Give More HUGS (Help Unite Giving Souls), an international non-profit organization has assisted eight schools and three communities in Dominica.
The group visited the island from 13 -20 November 2015 for a service trip that looked to provide school supplies to different primary schools on the island as well as to build sustainable projects for quality education, a press release from the organization indicates.
Students at Dublanc Primary, Sineku Primary, Coulibistrie Primary, Colihaut Primary, Salybia Primary, Petite Savanne Primary, CALLS, and CALLS Daycare were some of the beneficiaries. Volunteers also had the opportunity to reunite with kids they used to mentor while living on the island.
Student and teachers from all school visits received t-‐shirts with the words Dominica Strong to inspire courage and hope to the islanders after the damages caused by Tropical Storm Erika.
In addition, Give More HUGS also visited the Grange Nursing Home, Portsmouth Hospital and the Kalinago Clinic to donate medical relief items.
Dominica Strong murals were also painted with 5th and 6th grade students at the school visits. They told volunteers what makes them Dominica Strong. The words they came up with inspired the team.
“The children of Dominica continue to inspire us! Many lost everything in Tropical Storm Erika, but they didn’t lose HOPE!” expressed Tara Jorski, Mentor Coordinator of Give More HUGS.
The service trip agenda included not only the individual school visits, but team leadership activities, literacy events to raise awareness, school supplies, art supplies, extracurricular activity equipment, and garden equipment donations.
“We donated garden equipment to Dublanc Primary School to help this community create a sustainable garden for the future,” said Christy Wallace, VP of Programs of the organization.
The activities accomplished by the Give More HUGS team in Dominica were the following:
1. School Visits to promote the importance of education, facilitate teambuilding and compassion led activities, and donation drop offs;
2. In addition to the school visits, we were able to provide medical relief to the Grange, Kalinago Clinic, and Portsmouth Hospital;
3. Build partnerships with schools for future projects. Give More HUGS raised funds for the trip with donations through the website Go Fund Me (http://www.gofundme.com/hugs4dominica).
“We felt the support of the community to this project and we are amazed. A few weeks before the trip we received a $1,000 donation from a high school connection that helped make this trip possible,” expressed Chris McGilvery, President and Founder of Give More HUGS.
Also, some stores like Walmart in New York and J. Astaphan & Company LTD. in Dominica provided discount rates for paint and wooden boards used for the murals. Give More HUGS’ team dreams that each student is granted the opportunity to obtain and actively participate in a quality education.
They are planning a set of service trips for the upcoming years to ensure students in the US and the Caribbean have the supplies and support necessary to achieve their goals and dreams.
Photographs compliments: Give More Hugs