The American University of Antigua College of Medicine’s Student Government Association (AUA SGA) today disbursed a total of US$70, 000 to three charitable organizations.
The AUA SGA President Nikita Srivalsan, a current second-year medical student, explained that the AUA SGA wanted to give back to organizations that are providing relief and recovery to specific communities impacted by the current circumstances.
“We understand the difficulties and challenges this pandemic has brought for everyone. We hope this donation allows these organizations to continue the wonderful work they are undertaking for the community that has given AUA students and faculty a place to call home” Ms. Srivalsan said.
Recipients of the disbursements were the Sickle Cell Association, The CARE Project, and The Soup Kitchen. The amounts disbursed were US$30,000, US$25,000, and US$15,000, respectively. On hand to receive the donations were President of the Sickle Cell Association Dr. Edda Hadeed and Mrs. Richards – association member; Acting Matron of the CARE Project Ashline Francis RN, and Mr. Veldon Ragguette of the Soup Kitchen.
Dr. Edda Hadeed disclosed that the disbursement is quite timely as it will assist with establishing a long overdue sickle cell clinic. In addition, the funds will enable her to launch an ‘in-shelter’ workshop pilot program. She explained that some of the more severely affected patients are unable to retain full-time employment and the skills training workshop will provide them with the means of earning an income. Dr. Hadeed expressed her heartfelt appreciation to the AUA SGA for the generous donation which she said was much more than she ever dreamed possible.
Nurse Francis expressed appreciation on behalf of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, The Ministry of Health and the Environment, The Permanent Secretary and The CARE Project. She explained that complete health assessments for the residents are currently a priority and the funds will certainly cover these expenses. In addition, she hopes that medical equipment currently on her wish list can also be purchased.
In expressing his appreciation for the generous donation to The Soup Kitchen, Mr. Veldon Ragguette exclaimed that the amount exceeds his highest expectations. He added that the donation will enable him to continue providing hot meals for the less fortunate. In addition, the funds will also help him to establish a fruit orchard to provide a supply of fresh fruit for distribution to the needy and hopefully create a source of income for The Soup Kitchen.
AUA’s Vice President for Administration, Mr. Vernon Solomon, explained that each semester, students work with charitable organizations in the community to bring awareness to health related as well as social issues and lend assistance whenever possible. Unfortunately, the global pandemic did not allow students to do as much in 2020 as they would have done in previous years. Nonetheless, they collaborated with the university to secure the funding and the institution is extremely proud of the care and compassion they have demonstrated. Despite their own challenges, they saw the importance of supporting the efforts of The Sickle Cell Association, The CARE Project, and The Soup Kitchen. Speaking to the beneficiaries Mr. Solomon added “I would like to express my sincere appreciation for all that you have been doing for Antigua and Barbuda. Your hard work and dedication should not be ignored. I would encourage others to find it in their hearts to see how they too may be able to assist in your ongoing efforts.”
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