individuals and civil society, we need to look around us to the things that are not working well and ask the Lord to guide us in terms of how He uses us to transform our community. What is happening in Vieux Fort cannot be changed only by government. I am pleased that (the) private sector has joined hands to examine the landscape and determine how best to change what is happening,” Hippolyte added.

She also noted that Dr. Kenny D. Anthony (Parliamentary Representative for Vieux Fort South), wishes to see a change in the community as well.

Said Hippolyte: “I know the issue impacting Vieux Fort touches at the core. You could see that he really wants a transformation; he has served the people of Vieux Fort for approximately 25 years and he really wants us to move from where we are now especially as it impacts families and our young persons.”

Eddie Antoine, Chief Financial Officer at Caribbean Grains, for his part, said the company simply wants “to give back.”

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