Manager of the Rainbow Children’s Home in Vieux Fort, Sandra Faustin, says the home which was officially opened a few months ago, is ready to accept vulnerable children in the community.
According to her, they are now awaiting the Department of Human Services to assist them in identifying vulnerable children in Vieux Fort.
The home, the only such institution in the south of the island, cost approximately $400,000, and caters for nine children between the ages of three and 12. A significant financial contribution was made towards its construction by the Jermain Defoe Foundation. The home is located on a portion of land at Aupicon, Vieux Fort, which was donated to the Vieux Fort Children’s Society by the former administration.
Jermain Defoe is an English footballer of Saint Lucian heritage. The Jermain Defoe Foundation is a UK charity organisation, and has of late been working with the Government of Saint Lucia and other organisations to support vulnerable children in Saint Lucia.
“There was a need for a children’s home in Vieux Fort because there are children in the community who need the services we provide at the home,” Faustin told this reporter in an interview.
She said apart from the Department of Human Services, the police will also assist them in identifying vulnerable children in Vieux Fort.
According to Faustin, she is a bit worried that they have not been able to accept children at this time but expressed confidence that they will be able to do so in a few weeks’ time.
“We are eager to have the home running…” she said.
Faustin said she would like the community to appreciate what they are doing and make full use of the institution.
In an interview with several residents of Vieux Fort, they all noted that a children’s home is a need in the community, some going as far as identifying certain areas where there are vulnerable children who are in need of the services the home provides.
“Bruceville is the first place the home and the Department of Human Services should target …” one resident said.
Over the years, the Community Relations Branch (CRB) of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force has had cause to offer counselling to a number of vulnerable children in Bruceville, one of the most troubled areas in Vieux Fort.