In September 2017 we watched in horror as Hurricanes Irma and Maria tore through the Caribbean, causing destruction to everything in their path.
Despite suffering extreme physical damage, the British Virgin Islands are not devastated. Just days after the event, the BVI community displayed unfaltering resilience and determination to rebuild their home and make it stronger, smarter and greener than before.
There is a long journey ahead, but the spirit of the people is stronger than ever.
What are we doing?
Since Hurricane Irma, Unite BVI, Virgin Unite and Virgin Limited Edition have committed over $2.9M USD to charitable projects and initiatives across the BVI, including $1.6M USD of the BVI Community Support Appeal funds.
In the immediate aftermath of Irma, we were heavily involved in relief efforts – since then our focus has been on the long-term recovery of the islands, by supporting the government’s vision of building a “stronger, smarter, greener, better BVI”.
As outlined in Richard’s blog, we continue to focus on the same three areas to assist the long-term reconstruction of the BVI:
Community and Education: through the rebuilding of schools, using technology to support teachers and students, supporting community/youth/children centres, and building capacity to respond to future natural disasters through disaster risk reduction and preparedness training.
Entrepreneurship: through skills-based training programmes and a micro loan/kickstart programme.
Environment: through supporting the development of renewable energy and recycling initiatives and community debris clean-ups.
Unite BVI and Virgin Unite continue to work hard to identify further projects that support the long-term recovery. Further detail of our work in these areas is outlined in the sections below. We’ll continue to keep you updated on other projects going forward.