Through supporting access to quality education, the Grenadines Initiative works to build community, ease poverty and social pressures, enhance equality, and support agency through asset-based community development.
Our core projects and partnerships:
The Learning Centre provides, for free, tutoring in preparation for the statewide exams.
The scholarship program provides a means of getting students to school each day.
The Chromebook program helps deliver current, sound, levelled classroom resources and curriculum.
The Junior Sailing Program offers tutorials and workshops to prepare sailing students for success in their application for RYA accreditation. This opens up job prospects within the tourism industry.
A key aspect of the work of the Grenadines Initiative is made possible by the John and Margaret Sagan Foundation, which over the last 10 years has provided significant support for medical supplies. Those gifts have delivered large equipment to the hospital and clinic on Bequia—in the past that’s included an autoclave, a defibrillator, a portable ultrasound—as well as supplies, including suture thread, needles, and continence management supplies.
The Bequia Mission was founded in 1970, and incorporated as a registered charity in 1981 by the late Reverend Ron Armstrong. An Anglican priest, Armstrong established the Mission as an extension of his ministry, providing social support to the Bequia and the neighbouring Windward Islands. After his death in 1994, June continued to lead the mission until her death in 1997. To say that both remain highly regarded on the island is an understatement. Though it’s been decades since they were active, they are very much remembered, and often in gushing, reverent terms.
The mission was conducted through the work of local volunteers as well as those from farther afield. After the Armstrongs, the mission was led by Gerry and Sandra Bird, Canadians with a deep personal connection to the island and its population. Under their leadership it grew to become a non‐ profit, non‐denominational charity dedicated to providing a range of social supports, including food aid, housing, medical aid and assistance, and access to education. As a member of the faculty of Lakefield College School, a prominent private school in Ontario, Gerry Bird hosted service trips, groups of Canadian students who travelled to Bequia to pitch in with the work of the mission and its programs. Despite being a smaller program, those trips signalled a new direction for the work of the mission, namely to provide local children with personal connections to the world beyond.
The Grenadines Initiative was launched in the spring of 2018 in order to extend the work of the Bequia Mission, renew engagement, and restate the vision that has lead the mission since it was founded. It is a non‐ profit, non‐denominational charity dedicated to providing social, educational, and medical assistance to individuals and charitable organizations in the small island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), in the eastern Caribbean.
Thanks to the work of the local committee, many school children, elderly shut‐ ins, and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities are provided with regular hot meals, while others receive assistance to help with emergency medical needs, school fees, clothing, medications, and social support.