August 8th, 2019 -- SKNNA-DC is doing exceptional work here in the diaspora with citizens from the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis residing in the Washington/DC surroundings and at home. The group was formed in 1984, following the Independence of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis in 1983, by a group of St. Kitts and Nevis nationals in the Washington, DC metropolitan area (DC/MD/VA). It started with a core membership of 12 nationals and the officers were Dr. Franklyn Musgrave, President, Clifford Thomas, V.P, Uriel DaSilva, Treasurer, and Shirley Tyson, Secretary.
The event will be held under the distinguished patronage of the Honorable Selwyn S.C. Walters on August 31st in NY. The theme of the event is “Working Together for A Brighter Future”.
A significant portion of the proceeds from SKNNA-DC’s first fundraiser was donated to the St. Kitts Children’s Home to support their Christmas celebrations. The SKNNA continued to function and promote its objectives of bridging the gap between nationals at home and abroad in various areas, such as celebrating the Anniversary of Independence each year and assisting students attending local universities. One of the association’s major events was the hosting the Federation’s 10th Anniversary of Independence at the Hall of the Americas at the Organization of American States (OAS), Washington, DC. The event attracted over 250 nationals who traveled from St. Kitts and Nevis, the United States and Canada. Other activities included providing relief to the Federation following the devastation from Hurricane Hugo in 1989 through a collaborative effort of various businesses, private donors and fundraising events
The association experienced ebbs and flows over the years, with many changes in leadership, and varying levels of commitment and participation.
Nevertheless, the association continued to function, focusing on four key events:
1. Cancer Walkathon in support of the Pink Lily Foundation of St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as a young national who was in Washington undergoing treatment for brain cancer
2. Summer Family picnic
3. 30th Independence Anniversary Celebration
4. Christmas Party
During these years, the association made a deliberate effort to create linkages with other Caribbean organizations, most notably, the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS). Led by Dr. Claire Nelson of Jamaica, ICS has become the pre-eminent Caribbean organization in North America. ICS promotes the visibility and voice of Caribbean peoples and was instrumental in getting Congress to name June as Caribbean Heritage month. SKNNA-DC worked closely with ICS to support its many activities
With the arrival of new nationals in the Washington area around 2010, there was a new infusion of energy into the association.
In recent years, the association has been led by the following Presidents:
• Valda Morris
• William Hodge
• Irma Hewlett
• Jean Thompson-Henry
The association has always worked closely with the St Kitts and Nevis Embassy in Washington, DC but that collaboration has been strengthened with the appointment of Dr. Thelma Phillip-Browne as our Ambassador. Dr. Phillip-Browne and her staff have invested significant time and resources in support of the group’s activities.
1. The Walkathon has now morphed into the Annual Charity Walk in order to provide flexibility to sup-port a larger number of causes, including:
• Back packs and schools supplies for over 200 primary school children in St Kitts and Nevis.
• Dominica Hurricane Relief Efforts - US$4,000 donated to Campbell Primary School to help rebuild the school’s infra-structure after the devastation inflicted by Tropical Storm Erika in the summer of 2015.
The St Kitts and Nevis Nationals Association of Washington DC (SKNNA-DC) was recognized by the International Association of Emergency Managers’ Global Stu-dent Council (IAEM GSC) for its contribution of $4,000 to the Campbell Primary School in Dominica, which was severely damaged by tropical storm Erika.
2. In March, of this year, the association purchased 16 wheelchairs for the Federation which were distributed as follows:
• 8 to the Cardin Home in Basseterre,
• 4 to the Flamboyant Nursing Home in Nevis
• 4 to the SK Disabled Association in St Kitts.
In June 2019, former President William Hodge, represented the group in a handing over ceremony of the wheel chairs to the Ministry of Health, represented by Dr. Hazel Laws, Chief Medical Officer.
3. In January, 2019 a severely ill child from Sandy Point had to be rushed to National Institute of Health (NIH) in Washington for brain surgery. Members of the association visited her and her mother, and provided care packages for both of them.
4. During 2018, the association offered monetary assistance to one of its members who were battling cancer. SKNNA-DC also donated funds to the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (Maryland).
5. During 2016, the association donated to the following: Child Evangelism Fellowship Cause (St. Kitts); Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation and National Wesleyan Church (Maryland) Building Fund.
6. During 2015, the association donated to the following: Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (Maryland); Charles Wesley United Methodist Church; MALS Foundation – this foundation was founded by one of our members who lost a love one to this disease – Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome (MALS).
7. During 2014, the association contributed to the purchase of prosthetic legs for one of our Nationals in St. Kitts.
Sandy Point Benevolent Society (SPBS) is pleased to present to the SKNNA-DC, the Distinguished Community Services Award 2019.
This article was posted in its entirety as received by SKNVibes.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of SKNVibes.com, its sponsors or advertisers