The Maria Holder Memorial Trust has already invested just under $25 million in Barbados, and is expected to inject additional funds over the next few years. This disclosure came recently from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart shortly before he signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at Government Headquarters with Christopher Holder and Chesterfield Brewster, who signed on behalf of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust and The Brewster Trust, respectively.
Pointing out that the investment was mainly in the area of education, Stuart said: “We have had nursery schools, very critical to our educational architecture, contributed by The Maria Holder Memorial Trust, and, of course, there are plans to build six additional nursery schools across the island.
“Barbados is very grateful for this kind of intervention, because we are known across the Western Hemisphere for the quality of our education; and the earlier we begin, the more solid will be the foundation and the more secure will be the reputation of Barbados for the foreseeable future.”
He added that an associated foundation, the Medicor Foundation, had recently opened the Diabetes Centre at Warrens, and stressed that it had come at a good time, especially since chronic non-communicable diseases were wreaking havoc on this country and the region.
The Prime Minister noted that The Brewster Trust’s focus was promoting, developing and improving football among young people.
“Initiatives are well on the way to ensure that The Brewster Trust is able to deliver as commendably and as admirably as The Maria Holder Memorial Trust has done in Barbados,” he remarked.
The Prime Minister thanked the representatives of both organizations for their continued assistance, as well as for the commitment, steadfastness and patience shown. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Darcy Boyce, who was also present at the signing, said both trusts were doing very valuable work, particularly for young people, to help them develop their true potential.
“The work of the trusts ties in very much with this administration’s view that we must not see an economy or a country as merely mechanistic, but that it is a living organism,” he stated.
Holder stressed that both trusts were united in their desire to work with the Government and people of Barbados to improve the country.
“I think you have seen from the projects we have done that they are forward thinking, [and] innovative, and we are also listening to the needs of the Government and [the] people . . . . We have some great ideas going forward and we wish to cement the relationship even further,” he said.
Holder is the son of the late Maria Holder, in whose name that trust was set up. President of The Brewster Trust and deputy chairman of The Maria Holder Trust, Chesterfield Brewster, who is also son-in-law of the late Maria Holder, said the MOU would benefit Barbados, and promised that they would go forward with “full force”.
The Maria Holder Memorial Trust was founded by Christopher Holder in 2007 to fund philanthropic projects in Barbados, while The Brewster Trust was set up in 2010 to promote, develop and improve football here. They are both registered charities in Barbados. (BGIS)