October, 2015, will herald a new healing and restoration for women in Barbados. That’s when the first residential rehabilitation facility opens its doors to women who have problems with substance abuse and addiction.
In the final step towards having its doors opened, The Maria Holder Memorial Trust recently handed over the keys for the completely renovated Marina House to the Substance Abuse Foundation. It signalled another significant achievement of this key partnership to help women in addiction and their families have a better chance of a normal life.
Marina House is named after the sister of Christopher Holder and wife of Chesterfield Brewster, the founders of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust. As a collaboration between The Maria Holder Memorial Trust and the Substance Abuse Foundation, this facility will fill an acute need for a residential substance abuse facility for women in Barbados. Since the early days of Verdun House, a facility for men, the number of women in addiction has grown significantly and has put a large population of children and families at very high risk.
Therefore, the partnership forged to establish Marina House underscores the effectiveness of the current addiction programme at Verdun House which offers the best and most recognized addiction programme on the island and the only one to have international accreditation. Given this track record, it is anticipated that Marina House will offer the same excellent standards and reap similar success.
While there are no specific statistics on the extent of the addiction problem in the female population in Barbados, both the National Council On Substance Abuse and the Psychiatric Hospital have noted that the number of women seeking help has grown alarmingly. The opening of Marina House in October is therefore expected to change this situation, providing much needed statistics to guide strategic and targeted interventions to assist in prevention and rehabilitation efforts.
The Maria Holder Memorial Trust will fund the programming costs for the facility for one year. The trust has also supported the Substance Abuse Foundation on several components of this project, including the purchase and refurbishment of the facility in St John, along with the outfitting costs of furniture, equipment, appliances
and a dedicated vehicle.
The Maria Holder Memorial Trust, registered Charity No. 766 under the Charities Act Of Barbados, is a charity creating longevity. It was founded by Christopher Holder and Chesterfield Brewster in memory of Christopher’s mother Maria Holder. Maria had made Barbados her home since 1978 until her sudden and untimely death in February, 2004.
It is the wish of Christopher and Chesterfield to ensure her vision is fulfilled through this charity bearing her name.
The trust works with Government and registered NGOs and charities in Barbados and some other Caribbean countries (Antigua, BVI, Grenada and St Vincent) to implement projects that have a direct impact on the lives of vulnerable people.
It works in the areas of education, health, poverty alleviation, culture and disaster relief, and its target groups are children, youth, the elderly and those in vulnerable or difficulty circumstances. The trust is always happy to consider innovative projects or new approaches to helping those most in need.
The Substance Abuse Foundation Inc. (SAF) is a registered charity of Barbados, established in 1996 to fight the harmful impact of illicit drugs and alcohol on the shattered lives of citizens and their families in Barbados and the wider Caribbean.
It was formed by a number of socially aware and committed men and women who recognized the urgent need to help these victims with appropriate professional rehabilitation in an enabling environment that meets internationally accepted standards of accommodation and treatment.
The SAF in June, 2000, established Verdun House, today a leading internationally accredited health institution in the Caribbean, providing critical intervention and recovery services to persons suffering with the disease
of addiction. Verdun House is an all-male residential treatment facility, accredited by EATA (European Association For The Treatment Of Addictions) as of August 21, 2009.