ROSEAU, Dominica — Hundreds of children in Dominica are being helped by a school feeding programme funded by citizenship by investment (CBI) specialist and developer Montreal Management Consultants Est (MMCE).
MMCE is paying for healthy snacks and lunches provided to hundreds of primary school children on the island to prevent mothers keeping their youngsters away from school due to a lack of proper school meals.
The scheme is being facilitated by the Melissa Skerrit Foundation, which has been set up to improve the lives of disadvantaged communities across Dominica, and a restaurant in Roseau, Pops Rotisserie and Grill, has been engaged to provide delicious and healthy snacks and meals for children. These are delivered to their school teachers to distribute.
The costs are then covered by MMCE, which is invoiced by Pops Rotisserie and Grill and pays the restaurant directly, with no third-party involvement.
There are existing school feeding schemes on the island, supported by the government of Dominica and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), where meals are prepared at the schools and provided to pupils.
The MMCE programme supplies additional nutrition, including pancakes, chocolate milk, fresh local juice, sandwiches, hot dogs and lunches.
Schools benefitting from the initiative include St Martin’s Primary School in Roseau, where 50 students receive daily snack packs.
Speaking about the project, CEO of MMCE Anthony Haiden said: “It is vital that children get the nourishment they need if they are to stay at school and get the education necessary for them to succeed and thrive later in life.
“We’re really proud to support such a positive initiative which will help hundreds of young school pupils in Dominica.
“MMCE wants to see the island of Dominica build a bright future for its younger generations.”
As part of this endeavour, MMCE plans to set up an educational scholarship that will again make direct payment to schools to fund student places.
Dominica is still recovering from the after effects of tropical storm Erika that ripped through the island in August 2015, displacing hundreds of families and all but wiping out the community of Petite Savanne, one of the island’s hardest-hit areas.
The storm brought devastation across Dominica after ten inches of rain fell in just a few hours. Communities saw landslides, the capital Roseau was engulfed by water and the island’s transport infrastructure was brought to a standstill, generating a huge repair bill for the nation.
International military support and engineering specialists were brought in to provide emergency support and to restore water supplies to cut off communities.
In the immediate aftermath, the damage repair and rebuilding costs were estimated to be in the region of $483 million – 90 percent the country’s GDP – according to an assessment by the government of Dominica in collaboration with the World Bank, UN, and other development partners.
MMCE also pioneered the Petite Savanne Resettlement programme to provide homes for hundreds of families displaced by Erica. The project in unique in the Caribbean in that it is initially financed and managed by MMCE utilising funds generated from the CBI programme without government intervention. The project will see the construction of 368 mixed-use units, with the first and second phases due to be completed at the end of 2017, and scheduled for full completion by summer 2018.