Corporate SectorSt Lucia’s Corporate Sector is being reminded of its Social Responsibility in the development of its country and the wider Caribbean. This will be the focus of a luncheon being held for over 40 representatives from the country’s business sector on Tuesday February 21st at the Sandals La Toc Golf Resort and Spa. The event will be hosted by the Foundation for the Development of Caribbean Children (FDCC).

 

The objective of the luncheon is to formally introduce and sensitise Corporate Saint Lucia on the vision, mission and goals of the FDCC in providing quality early childhood development services especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young children in society.

The FDCC evolved from the successful 10-year-old Caribbean Child Support Initiative (CCSI) which was funded by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation (BvLF) and managed by the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD). The Foundation is based in Bridgetown, Barbados, with programmes and partners across the Eastern Caribbean, Belize and Jamaica.

During the week of February 20 - 23, 2012, the Chairman of the FDCC, Dr. Didacus Jules along with Trustees of the Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF) will be in Saint Lucia to see the impact of CCSI’s 10 year programming in Saint Lucia as well as to engage with the corporate sector and other interested players in promoting greater investment in quality support services for the most disadvantaged children and their families by partnering with the FDCC.

The theme of the Luncheon is: “Giving Back: The importance of Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility in Moving the Development Agenda Forward”. The featured speaker will be Mr. Rien van Gendt, former Executive Director of the Van Leer Group Foundation (2002-2007). He worked as Head of Programme in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris. He also serves on the Boards of several foundations, not for profit organizations and corporations like Board Source (USA), Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (USA) and the Jewish Humanitarian Fund (the Netherlands). A Question and Answer session will follow his address to include Ms. Jacqueline Tammenoms-Bakker, also from the BvLF Board of Trustees.

At the core of the FDCC’s operations, is a focus on strengthening the care environment of vulnerable children between zero to five, living in disadvantaged communities throughout the region. The FDCC envisions a Caribbean where young children from all social and economic backgrounds have equal opportunities to reach their maximum potential. Its mission is to significantly increase the number of disadvantaged children who acquire the knowledge and skills to prepare them for entry into primary school and lifelong learning by accessing good quality early childhood development services.

The Roving Caregivers Programme (RCP) is the FDCC’s flagship programme in Saint Lucia. The RCP was supported by CCSI and BvLF over the past 6 years and will continue to benefit from the financial and technical support of the FDCC. One of the FDCC’s goals is to extend the reach of quality ECD services to children aged 0-3 years. Currently, the RCP in St. Lucia is providing services for over 400 children (aged 0-3 years). With FDCC’s support, by 2015, an additional 1500 children will benefit from the RCP and FDCC’s support services.

The FDCC presents a socially-responsible investment (SRI) option for corporations, organisations and individuals who want to invest finances or volunteer skills and time in the provision of social support services dedicated to children. Compelling social and economic research shows that well-focused early childhood development programmes yield high and sustained returns for both the public and private sectors. The CCSI has a proven track record of improving the care environment of over 10,000 at-risk children in the Caribbean; and the FDCC expects to reach another 15,000 disadvantaged children age 0-5 years by 2015.