Overcast skies and sporadic downpours of rain did not dampen the mood at the grounds of the Safe Haven Transitional Centre on Thursday when a self-care outreach programme was staged for residents of the facility.
Assistant Director of the facility, Nelville George Bronstorph, said Safe Haven tries to have an outreach programme quarterly for members of the community who are vulnerable and underserved.
She described these people as those with mental health disorders, substance abuse challenges, homelessness and those who are differently abled.
The assistant director further said the home decided to switch things up and have the outreach programme at the centre’s grounds. The outreach event was called ‘See Me but Not My Limitations Care Project 2021”.
George-Bronstorph also said the outreach programme was well-received by members of the community who were asked to donate time and resources to help residents at the centre.
“We rely heavily on donors and private partnership because a lot of our population does not have the support from family members and we know the government cannot do everything. We have some partners we can rely on. Some people in the community who we would ask to donate. As you can see, everyone here today is donating of their time and resources,” the assistant director said.
Shaday Peters, a cosmetology teacher at the Virgin Islands
Technical School who came with three Grade 11 students, said she was more than happy to assist Safe Haven when they reached out to her for help.
She said the opportunity gave her students a hands-on or practical aspect to what they are learning in school and it also broadens their community service.
“We didn’t choose Safe Haven. They actually came to us and asked if we could volunteer our service to them and we welcomed them with open arms. It is great for others to see what the school is currently doing and what they have to offer,” Peters said.
“We are doing massage. The young ladies are doing manicures and a little bit of hairdressing. It is nice to see that we are helping to build the self-esteem of these people here. Because for us, it is important to show equality and care to everyone amongst us. We wanted to show them that despite their differences, we are all the same,” the cosmetology teacher added.
Derecia Thomas, the Operations Manager and Corporate Response Lead at Deloitte, a professional service firm in the territory, said her firm’s corporate mandate is to always make an impact and improve the lives of people in the community in which it operates. For this, she said it was not hard to collaborate with Safe Haven for their outreach programme.
“We were able to provide them with all the provisions that were necessary for making the soup. We are also here volunteering our time and I gave them a nice motivational talk on how their lives have value,” Thomas said.
“We have engaged with the centre quite recently, last week we did a good deed in recognition of world kindness day where we provided all the residents with some care bags. We intend to continue doing more initiative to continue supporting this centre in the future,” she added.
Social Worker Lorem Smith, who was a major partner behind the outreach event, said the beneficiaries of the outreach represents everyone in the territory despite being overlooked very often.
He said he thinks all institutions which are set up to benefit individuals like these should have an initiative like this.
The event also saw barbers giving the male residents haircuts and also the BVI Red Cross giving both staff and residents at the facilities important pointers on first aid and disaster preparedness in the case of an emergency.