PR – Reach Within is a non-profit organization that has been working with Grenada’s most vulnerable children and teens since 2005, while fine-tuning a simple model of care to support resiliency development and improved health outcomes. Its mission is to transform trauma suffered from abuse or neglect into healthy living; we believe that anyone can thrive against any odds if given the tools. The core programs of Reach Within include rhythmic activities such as drumming, yoga, and sports directed to re-patterning brain changes that occur from abuse; caregiver training and support; and transitional living guidance in the form of mentoring and job or college placement. Reach Within supports the work of the Child Protection Authority, a division of the Ministry of Social Development, Housing, and Community Empowerment.
In partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, the 2022 Island Innovation Awards recognized individuals, organizations and projects driving positive change for remote and island communities globally. There were 12 award categories and the focus of the awards is on sharing the success of the winners, so other communities may benefit. A jury of esteemed leaders and activists selected the Reach Within Team for their positive impact on the Grenadian community during COVID-19. This jury included the Former President of Republic of Seychelles, James Michel, Former President of the Republic of Kiribati, Anote Tong, Former UN High Representative, Fekitamoela Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, and Google’s Crisis Response & Humanitarian Aid, Alexander Diaz, among notable world and humanitarian leaders.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as the world went into an initial lock-down period, Reach Within acted quickly. Using already established relationships within the local community, the team conducted an immediate needs assessment for children living in residential care homes, the caregivers who quickly became essential workers, and the young people who had recently transitioned from the residential care system and were finding their way in the community.
With access to fertile land, Reach Within created a food delivery service that brought the bounty of Grenada to residential care homes for children and teens, the essential workers and into the community for young people who had been working cash-in-hand jobs which were lost upon lockdown. Deliveries included mangoes, avocados, breadfruits, eggs, and poultry. The small but mighty Reach Within team also encouraged and supported the development of food gardens in residential care homes to promote sustainability and remind children of the bounty of their island nation. Other responses included shifting caregiver programs to an online daily chat group as a way to promote connectivity and provide ongoing support for the caregivers who were caring for children living in residential care and supporting their remote learning needs
PO Box 1201 Celine Clyne Building Shelter Island Heights, NY reachwithin.org Old Fort Road 11965, USA St. George’s, Grenada
while also caring for their own children who were now at home full-time and learning remotely. Reach Within provided daily Facebook Moments for the community to promote stress reduction, remind others of the power of rhythm to help promote self-regulation and bring hope to the local community. An online Show us Your Talent Series helped care home residents and young people in the Transitional Living program find hope as they spent the lockdown period preparing artwork to be showcased for the Reach Within online community.
The Reach Within team is proud to have been selected as one of the winners of the 2022 Island Innovation Awards and endeavors to continue the work: Getting to the root of childhood trauma simply, so children can thrive against any odds. Founder of Reach Within, Dr. Karen Lawson states, “we are honored to be in a position to inspire other humanitarian workers to see that low cost, high impact interventions – if delivered with a clear intention to create lasting change- are well worth the effort.”
Ms. Philomena Robertson, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister of Grenada adds, “I’m truly heartened that the work of Reach Within has been recognised by the Island Innovation Award. To me, this award validates the impact Reach Within is having in the Grenadian community and it reinforces the need for partners/supporters/donors to support the work of the organisation. Come November, I will be running the NYC Marathon again, in support of Reach Within and I encourage you to support myself and other runners as we raise funds for the valuable work of Reach Within.”
If you are interested in supporting Reach Within’s 2022 NYC Marathon Team please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or reachwithin.org/donatenow. If you or someone you know needs services from Reach Within or would like to learn more about our work please visit our community drop-in centre on Old Fort Road, St. Georges. Drop-in Centre Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.