Staff of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank recently visited the Nature Fun Ranch at Bruce Vale Plantation, St Andrew and helped with a major clean up and de-bushing.
The financial institution also donated an undisclosed sum to the now 20-year-old community project, which is focused on the holistic development of ‘at risk’ young people.
CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Managing Director for Barbados Donna Wellington, in presenting the cheque to Layne, said the bank was happy to contribute to the nation-building venture, which has assisted some 2074 young people since its inception.
In welcoming the assistance, director Corey Layne said the monies would help the fun ranch to get its fund-raising projects going. He also expressed hope that it would soon be in a position to offer a stipend to its camp directors and assistants, who are currently full time volunteers.
However, Layne said the ranch, which now has a board of directors and an advisory board comprising prominent citizens who would be able to advise and guide the running of the facility, was aiming to significantly reduce its dependence on donations and to become more self sufficient by the year 2020.
Going forward, the focus therefore will be to seek to raise revenue from guided tours, food crop and animal production, as well as assisting in the reform of children who are suspended or expelled from school and other at-risk youth.
Over the past four years, the ranch has been primarily using its Bruce Vale facility for agriculture, equestrian, adventure and other outdoor pursuits. However, Layne acknowledged that the facility needed a lot of work, including repairing the former manager’s residence and transforming it into a club house; de-bushing and making paths more accessible.