New Shoes for the Basketball Team

It’s always inspiring to see former Coco Point guests jump into action! Samantha is a basketball coach on Barbuda. She reached out with a need for new shoes for her basketball team.

An initiative to ship shoes to her was organized by Karen Hopp (former CCP Guest) and Emily Kunschner (Former CCP Guest and CCP Fund Board Member) Collaboration struck when Jim Wilkins, a CCP Board Member and former CCP guest, procured 15 pairs of basketball shoes at cost with the generous support and help of The Brewer Family, current owners of Wilkins Shoe Center of Winchester, VA.

The basketball shoes were packaged up and thanks to the Fund’s diligent contacts on the island coordination made and the shoes were delivered to Codrington this week.

A special thanks to again Jimmy Wilkins, Kendra Brewer and the following families who raised enough funds to purchase and ship the shoes!

Liz Anderson
Sue and Peter Carlson
Caroline & Don DeAngelo
Rhiannon & Mario Forlini
DeNora & Mark Getachew
Karen & Eric Hopp
The Kelly Family
Emily & John Kunschner

Good luck on the court!

Please follow and like us:
error

Battling the Water Shortage on Barbuda

Imagine having to plan your shower or the cooking of your meals around when you may have running water. How can an island in the midst of rebuilding itself manage a construction project or clean up after a painting initiative without enough water? How can its residents keep up with daily chores? How can the economy thrive? How can the people’s health remain safe?

As with many places in the world, the Caribbean countries can suffer from prolonged droughts that can put a strain on the water supplies in their nation. Barbuda is no stranger to these pressures. With the added destructive effects from Hurricane Irma, which occurred almost two years ago, Barbudans are still struggling with access to consistent running water throughout their day. Very often, in order to deal with the shortage, a water rationing system means that running water is only available every two hours.

There are several reasons for this. The water system on Barbuda only has enough storage from the desalination plant for approximately 8,000 gallons. The system itself is also plagued with leaks that require repairs and replacement from the utility company.

In addition, the water quality is also very poor.

” Very often, in order to deal with the shortage, a water rationing system means that running water is only available every two hours.”

Craig Henderson, Coco Point Fund Board Member

Coco Point Fund, in conjunction with the Jumby Bay Fund, the Mill Reef Fund and the Discovery Land Company are working together towards a solution. The group is very close to putting a complete plan in place to build a concrete base, install a new tank, and repair or replace all the broken parts that support the system. The Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) is reviewing the proposal now and approval is imminent.

If you’d like to donate money to our organization to work alongside APUA to address the issue of the water shortage please visit our Donate Page today.

Photo Credit: Mohammid Walbrook

Feature Photo Credit: Water.org

Please follow and like us:
error

Congrats to Crystal on Graduating from Caribbean Nazarene College!

The Board was thrilled to receive the follow letter from Crystal Hopkins this week. Crystal received a scholarship from the William Cody Scholarship Fund.

The scholarship fund was created to help assist worthy Barbudan students with partial scholarships to colleges and universities around the world.  It was set up in order to provide educational opportunities for young residents of Barbuda wishing to pursue education beyond the level of education offered on Antigua and Barbuda and who intend to return to Barbuda following completion of their studies to give something back to their community.

Crystal has received her diploma from Caribbean Nazarene College with a degree in Early Childhood Education. We are so proud of you Crystal and excited to hear you will be contributing to the next generation! 

Letter from Crystal

William Cody Kelly Memorial Scholarship,

It is with a spirit of gladness that I express my gratitude towards the Board Members of the William Cody Kelly Memorial Scholarship Fund. I attended the Caribbean Nazarene College for 4 years to attain a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood Care and Education and a minor in Psychology and Counseling. This journey did not only focus on academics because I was also given the opportunity to mature as a young adult. I also benefited by being exposed to different cultures, meeting persons from all over the Caribbean and also forming long lasting bonds of friendship. I graduated with a 3.6 GPA and cum laude honors. With sincere thanks, I am confident that I will make a solid contribution to the education department of Antigua and Barbuda. Thank you once again for assisting me in achieving one of my goals.

Yours respectfully,
Crystal Hopkins

Please follow and like us:
error

More Freshly Painted Homes from the House Painting Initiative

The Coco Point Fund initiated an island wide painting initiative last year and freshly painted homes are rolling in! These homes have taken advantage of the supplies provided likes like paint, brushes, rollers and paint sprayers.

Approximately 40 Barbuda residents wanted to participate in the first round. We encourage the continued use of the supplies and are pleased to show the latest results. The cheerful colors are bringing hope and happiness to the island and the pursuit of more rebuilding!

Please follow and like us:
error

Summary of the Teacher Training Initiative Week

The teacher training initiative has been completed and as Bentham Lewis, our lead director on the island said, “this is the best thing that’s happened on Barbuda in the last 20 years!!”

The teachers arrived on Monday morning and spent the first day with the teachers alone. As it was Easter vacation the children were not in school yet the teachers worked all day Monday thru Thursday.  They discussed what they wanted to accomplish and what they wanted to do with the kids.

Although the students were on break, children came on Tuesday and Wednesday so that the trainers could spend time in a real setting showing them how to improve their teaching skills.  The children were wonderful and often times entirely focused on the trainers.  The trainers stressed the importance of ‘differentiated instruction’  which is a modern educational approach that treats each student as an individual learner – advancing at their own pace.

Much of the success was also due to the new environment, the newly furnished rooms, and the additional laptop and 5 tablets ( 1 for each classroom), along with other supplies that the trainers brought with them.  The high tech equipment will be stored in a safe that will be installed this week.

As the week progressed each teacher worked to learn how to write and implement lesson plans, and then have an opportunity,  the following day, to use them for instruction planning while receiving hands on constructive criticism by the trainers and the ability to adjust in the real life setting. 

Wednesday afternoon the trainers met with a group of 20+ interested parents and talked about how they can help their children by continuing the learning at home.  The parents were in awe of the support and direction and very appreciative!!

Ending their week, the trainers were able to visit Holy Trinity School, meeting with several teachers, and touring the facility.   This was followed by a lovely send off lunch at the Barbuda Belle and a brief tour of the frigate birds. 

From the trainers perspective, they shared it was the most rewarding trip they have ever done.  They fell in love with the island and its people.  The teachers are now more inspired than ever to teach and we hope that future training trips will be orchestrated to continue to make an impact!

Please follow and like us:
error

Teach Trainer at the PreSchool

Teacher trainers arrived on the island this week from the US.  We were thrilled to have them consulting for a week to train the teachers in our newly renovated PreSchool.  The Coco Point Fund shipped lots of furniture and rugs and other materials to bring the nursery school up to modern educational standards. In addition, the teachers arrived with lots of laptops, tablets and supplies to help create a more robust curriculum.  The goal of the Coco Point Fund with this initiative is to improve educational outcomes for generations to come!  If this initiative is successful, we will likely commit to doing similar improvements to the holy trinity school.

The training has also highlighted how important the design of a classroom is to educational outcomes. In the previous space, the children were sitting at simple tables in a stark learning environment.  The addition of new rugs and chairs has created a vastly improved learning environment!  Teachers and students are much more focused on learning.  And modern teaching methods, such as differentiated learning, are now part of the learning process. 

Special thanks to MeTeor Education and Home Depot for being such GREAT partners of the Coco Point Fund!

Please follow and like us:
error

Daycare Center Completed

As word spread of our work on the preschool, the Coco Point Fund became more coordinated with all the other charitable funds and NGO’s working in Barbuda. In particular, we developed a strong working and economic partnership with three such funds; The Jumby Bay Fund,  Mill Reef Fund and Paradise Found’s Barbuda Relief Fund.

The Daycare Center had been badly damaged by Hurricane Irma. It’s second-story was totally destroyed. We set our sights on rebuilding this facility.  Thanks to a couple, who were long time Coco Point Lodge guests, we secured a lead donation. We then asked the three funds noted above to equally share in the cost of the reconstruction. Once again we turned to Griff Walker for help. In addition we worked with Chad Alexander, a Barbudan architect who received scholarship assistance from the Coco Point Fund. (Look for a future story on our blog about how the Coco Point Scholarship Fund helped Chad succeed and how he is now giving back to his fellow Barbudans!)

We contracted with Griff Walker in late June 2018 to rebuild only the first floor. Home Depot again supplied most of our building materials at very discounted prices. Work started on September 18, 2018 and the facility was completed in January 2019. The quality of the workmanship is outstanding. You will notice in the photos that we kept the exterior cement stairs to the second story so as to retain the option of rebuilding it in the future if a community need surfaces. In early February 2019 we had a small ceremony handing over the keys to the Barbuda Council. The furniture and learning materials are expected to arrive in late March. The before and after pictures reflect the completion of another on schedule and on budget project.

In the coming months we will post updates, photos and stories once the kids return.

Please follow and like us:
error

First Reveal in House Painting Initiative

In partnership with the Jumby Bay Fund and Mill Reef Fund, The Coco Point Fund initiated an island wide painting initiative. Collectively, we have supplied the paint, brushes, rollers and paint sprayers to approximately 40 Barbuda residents who wanted to participate in the first round. Connie was a longtime employee of Coco Point Lodge. She was part of the main dining room staff and loved by all of the guests. . She is enjoying the bright cheery red update to her home!


Please follow and like us:
error

2018 Year End Update

Dear Friends of the Coco Point Fund,

We know many of you would like an update on how things are going on Barbuda. Progress is being made on many fronts. During 2018 the Coco Point Fund rebuilt the Cody Kelly Preschool and the Daycare building, shipped thirteen 40 foot containers of building materials (mainly roofing material, doors and windows). We also funded a commitment to significantly improve the curriculum at the Preschool, which should be in place by February 2019. Year to date, the Fund received approximately $500,000 in donations and spent approximately $800,000 in direct aid on Barbuda. In addition, we continued funding our academic scholarship program through 2021.

There are a lot more details we could report on, but we will leave those for our soon to be revamped website, which we expect to have up and running in early January. We will send out an announcement and a link as soon as it is live.

In summary, I’m proud to report that the Coco Point fund board continues to steward your generous donations very effectively. We have stayed true to our commitment to provide 100% direct aid, with no funds being channeled through governmental agencies. That said, we need a lot more money if we are going to finish the job we started. We are working with a few other charitable funds over the next year to rebuild 80 homes which were totally destroyed or damaged beyond repair. We are also working on building in open air market, a new bank facility in Codrington and
possibly jump starting one or more new business ventures on Barbuda. We estimate the collective needs to exceed $4 million. We hope to provide at least $1 million of that aid over the next couple of years.

On behalf of our board, and the Barbudan people, I thank you again for your generous support, wish you a very happy holiday season and ask you again for your continued generous support so we together can help make the New Year happy and bright for all our good friends on Barbuda!

Sincerely,
Michael Smith

Please follow and like us:
error

Join Our Mailing List

Stay up to date with our progress and projects!