Using the power of hope and love to transform communities and improve lives
In its simplest form, to inspire is defined as the action or power of moving intellect or emotions. We, the Sandals Foundation, believe that the action of inspiring hope is a force that can move mountains.
The Sandals Foundation is a non-profit organization launched in March 2009 to help Sandals Resorts International continue to make a difference in the Caribbean. All costs associated with administration and management is supported by Sandals International so that 100% of every dollar donated goes directly towards funding impactful and meaningful initiatives within the key areas of Education, Community and Environment.
All donations go to Project funding
The GARD Center (Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center), is a grassroot non-profit, non-government organization which operates under the auspices of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA). The Center is very pleased to announce its continuous partnership with the Sandals Foundation through its funding of the “Climate Smart Agriculture For Youth- Hydroponic” Project.
For the past thirty-two (32) years, the Center has been working arduously with at-risk youth, men and women in the community to engage them in various forms of sustainable agriculture for the 21st century.
With a primary focus of raising climate smart agriculture practices amongst young people towards long term food security, the Climate Smart Agriculture for Youth – Hydroponic programme seeks to:
The programme support forms part of the Sandals Foundation’s 40 sustainable community projects being executed across the Caribbean to commemorate its parent company’s 40th anniversary. Through its broad scale investment in a number of farming and agriculture educational programmes, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts seeks to strengthen the Caribbean’s food security and livelihood opportunities.
Continuing to strengthen the transformative link between tourism and the empowerment of its local Caribbean communities, Sandals Resorts International’s philanthropic arm, the Sandals Foundation, has joined forces with the Netherlands’ AFC Ajax team to launch Future Goals – a program that turns fishing nets sourced from the ocean and recycled plastic waste into soccer goals for children. Expanding opportunities for locals through the power of youth sports, particularly the beloved game known locally as football, the landmark partnership kicks off at primary schools across the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao – where the program’s official launch was celebrated today at MGR Niewindt College as students received the first set of Future Goals.
“Future Goals brilliantly encapsulates Sandals’ unwavering commitment to empower our islands in the Caribbean through our philanthropic arm, the Sandals Foundation, and our core pillars of education, environment and community,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation. “Enveloping ourselves in the destination was part of the blueprint as we rolled out the plans for Sandals Royal Curaçao – a new island for Sandals and a new opportunity to expand our impact – and this one-of-a-kind partnership with Ajax is a sign of our promise to generations to come.”
FROM THE OCEAN, FOR THE FUTURE
Fishing nets lost at sea, also known as ghost nets, make up nearly half of the world’s ‘plastic soup’ – a term for the accumulation of waste, including plastic, that ends up in the ocean. To help mitigate this global concern, the Sandals Foundation and AFC Ajax have tapped into local Curaçaon plastic recycling company, Limpi, whose creative approach to plastic waste recycling and product development now includes the colorful Future Goals goal posts, which are made almost entirely of fishing nets collected from the sea and recycled plastic waste.
Plans to outfit four dozen elementary schools throughout the island of Curaçao with close to 100 Future Goals and more than 600 soccer balls provided by Adidas, are complemented by a unique training program with AFC Ajax players at the helm. The soccer club’s professional athletes will mentor ‘Future Coaches’ recruited by the local Curaçao soccer academy, Favela Street, on a robust eight-week curriculum for the children that will focus as much on technique as it does mindset in order to foster the next generation. Overarching plans for the Future Goals program include expansion into additional Caribbean islands, with the program to be adapted based on the unique scope of each destination.
“Ajax is on a mission to impact the future of football on a global level, starting with the youth, our next generation,” said Edwin van der Sar, CEO AFC Ajax. “Together with Sandals Resorts and the Sandals Foundation, we are eager to facilitate impactful football programs for children in Curaçao and the rest of the Caribbean, realizing tomorrow’s opportunities through today’s fun.”
AN ISLAND-FIRST APPROACH TO TOURISM
Since its inception in 1981, Sandals Resorts has taken an unparalleled approach to supporting the communities where it operates. Through its philanthropic arm, the Sandals Foundation, the luxury all-inclusive resort company began its work in Curaçao – Sandals Resorts’ seventh and newest Caribbean island – far ahead of Sandals Royal Curaçao’s opening. This includes supporting local artisans, such as Limpi, to whom the Sandals Foundation has provided the necessary equipment needed to increase their production levels.
Future Goals is one of the many projects underway on the island of Curaçao for the Sandals Foundation, including beach cleanups that have helped rid the planet of over 400,000 kilograms of trash to date, and the development of a digital hiking app in partnership with IVN Tiny Forest the Netherlands to make the magic of the island’s natural resources more accessible to visitors and locals.
“To deliver the first set of Future Goals ahead of the resort opening, and be on our way on a number of other initiatives, is a symbol of our commitment to the destination and the powerful, lasting link between tourism and community development,” said Kevin Clarke, General Manager of Sandals Royal Curaçao. “It’s our responsibility not only to ensure that we’re sharing this beautiful part of the world with our guests, but that we’re protecting and preserving it for the locals who make it feel like home to all who visit.”
OCHO RIOS, Jamaica. Some 340 students and 25 adults in communities in and around the tourism mecca of Ocho Rios were recently treated to world class dental care from members of the United States volunteer team Great Shape! Inc. at the Eltham Community Centre in the parish.
The services provided at the Spring Sealant Project, were made possible by the Sandals Foundation free of charge by a contingent of 27 practicing professionals from USA, Canada and Jamaica who volunteered their services to support the dental and overall welfare needs of families in the island that need it most.
The 4-day preventative oral health care clinic targeted children from the 5 primary schools of Parry Town, Boscobel, Priory, Exchange and Ocho Rios. Each patient received dental sealants, topical fluoride varnish, a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and oral health education in addition to emergency fillings and extractions.
“When decay is prevented on the chewing surfaces of the molars, says Joseph Wright, Founding Executive Director of Great Shape! Inc., “The teeth are protected for years to come. This becomes especially important to families who are not able to make regular visits to the dentist. Preventing excess decay reduces the risk of rampant bacteria formation in the mouth thereby reducing risks of other health complications, including a stressed immune system.”
Dental Hygienist and 30-time repeat Great Shape! volunteer, Leanne Rodine got teary eyed when asked what makes her continue to return “To be able to see these children smile after providing for them well needed dental care makes our visit meaningful. Many of these children have not had the chance to get optimal dental care and for us to help them protect their teeth by applying sealant to shield them from decay is our primary mission.”
“Being able to empower these children and parents to have their teeth be healthy, Rodine continued, “Gives us added joy. As dental professionals, we rather preventing the tooth decays than having to treat them, hence this mission means a lot to us.”
General Manager at the Sandals Ochi Beach resort and Sandals Foundation Ambassador, Charles Blacher shared, “The mission of Sandals is always towards giving the best service available to those we serve and being able to partner with Great Shape! Inc. is one such venture that allows us the ability to serve our communities. We are happy to do our part creating a strong health foundation for our children to grow.”
Eltham community resident and beneficiary, Sean Allen shared, “this is a great feeling. I had my teeth cleaned and this has given me a brighter smile when I looked in the mirror. These people are very professional and thorough in the work that they do.”
Meanwhile, local volunteer dentist, Dr. Thwin Aung who operates his practice in the capital city of Kingston was elated to be part of the mission. “The fact that we are able to visit rural communities with the Great Shape! team and give of our expertise makes it a very worthwhile venture. At the end to see a child smile and we can know that we were able to preserve the dental health of another generation is an awesome feeling.”
For 19 years, Sandals Resorts have partnered with Great Shape! Inc. to provide much needed health services to communities in which it operates a resort. Starting in Jamaica in 2003, the teams have provided dental and eye care services to families in the islands of St. Lucia, Antigua, Grenada and Turks and Caicos’ Islands.
Above: [Centre] Shamelle Rice, Director at Jabez House, Robert Smith, Business Development Manager, Ontario, Unique Vacations Canada Inc. (affiliate of the worldwide representatives of Sandals Resorts) (extreme right) and a group of nine female Canadian travel advisors from Ontario share a moment for the cameras to commemorate the donation of more than 50 pounds of feminine hygiene products to help combat the challenges of period poverty experienced by women who are transitioning from the sex industry through educational and vocational training. The activity, organized by the Sandals Foundation, forms part of its Women Helping Others Achieve (WHOA) Programme that funds key empowerment and educational programmes of the Barbados organisation.