Sandals Foundation Marks 15th Anniversary And Mandate To Empower Caribbean Communities And Lives

PR – The Sandals Foundation, proudly commemorates its 15th anniversary remaining steadfast in its commitment to improving the lives of people across the Caribbean. Through initiatives focused on education, community development, and environmental conservation, the Sandals Foundation has positively touched1.5 million lives, leaving an indelible mark on the region.

Reflecting on the journey of the philanthropic organization, President of the Sandals Foundation and Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart expressed pride in the foundation’s evolution and achievements. “From the beginning, our commitment to transformational projects has remained unwavering. We’ve witnessed firsthand the power of partnerships and the resilience of Caribbean people.”

“The mission of the Sandals Foundation,” Stewart continued, “is deeply rooted in the belief that empowered Caribbean people can shape a brighter future for themselves, their communities and generations that follow. We have achieved significant milestones in this respect. Our endorsement by the United Nations Department of Communication as an organization helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) gave us great confidence in knowing that our work while helping to solve local challenges was also positively contributing to a broader global agenda.” 

Established on March 18, 2009, the Sandals Foundation was created to harness new opportunities and expand upon the community outreach of Sandals Resorts International. The philanthropic organization has since made significant strides in each of its core pillars of work:

Education: Nurturing Minds, Shaping Futures – The Sandals Foundation is dedicated to providing access to quality education for all. Through projects such as sustainable water initiatives, building schools, enhancing infrastructure, equipping students with required technologies, providing scholarships, and supporting literacy programs, the foundation has empowered children and adults to unlock their full potential. To date, the team has impacted over 350,000 students in their education needs, distributed over 6,000 digital learning devices, supported over 2,000 schools, awarding over 200 scholarships, and distributed some 300,000 books to schools and libraries.

Community Development: Building Stronger Communities – By investing in skills training and certification, youth engagement, artisan and other livelihoods, the Sandals Foundation has fostered vibrant and resilient communities across the Caribbean. In recent years, the organisation has intensified its investment in food security programmes investing in climate smart technologies and education within communities and learning institutions. It continues to expand its women empowerment programme, Women Helping Others Achieve (WHOA) – providing mentorship, training, health, and counselling support for marginalized women. Additionally, through strategic partnerships in the health sector, the philanthropic organisation has invested in medical personnel training, equipment, built infrastructure and the capacity of medical practitioners and systems to better serve thousands of people. 

Environmental Conservation: Safeguarding Our Natural Heritage – Recognizing the importance of preserving the Caribbean’s rich biodiversity, the Sandals Foundation leads efforts in marine sanctuary management, coral restoration, and environmental education. Through expertise partnerships that see to the development of environmental curriculum and hands on field trips, the foundation is raising awareness of children and empowering stewards to take action for generations to come. Throughout the Caribbean, some 19 marine and terrestrial protected areas, national gardens and parks receive support and to further bolster the region’s biodiversity, over 33,000 corals have been outplanted in our seas, and 27,000 terrestrial and marine trees have been planted to support the vital ecosystems. Additionally, the philanthropic organisation works closely with local partners investing in eco- tours to sustain continued conservation.  

As the Sandals Foundation embarks on its next chapter, the commitment to empowerment and impact remains at the forefront. Across the region, its teams are working with local artists to create colourful murals of inspiration cementing a positive message throughout the length and breadth of communities.

“Empowerment, to the foundation, means providing individuals and communities with the resources, skills, opportunities and the inspiration necessary to take control of their own destinies and effect positive change,” says Heidi Clarke Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, “We are keen to ensure our programmes promote inclusive and equitable education opportunities, and foster economic growth through skills development and entrepreneurship support. Looking ahead to the next 15 years, we plan to scale up our work with the right partners, and leading by example in fostering thriving and holistic community programmes. Through strategic collaborations and innovative approaches, we will continue to drive positive change throughout the region.”

Together, with the support of team members, guests, corporate, community and travel partners, the foundation will harness “The Power of 15” to amplify its reach and effectiveness.