The first batch of relief from this country will leave for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines today, as many Non-Governmental Organisations have coordinated supplies for the citizens in the country who are affected by the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano.
The Foundation for the Enhancement and Enrichment of Life (FEEL) actually started its effort one month ago.
At the head office at Fernandez Compound, Laventille, Chief Executive Officer, Elena Villafana – Sylvester told Guardian Media that once the reports of an imminent eruption began circulating FEEL implemented systems to allow for relief to reach those affected.
“We have over 20 pallets of items ready to send to St Vincent, so we are operating on two different levels. One level is in terms of providing supplies to the actual kitchens that are at the location where persons are being housed for the kitchens in the centres to try and outfit the kitchens so that they can deal with a bulk supply of food so they can prepare food”, she said.
Villafana-Sylvester said one of the major challenges they have is that when people were leaving to go to the shelters they only left with a knapsack, so when they arrived at the shelter they literally had the clothes on their backs and whatever they could fit in their knapsack.
She urged citizens locally wishing to help that it is better to donate cash.
“I know that everyone wants to go into their cupboards and pull out their can of corn or their cans of corn beef and so on but I really want to urge people in terms of providing FEEL with the support, in order to lend support to donate to our disaster account that way I can purchase in bulk. For example, today when I went to make purchases I can call a company and I can say am going to x of a certain of items and how much would you give as a donation and that gives us better flexibility in terms of when we make the purchase. So I want to encourage persons to donate to the FEEL disaster account at Republic Bank 180434074702.”
Another NGO, SEWA TT is also joining in to assist.
However, SEWA TT president Revan Teelucksingh said the organisation would be donating items for those dealing with the effects of the volcano in the near future.
He explained that the immediate needs of Vincentians are being handled by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) and Is There Not A Cause (ITNAC) and a couple of other groups.
This is why Teelucksingh said SEWA TT would be collecting items to send to St Vincent in the next 10 to 14 days.