Sun, Sea and School

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There’s a new tourism experience in Saint Lucia; going back to school.

Tour operators and travel agents tell us that people are increasingly looking for authentic experiences when they go on holiday. Having the opportunity to find out more about the destination they are visiting makes for a better holiday and a good story to tell friends and family back home. So, if you’re the inquisitive or adventurous type read on, this might just be for you.

Bay Gardens Resorts– made up of four properties on the island, including its four-star Beach Resort and Spa – has opened up its community initiative to holidaymakers.  The Monchy Feeding programme provides healthy breakfasts to less fortunate children at Monchy primary school in the north of Saint Lucia.

Bay Gardens - Monchy Primary School2Visits run during term time and will be escorted by a teacher and a member of staff from Bay Gardens to explain how the scheme runs. You will also get an introduction to daily school life in Saint Lucia and the opportunity to read with the children.

The programme started in 2012 following an impromptu visit to Monchy School by Bay Gardens’ Beach Resort and Spa General Manager, Waltrude Patrick. A former teacher, she had dropped in to see her old colleague, the principal, on the way to her grandmother’s house. Whilst there she saw first-hand that some of the children came to school without breakfast and struggled to concentrate on their studies as a result.

Bay Gardens Resorts set up The Monchy Feeding Programme to give a nutritional boost to pupils and now, every year, food worth over £7,000 is given to the school providing breakfasts to 70 pupils.

Waltrude is incredibly proud of what has been achieved to date. “I didn’t realise how many children turned up to school without having had their first meal of the day. I’d left teaching and worked at Bay Gardens at that time so once I’d seen it, I talked to my managers and they were really supportive. This is a family-run business which comes to the fore with schemes like this.

“The programme is thriving now and we provide a healthy breakfast to those children who would otherwise go without. They can choose cereal, fruits, eggs, milk, chocolate mix, cheese, sausages, bread and juices. We saw a real need as being well fed is essential to being attentive during classes.”

If you’d like more information, please email Nicol Alexander – nalexander@baygardensresorts.com

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