The Eden and Emelia Baptiste Memorial Foundation in collaboration with The Global Literacy Project last Wednesday handed over sixty-one thousand books in a forty foot container to the Ministry of Education.
President of the foundation, Angie Baptiste told the handing over ceremony that the donation was worth 1.4 million US dollars.
She gave an overview of the work of her foundation.
“We are a non-profit organization that has been dedicated to the progress and development of Dominica for over ten years. We cater to our fellow Dominicans in every capacity, such as providing hospital supplies and elderly care materials. We assist homeless shelters, Home for the Aged, the St. Joseph Health Centre among countless other charitable endeavours.”
The Global Literacy Project, Inc. (GLP) is a New Brunswick, New Jersey based non-profit and tax-exempt organization, conceptualized for the purpose of fostering community-based literacy initiatives throughout the world.
Baptiste explained that the books are to benefit primary and secondary schools in every corner of the island.
“One of the primary goals of the Eden and Emelia Baptiste Memorial Foundation is to make sure that every school in Dominica has a supply of books that would benefit every child. In February of this year our foundation donated a container filled with more than 11,000 books valued over four hundred thousand US dollars. We said that we would be back and now we are here in November with the help of God and The Global Literacy Project, along with assistance from Hon. Ambassador Vince Henderson, Minister for Education Hon. Petter Saint Jean, Hon. Kelver Darroux and Mr Evander Joseph with a second container filled with textbooks and work books covering a wide range of subjects for grades Pre K to Twelve.”
Minister for Education, Hon. Petter Saint Jean attended the ceremony. He told attendees that the donation ties in with the efforts of his ministry.
“This for me is a great day. I say that because, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development has been focusing seriously on improving reading within our schools. We are of the firm view that any child who is a good reader will excel in the other subject areas. Reading is the foundation for the advancement of any child and so the cooperation that has been established between the Eden and Emelia Baptiste Memorial Foundation and the Global Literacy Project in assisting the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development in ensuring that we can get age appropriate material to our students at our various schools is indeed noteworthy and I really want to commend you for the tremendous efforts that you have been making over the years.”
Hon Saint Jean assured the donors that their gift will certainly be put to good use and will touch every single primary school child on the island.
Also at that ceremony was Hon. Kelver Darroux who is Parliamentary Representative for the St. Joseph constituency from where the baptistes originate.
Hon Darroux was effusive in his praise for the initiative of the Eden and Emilia Baptiste Memorial Foundation.
“I must begin by expressing profound gratitude to the Eden and Emelia Baptiste Memorial Foundation for the tremendous support that they have given to this country over the last several years in particularly the community of St. Joseph which they hail from. As you know St. Joseph is one of the most vibrant communities on the island and having such a family coming from St. Joseph and making a contribution to Dominica’s children and its development is an [exceptional] feat and I must publicly thank you all for that. Over the years I have had the experience of attending several of the functions hosted by the Eden and Emelia Baptiste Foundation. I’m very impressed with the extent to which the foundation goes to provide materials for students especially in these hard times. In my recollection and in my discussions with Angie, she has always been enthusiastic about what she can do to make this country a better place. That is why they have made several donations over the last years to ensure that we can have development towards our health sector, our education sector, even the elderly among us and I must thank them for that.”
Hon. Darroux assured the foundation that he would be nominating them for the meritorious service award next year.
Evander Joseph who is the foundation’s local contact highlighted the extent of the group’s patriotism.
“Last year in February, they were here and they made a similar donation of books to the tune of 1.1 million dollars. They come every year and it seems this year they have doubled it by coming twice in one year and again to make a similar donation. The donations are books and several other gifts for the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and last year a whole truck of items for the Princess Margaret Hospital was donated to the Ministry of Health. They continue to do some marvellous, excellent work in Dominica that is too numerous to mention.”
The donation was officially handed over to students of the Roseau Primary School.
Angie Baptiste, the foundation’s President communicated that her organisation’s motive is to demonstrate the importance of giving.
“We are confident that the teachers and students receiving these books will make excellent use of them. It is a great honour that we are able to make this donation; we owe it all to the Lord. We thank God for our wonderful parents, Mr and Mrs Eden Baptiste for teaching us that it is better to give than to receive. People always think you need a lot of money to give but there are so many things that you can do and accomplish without money. You can be kind, loving and generous with whatever gift that God has given you. Anyone from any circumstances can practice giving and sharing and most of all loving one another as much as God loves us.”
Her advice to the students benefiting from the contribution is to pass the gift of sharing on to someone else.