Libyan Embassy donates to SLBWA
Monday, July 31, 2017
by Julita Peter, GIS

The Libyan Embassy in Saint Lucia has come to the aid of the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association (SLBWA), following a public announcement that the association was facing a financial dilemma, possibly forcing the closure of the 45-year-old non-governmental organization.

On July 25, the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association, received a donation of EC$5000 from the Libyan Embassy in Saint Lucia. The donation came as a result of a successful intervention by the Minister for External Affairs, Hon Sarah Flood-Beaubrun.

During the brief handover ceremony which took place in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mrs Beaubrun said the donation should not be measured in terms of size but of significant value.

“We at the Ministry of External Affairs understand how important the work of an NGO is and so this gesture today is just a small token to help the national council of the SLBWA along the way. But this is not all we will do.”

His Excellency Hisham Tayeb, Charge d’Affairs of the Libyan Embassy in Saint Lucia, speaking through a translator, said he was very pleased to be assisting the SLBWA. He pledged his government’s continued support to the association, and in addition will pay, for one year, the salary of a professional fundraising staff member who will be responsible for initiating fund raising initiatives for all non-governmental organizations.

Executive Director of the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association, Anthony Avril, welcomed the support adding that the association will also be doing its part to raise the much needed finances.

“The seas are rough and it takes special effort to continue to navigate the ship, but the activity today communicates a very important message to the SLBWA. The message is that we have heard your plea, we know your difficulties, and we are willing to work with you to see if we can get you back to where you were, because we are still here, but how we can move the process forward, so when you speak about preventing blindness and vision impairment while creating sight, and opportunities for those persons whose sight cannot be restored, we understand that.”

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Social Transformation, Hon Lenard Montoute who also spoke at the ceremony, said the donation by the Libyan Embassy will certainly open the flood gates for other contributions. He has promised to play his part in getting Cabinet to review the current subvention to the SLBWA.

The Government of Saint Lucia provides an annual subvention of just over EC$90,000 to the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association. The association is planning to undertake a $1 fund raising drive in the coming weeks.