NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS — Private sector businesses, groups and individuals in Nevis have been commended by officials at the Department of Social Services and the Ministry of Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) for their overwhelming show of empathy and generosity.
Mrs. Sandra Maynard-Morton, Director of the department, spoke to the Department of Information on July 28, 2021, about the private sector’s response to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic since its introduction to Nevis in 2020.
“I was very, very pleased at the level of compassion that came from the private sector and their willingness to just give to people in these times, and yes we welcome the collaboration. It means that we can do more and reach a wider section of the population. Very good response seen, sometimes unsolicited from business houses and organizations who care enough to give to the vulnerable during the crisis,” she said.
Mrs. Maynard-Morton, noted that since the onset of the crisis apart from the government’s ongoing provisions to those affected by the pandemic, the department has done medium to large scale collaborations so far with the Republic Bank, SL Horsford and Company Limited, the Jamaican Kittitian/Nevisian Association and Oualie Funeral Home, and more recently in 2021 with Yachtsman Grill, and Amory Enterprises.
The department is in the process of negotiating with two more organizations, one in the United States and one locally, in order to bring much needed assistance to families.
The Department of Social Services official also spoke of assistance from other organisations.
“UNICEF would have generously allowed aid through our Second Chance Teen Mothers skills training programme for unemployed teen mothers in the latter half of 2020. Smaller scale donations are allowed through small businesses and individuals and churches. The numbers of persons benefiting can range from 10 up to 300,” she said.
Mrs. Maynard-Morton added that the private enterprises who have been donating would either solicit a list of names from the department based on a stipulated assistance criteria and handle their own distribution or donate to the department directly for affected individuals and families.
As a result, clients are now asked regularly for signed permission to share information for the non-government assistance. She stated that food and sanitary care items are currently the predominant choice of assistance items from the private sector.
Meantime, in an invited comment, Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Social Development, said he too is pleased with the support from the private sector, groups and individuals for persons displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic as the ministry and department continue to navigate and respond to the challenges it poses.
The minister noted that COVID-19 is not only a government problem but one for all, adding that the private sector has been willing to partner with the ministry and department as they continue to make life a little easier for some persons.
“I want as the Minister of Social Development to say a hearty thank you to all those persons in the private sector, those companies and individuals who have stepped forward and have done so in a very meaningful way to contribute to what we have been doing for our citizens here on the island of Nevis. Thank you to those who have assisted and of course we are still open for persons who are willing to come forward to partner with us at Social Services. Once again, thank you very much and may God continue to bless you,” he said.