January 27, 2015

Haldane families know how lucky their children are to attend such a resource-rich school. This school year, families stepped up by donating character education books to supplement Haldane Elementary School's character education program. Then, Denniston International matched this contribution by donating one book that was donated by a Haldane family to a child in need in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These 1st graders were so excited about the new additions to their school library. Thank you, Haldane families, for being part of something INCREDIBLE happening here. 

January 27, 2015

It is difficult to describe the outpouring of love and gratitude that Denniston International received today at our partner school, St. Joseph's Convent Marriaqua. All day long students thanked me for their school sponsorship, and one 13-year-old boy said plainly, "Without this help, I wouldn't be at school today. Thank you". It was an emotional day as past students who were sponsored by Denniston International also came to visit, proudly standing in their college uniforms or professional work clothes. Above is a photo of the SJCM students currently being sponsored by Denniston International. Donors--your spirit was felt in St. Vincent today--these children are SO grateful. Thank YOU. 

January 24, 2015

I'm sure some of you have heard the phrase "This Is Africa (TIA)" to describe African culture and society in all of its glory--and chaos. As we begin Day 2 of our field visit to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I am reminded of people who grin when I say that I'm going to do nonprofit work in the Caribbean. It is so easy to be a tourist in this country and miss out on the very real problems. I am struck by the many varying sides of Vincentian culture--and in many ways, Eastern Caribbean culture as a whole. 


We all have pictures in our head of the beautiful Caribbean beaches, and those are here, for sure. But THIS is also the Caribbean I know.


This is Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in Kingstown, St. Vincent's capital. My oldest son Trajan and I spent the day there yesterday. Trajan was NOT impressed. Kingstown is run-down and rough--very few things have changed since I served in the Peace Corps there, and I believe it looks much worse since the years have passed. You might not be able to tell from the photo, but there was a woman carrying her newborn baby home from the hospital and waiting for one of the island's vans to take them home. When one thinks of the Caribbean, one doesn't usually picture this hard day-to-day life, the struggle of local Vinentians to make a living and raise a family. This country continues to struggle to utilize its scant resourcs to make long-term improvements. 


Today, I will visit with Denniston's family--more updates to come. 


Thank you for caring--and for checking in, 


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