Republic Bank And Partners Donate To Bahamas Recovery Efforts

“So many other people do not have so I just wanted to share.”

This was the simple but earnest reason Jonah Kelly gave for why he joined with his schoolmates at the St. Gabriel’s Primary School to raise money for Republic Bank’s Bahamas Hurricane Relief Appeal. He was one of four student council members at the bank’s recent presentation of a $20,895 cheque to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

Republic Bank’s appeal began following the passage of Hurricane Dorian that ravaged parts of the island chain in September last year. Along with donations from the bank’s staff and the general public, other significant contributions came from the Barbados Adventure Race (BAR), the Amarone Charitable Trust and students of St. Gabriel’s.

Manager - Marketing and Corporate Communications, Sophia Allsopp Cambridge, explained that the bank’s management and staff were particularly delighted to see such philanthropic efforts from the students. The fundraising effort was an initiative of the school’s student council in response to the media coverage of the devastation in the Bahamas. The students started a collection and were able to raise their portion of the money.

“They came obviously very enthusiastically some weeks back to deposit their hard earned funds into the bank. They got to experience this kind of transaction and some expressed an interest in the banking sector. Obviously, they have an even greater interest in philanthropy and the concept of giving back to their fellow Caribbean citizens,” she said.

At the presentation ceremony, CEO of BAR George Griffith and Trustee of the Amarone Charitable Trust David Csumrik were both praised for their contributions to the cause. Griffith and his team held a 10 km hill sprint at Pothouse, St. John dubbed “Hike to Help Pothouse Challenge for Bahamas” to raise funds. Those funds were later matched by Csumrik through the Trust.

“As the largest indigenous bank in the Caribbean it is our duty to ensure that we respond where necessary, wherever there is a need,” Allsopp Cambridge said.

In thanking Republic Bank and others for their donation, Executive Director of CDEMA Ronald Jackson singled out the four student council members, encouraging them to consider how they could help respond to natural disasters as future leaders.

“It is going to depend on you as future leaders, future entrepreneurs, future engineers and lawyers and captains of industry. So you need to understand this issue of risk management and integrate that into your future, whatever that desired future is, so that we can begin to change the outcomes of the things we are seeing within the Caribbean,” he said.

Explaining that the resources will be channeled towards the recovery efforts which are now underway in the Bahamas, Jackson added: “We will certainly be engaging them to identify what is a potential project. Historically, we have done what we call legacy projects at the end of our response and early recovery phases, focusing on restoration to schools health centres and facilities or even those who are displaced and still awaiting homes.… so we will look for a particular space where we could direct these resources.”

February 17, 2020
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