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Contact: John Emmanuel

Thursday, June 13, 2002 - One of St. Lucia’s post powerful financial institutions - the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) - has received high commendation from the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance for fashioning a bill that will give critical assistance to poor and disadvantaged St. Lucians.

Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony says the establishment of the National Community Foundation (NCF) highlighted the social responsibility of the NIC to the country at large. The foundation, he told the House of Assembly at this week’s sitting, will allow the NIC to respond to the many requests for assistance from social organizations.

According to Dr. Anthony, the objectives of the foundation include, “the receiving and distribution of philanthropic funds for the benefit of targeted individuals, groups, organizations or other charitable causes in a manner consistent with specific interests of contributors and objectives of the foundation--to facilitate the empowerment of individuals and groups living in challenging circumstances; to provide philanthropic leadership and help create, sustain and promote efforts among citizens to improve the quality of life within the wider community and to provide support to poor, needy and disadvantaged persons.”

The 11-member board of the foundation will mobilize resources from private citizens together with local, regional and international contributors. It will also evaluate and help co-ordinate the services of community based agencies in order to ensure that support provided by the foundation is fulfilling the most critical needs within the community.

Minister for Health, Human Services and Family Affairs, Hon. Damian Greaves, has asked St. Lucians to view the National Community Foundation in its proper context and not as just another opportunity for a handout. He has meantime appealed to the corporate sector to exhibit a social conscience and contribute generously to the foundation. In commenting on the establishment of the NCF Minister for Social Transformation, Culture and Local Government, the Honourable Menissa Rambally, says the new entity will go a long way in assisting certain vulnerable groups in society namely children, the elderly and single parent households.

It is widely believed that the National Community Foundation will significantly strengthen and assist in the delivery of social services on the island. The NCF will work closely with the Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF) while ensuring that no duplication of effort takes place.


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