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REACH to assist with foster care programme

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Contact: Julita Peter

Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - REACH International based in Canada will be assisting the Department of Human Services and Family Affairs with a foster care program to be launched shortly.

This comes on the heels of an extensive refurbishment exercise at the Soufriere Children’s Home undertaken by REACH one week ago, involving Governor-General, Dame Pearlette Louisy, in the establishment of a national child sponsorship program, aimed at assisting 750 – 1,000 children annually.

Phillip Tibien of Reach International said the organization would assist the department in acquiring some of the advanced technology currently being used in Canada in the areas of social welfare, child abuse and foster care. He said he would be working closely with the Director of Human Services and Family Affairs, Miss Clementia Eugene to bring the foster care project to fruition.

“We’re assisting her with educational materials, brochures, pamphlets and hopefully a computer program that tracks all the children. Our long-term goal here on the island working with the Governor-General is to establish a national child sponsorship program. The overall goal will be a budget of about a quarter million dollars a year, to hopefully assist between 750 - 1000 children annually”, Mr. Tibien said.

Reach International which stands for Relief Education and Child Sponsorship is a charitable organization initiated by Phillip Tibien, following a trip to St. Lucia in 1998. While the organization is providing assistance to countries globally, St. Lucia is the only Caribbean beneficiary country of REACH International sponsorship at this time.

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