Republic Bank’s Partnership with One Tree For Every Bajan Flourishing

The One Tree for Every Bajan (OTFEB) initiative is getting some much needed support thanks to Republic Bank and its Power to Make a Difference (PMAD) corporate social responsibility programme.

The initiative is a project spearheaded by the Walkers Institute for Regenerative Research, Education and Design (WIRRED) and is designed to bring awareness to the ecological balance that must be struck between people and the environment. Thanks to a grant provided by the Bank, the OTFEB team was able to fund a tree planting project with the Optimist Club of Barbados, planting some 55 trees in celebration of the 55th anniversary of Independence last year. Now, there are plans for the Bank to do more with the initiative, including getting more of its employees involved as volunteers for future projects.

Programme Manager at WIRRED, Elize Rostant, explained, “The partnership with Republic Bank has been excellent. It was really fulfilling to have somebody reach out because of something that they saw online and have the process be so quick and so user friendly for us in terms of getting everything done. We need the funding from organizations but we also need support. We need people to spread the word about the project, about what we have available and what we’re doing because we just need to really raise our visibility as well. So we think there are a lot of boxes that were checked due to this partnership.”

Over the course of three weekends, Republic Bank staff were given plants to help boost their own efforts at planting herbs and trees in their own kitchen gardens. Rostant says they are hoping to receive pictures soon to showcase the staff’s efforts at starting and managing their own kitchen gardens. She hopes this will inspire others to get started on their own kitchen gardens as well, starting with a trip to the nursery at Walkers Reserve for assistance.

The Bank’s Manager of Marketing & Corporate Communications, Sophia Allsopp, says the Bank is keen to do more through PMAD.

“We intend to get more of our staff involved in the initiative, participating in things such as beach clean ups and other tree planting efforts. I know many are excited to start their own kitchen gardens and will be sharing their efforts with the team at WIRRED. As a Bank we are the stewards of people’s financial resources but as Barbadians, we know we are also stewards of our environment. We are pleased to bring much needed financial support to initiatives such as this, that help to redress issues of the depletion of our natural flora and fauna. We are happy to play our part in the beautification of the country and the restoration of the ecological balance that creates a healthier, cleaner environment for all,” she said.

Walkers Reserve began hosting Eco-Markets this year with the first one held in February. Thus far, Rostant says attendance has been good. The third event will be on April 23rd in celebration of Earth Day which is on April 22nd.

Rostant said, “What we are trying to do is create a space for members of the community to come in with hand crafted items, locally grown items and organic items and have a space for them to sell and make money. This includes some of the people that we hire at the reserve as well.”

With the sale of value-added products, such as ice-cream made from coconut milk, along with the tours of the reserve and the opportunity to buy plants from the nursery, she hopes that even more people will be drawn to the markets at the Belleplaine, St. Andrew reserve.

April 13, 2022
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