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Maureen's Grenada Relief Fund

As you are already aware HURRICANE IVAN devastated Grenada on September 7, 2004.

To assist Grenadian friends and family in their efforts to start their lives over again, I have organized two Grenada relief accounts.

I encourage you to give as you are able.

April, 2005

It is now 7 months after hurricane and reconstruction continues to move forward. However there are many families who still live under tarpulines and who struggle daily as a result of IVAN. The rainy season is just around the corner so I imagine there is a lot of stress thinking of the rains to come. I heard the other day that 20% of homes destroyed by hurricane are beyond repair. Many people squatting on government land and /or living with extended families. Schools are slowly being repaired. Students and teachers continue to work under a lot of stress with lack of resources and poor physical environment. I also heard the other day that government will not have time to rebuild majority of hurricane shelters therefore people are advised to prepare their homes as shelters for the next hurricane season which begins in june. This is very puzzling as many people do not have the resources or money to rebuild stronger homes then before hurricane Ivan.

Ok on a lighter note, the island continues to blossom in all her glory and keeps getting greener and greener. Grenadian people also shine forth in all their strength and courage as they rebuild their lives In our village
alone majority houses are back up and many kitchen gardens are striving. There is also a village housing committee that is involved in securing funding from government for further rebuilding and reconstruction on a community level.

To date the funds we raised in Canada have been used to:

  1. assist Ms. Erma St. Bernard, single mother with large family to buy building materials for her house, a stove and gas cylinder, school supplies for her children and general food and supplies. Erma continues to move forward and is presently first on the list to receive government housing funds to build a stronger home for her and her children.
  2. assist in the reconstruction of early childhood development centre in Sauteurs, St. Patricks. GRENSAVE: Grenada Save the Children Organization runs this nursery and preschool which was severely damaged during the hurricane. $5,000 ec was donated from Canadian funds. The centre provides both Daycare facilities and a small Pre-School. At present it has 72 children on roll and employs 9 members of staff.
  3. assist in securing funds for a small women’s textile cooperative which will employ up to six women who will learn and produce a variety of textile designs such as hats, clothing and crafts. These will then be sold in existing local and regional markets. After the Hurricane many jobs were lost effecting women and children the most.
  4. assist with foundational stages of artisan cooperative. Under One Roof (UOR) is a community based development project based in Grenville, St. Andrew’s, Grenada. Under One Roof is a non-profit arts and craft collective focusing on education and participation through community arts and craft programs. UOR will house a variety of creative programs that will encourage and facilitate personal, community, and economic growth. UOR is committed to using education and artistic expression as a means of self and community empowerment.

    I was advised by various community leaders and educators that the Canadian funds would be best spent by investing in community development programs that would have long term effects. Therefore I decided to use the remaining funds to help support artisan collective, which will provide creative educational programs for both children and adults. Under One Roof ‘s long term goal is to become self sustainable through the selling of artisan’s work in Under One Roof’s arts and craft shop.

Once again I thank everyone for your moral and financial support. Please keep updated by checking out my website. More will be written and documented about Grenada as well as upcoming news on Under One Roof as we move forward in trying to make this vision a reality. I continue to paint and use my art as a means of raising funds for artisan collective. I am presently having a one-woman show in St. Georges, Grenada and 10% of all sales will be donated to the above community program. Theo, Maya and I hope to return to Canada in August. I plan to further promote my art work alongside artisan community program while in Canada so stay tuned. One love.


January 5th, 2005

Sending many thanks and praise for your support and blessings over the past few months in the aftermath of hurricane Ivan. Maya and I have returned and are once again united with Grenadian friends and family. Theo and family have put our roof back on and saved majority of our belongings. We have been quite fortunate as there are still many people who live under a tarpuline or are homeless and living with extended families. Even though the island is getting green and lush again, the devastation is still evident in the destruction of peoples homes, schools, churches, and agriculture and tourist sectors.

Grenada’s rainforest has also been struck a severe blow. Within a few weeks after Ivan hit Mother nature rebirthed and at present the color green sings forth. The sound of hammering from morning to evening
continues to be background rythms and peoples spirits seem high. Many now speak of the devastation in Asia and give praise that Grenada did lot lose more lives. However even with evidence of so much island faith Grenada faces both difficult and challenging times. And as is the case globally it is the less privileged who will suffer the most.

While in Canada, with the help of many friends and family, we were able to raise $9,600, which is equivalent to 19,200 EC dollars. While back in Antigonsih a hurricane relief committee was organized and from this
committee we organized a variety of fund raising events which included a reggae dance, an artist jam, a Grenada-inspired art exhibition, an afternoon ceilidh and a clothing/supply drive. Funds were also raised through a funding letter, which was sent through the mail and over the internet. There were also individuals who held their own fundraising events within their communities which also contributed to the grand total.

Upon my return to Grenada I opened a hurricane relief account and have begun helping neighbors here in Harford village, as the reconstruction both nationally and on community level continues. I will spend the next few months observing and listening to people’s stories in order to seek the best means of using the money raised. There is one family in the village, who has lost everything. Erma St. Bernard is a single mom with 13 kids and who recently experienced a terrible accident where she almost lost her hand.

Some of the raised funds will assist Erma to begin rebuilding again and will be used to purchase building materials for the house, various household supplies such as mattereses, cooking utilities, and other needed items. School supplies for her children have also been bought. I have also organized to meet with director of GRENSAVE (Genada Save the Children) a non- government organization located in St.George’s. Some of the raised funds will assist in GRENSAVE’s relief and community development programs.

As the time moves forward I will continue to give an update of distribution of funds. In the near future I will update my website which will include both my art work and hurricane relief update. So continue to check out this page for more updates.

Sending once again much love and blessings. Giving thanks and praise.
Guidance
Maureen st.clair-ryan


I have set up two relief funds: one through the United Church and a personal account set up at Scotia Bank. All donations will be pooled together and I will be the administrator of funds when I return to Grenada in December. If you donate through the United Church you will get a charitable tax receipt.

However many friends and family may want to donate through a personal account so that is an option as well.

Checks should be made payable to:

Maureen Ryan-St.Clair and sent to Scotia Bank, Elgin and Frank branch, Ottawa, Ontario. The account no. is 10066 00741 87 Transit no. 10066.

Or

Glebe-St. James United Church, Minister's Fund (Grenada Relief Fund) and sent to Glebe-St. James, United Church, 650 Lyon St., Ottawa K1S 3Z7

The funds raised through these accounts will assist various families in Harford village and other surrounding areas to buy food, building materials, school supplies, and other needed items.

Photo's of some of our fundraising events: