Republic Bank’s Power to Make a Difference (PMAD) programme is offering a new partnership with schools; strengthening several youth-focused programmes and renewing its commitment to health initiatives.
PMAD is the Bank’s corporate social responsibility initiative and this year, a total of $200,000 has been donated to nine local organizations, three of which are new. The programme fosters multi-year partnerships with charitable and educational organizations whose work falls under any one of the initiative’s four pillars – the Power to Help, the Power to Care, the Power to Learn and the Power to Succeed. The Bank continued its support for:
- SickKids Caribbean
- Jabez House
- Transplant Links
- The Diabetes Association of Barbados
- Barbados Adventure Race
- Ambrose Primary School
Crime Stoppers Barbados, Eco Rebel and Pharma Wellness International Inc. have been brought on board this year.
In his featured address, Republic Bank’s Managing Director and CEO Anthony Clerk announced that the Bank will be rolling out support for several schools across the island.
“We have so enjoyed the relationship fostered with the St. Ambrose School that we have made the decision to have each of our Branches work closely with a Primary and a Secondary School near to them. We have budgeted over $70,000.00 towards this project which will be rolled out later in the fiscal year,” he said.
Noting that he is pleased that Republic Bank has been able to work with its partners throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, “With our old and new partners, Republic Bank Barbados will continue to meet people where they are and help them create healthier lives, greater opportunities, safer communities and environmentally conscious practices. In a year when many have lost so much, we are more devoted than ever to helping our fellow Barbadians rebuild and re-position themselves for growth and prosperity.”
Each of the new entities expressed gratitude for the support and partnership with the Bank, explaining that it will allow them to either strengthen existing projects or introduce new ones at the community level.
In his address, CEO of Pharma Wellness International Inc. Lennox Prescod explained that he aimed to take his company’s successful Workplace and Lifestyle Wellness Programme into the community and schools.
Currently, the programme is run in 30 private sector companies and has 1000 members. Participants undergo an initial screening for various non-communicable diseases (NCDs), along with tests targeted towards weight management. Participants receive their results, a health plan to help them achieve their goals and subsequent quarterly checks and counselling to keep them on track.
Prescod said that from January 2021, with the help of Republic Bank, his company will be taking “that goodness” into the community. He explained that he already has two pilot groups made up of families in St Lucy and Christ Church.
“We are taking people in the programme who have done well and they will talk to people. So it’s people talking to people. It’s not a doctor talking to you but people saying ‘I had diabetes, I don’t have it any longer and this is what I did and you can do it too’. Many Barbadians don’t start because they don’t think they can do it,” he said.
Prescod added that funds from Republic Bank will also assist with a study being conducted in five secondary schools. He said by the end of next year, his team will be able to show what percentage of each NCD exists in the school-based group and make the appropriate interventions.
“That will give us a lot of data so that we can then know for real and not be guessing as to how many diabetics they are or how many are hypertensive. Then we can do work,” he said.
Prescod said that already, the data that they collect from participants in their programmes are used to drive research and show the link between health and productivity. He said the information from the school-based study would be shared with the Ministries of Education and Health.
Founder of Eco Rebel, Dominique Tudor, also has big plans for the work she and her team will be able to do thanks to the support from Republic Bank. Eco Rebel is a registered social enterprise that creates unique projects, products and experiences that trigger unity and community action while also encouraging the care and protection of the environment, health and wellness.
Tudor explained, “One of the biggest things that this will be able to help us with is to grow our connection with Mavericks Sports Club, where we are starting to build a creative Eco-arm. They have a global exchange programme for students. It allows students to be more well-rounded. Now, it’s not only sports they can do outside of their regular curriculum but they can now have opportunities to give back to the community, learn how to make repurposed products and create their own businesses within the blue and green economy.”
Deputy Chairman of Crime Stoppers Barbados, Jon Martineau, also expressed excitement to be partnering with the PMAD programme for the first time.
Referencing a video that was shared during the presentation ceremony outlining the work that the Bank has already done with the other recipients, Martineau said, “I’m so impressed with what I saw here this afternoon and I am happy to be part of it.”
Crime Stoppers Barbados runs the Cool Yuh Head programme within secondary schools and Cool Kids programme within primary schools. They offer anger management and problem-solving training for students. He said that the monetary donation will go towards strengthening their work within the school system.
“We can have a whole discussion about what’s happening with our youth today but what we are seeing are the ones who have already left school. What we are attempting to do is to go into the school and catch them early. That’s why, even with the success that we’ve had with the secondary schools, we started going into the primary schools because we were told that even at the secondary level it’s a little too late; you need to get to them a lot sooner,” Martineau explained.
This year’s PMAD presentation ceremony took place at the Limegrove branch. A representative from each organization was present to receive their donation.