BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THE Windsor University School of Medicine (WUSM) has joined the myriad organisations showing their support for the Haitian people after the devastating January 12 earthquake.
Dr. Karen Ronquillo, Associate Dean for Student Affairs at WUSM, informed that the school donated a check of EC$30 000 to the St. Kitts Red Cross (SKRC) chapter yesterday (Mar. 8) in support of the Haitian disaster relief.
She said the money was raised through several student fundraising activities such as bake sales, pizza days and dinners. Students for Health, the American Medical Students Association (Windsor Chapter) and the Muslim Students Association, which are all WUSM volunteer groups, spearheaded their own initiatives and later gave their profits to the university’s overall humanitarian effort.
These cumulative endeavours resulted in the students raising EC$15 000, a figure that was then matched by WUSM administration to increase the total funds to EC$30 000.
In the weeks following the 7.0 quake that killed over 200 000 persons and left another two million homeless, support for the Haitian people has poured in from all over the world. In the Federation, the government was quick to establish a Haitian Solidarity Fund for personal donations, while the private sector and Red Cross also stepped up to assist the cause.
Speaking to SKNVibes earlier this month, SKRC President Dr. Reginald O’Loughlin revealed that his organisation had sent the first batch of its monetary donation, totalling just over EC$100 000, to Haiti in late February.
He said their account at the Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago only held about EC$9 000 after that initial contribution, and noted that more funds needed to be raised before another package was sent.
“We’re looking at the quantity of the donations now. We realised that most of the major contributions would have been in that first batch, and we expect the account activity to slow down because most families are only making one donation.
“In another month or so, or in four to six weeks, we will probably close the account. But we want to send off another US$10 000 before we’re done,” he explained.
The Red Cross has maintained a presence in St. Kitts since 1942, and holds several community activities including first aid classes, counselling and career guidance sessions, and swimming lessons. SKRC volunteers also assist in the provision of food hampers and hot lunches to the needy.