The Sandals Foundation is celebrating 10 years of fulfilling its promise to the Caribbean community of investment in sustainable projects that improve schools and build capacity in the education system, restore and conserve marine wildlife and help marginalized people transform their lives through training and other community development programs.
A 10-year goal
Over the next decade, the Foundation is planning to double down on protecting the Caribbean ecosystem and bringing its 14,000 employees and customers together to support more than 120 projects and programs annually across Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Turks & Caicos.
“Our goal has always been simple – to unite the Caribbean region, elevate its people, and protect its delicate ecosystem – and I am so proud of how far we’ve come in our first decade,” said Adam Stewart, deputy chairman of Sandals Resorts International and president of the Sandals Foundation. “To build on our momentum and bring even more awareness to importance of supporting the Caribbean, we are tapping into the power of social media to launch a campaign to galvanize the world to join in our efforts.”
A social media campaign for guests
Called #FaceTheCaribbean, guests across the company’s 19 Sandals and Beaches Resorts will have the opportunity to change the face of the Caribbean for generations to come – whether they choose to donate in support of a particular project, participate in the Pack for a Purpose® program and bring needed supplies to local schools, purchase merchandise and items from Caribbean Artisan Collections available in the Sandals and Beaches Resort Shops or get hands on through unique voluntourism excursions, such as the Reading Road Trip, that take them directly into local communities.
Since its inception in 2009, the Sandals Foundation has worked with its extensive network of donors, volunteers, partners (including the Canadian travel trade industry), team members and social media activists to build schools, outfit computer labs and libraries, foster youth engagement through sports programs, manage marine protected areas, offer free medical, dental and eye care, provide women with the tools they need to thrive, and much more.
To date, the Foundation has raised $11,182,955, impacting well over 850,000 people in the region, with the overall dollar amount of projects and programs implemented valued at over 58 million dollars.
Focusing on the environment
In the years that follow, the Sandals Foundation will largely focus on preserving and protecting fragile Caribbean environments and marine life.
"The Caribbean Sea connects more than 700 islands and coastlines, which is a source of livelihood for thousands of people. The role we all play in supporting protected areas and teaching the next generation the importance of caring for their precious environment is crucial now more than ever,” said Heidi Clarke, executive director of the Sandals Foundation. “The Sandals Group of companies and Sandals Foundation have intensified our efforts by reducing plastic pollution through our operations and in our communities as well as ensuring we engage all the key stakeholders in our efforts.”
The Foundation pledges to strengthen the resilience of coral reefs in the region, with a commitment to plant 30,000 coral fragments onto reef systems over the next 10 years.
As part of this, locals will receive training in coral restoration, and guests at Sandals and Beaches Resorts will be able to participate in coral planting dives.
To learn more about past and current projects at The Sandals Foundation, click here.
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