The Power to Make a Difference History

Republic Bank believes that every human being is important and has a valuable contribution to make to his environment, as well as, to the national community. This belief was the inspiration for our ground-breaking social investment programme, the Power to Make a Difference, which was introduced in March 2004. The programme is the Bank’s vehicle for encouraging positive change in our society, and is built upon four pillars—The Power to Care, The Power to Help, The Power to Learn and The Power to Succeed.

The Power to Make a Difference programme aims to enhance the quality of life of disadvantaged persons; support healthcare programmes and disability awareness initiatives; provide opportunities for young people to realise their truest potential through sport, education and the arts; build community spirit and, in essence, help to correct some of society’s ills. This one programme has provided a model for corporate social responsibility in Grenada, Carriacou & Petit Martinique and indeed in the wider English-speaking Caribbean. 

The Power to Make a Difference programme is administered in five-year horizons and 2013 marked the conclusion of the second five year phase. Over the course of the programme, resilient bonds were formed with many charitable organisations. Communities were transformed and the potential of thousands of young people was unlocked and unleashed.   

Our focus on differently-abled persons shone the national spotlight on this previously neglected group.  While focus was placed on physical disabilities, greater energy was expended on “hidden disabilities” particularly those that affect learning.  We also focused on the provision of physical facilities for differently-abled persons, as well as training opportunities for them to assist in their adaptation and general education and awareness of their special needs. These were targeted at the mainstream population to generate enhanced levels of understanding, tolerance and acceptance. 

The Differently-Abled

From 2004, our projects included construction of additional wings to accommodate students at the St. Andrew’s School for Special Education, and residents at the Dorothy Hopkin Centre for the Disabled.  A bathroom block was also constructed at the Victoria School for Special Education, which caters to children with disabilities, in rural Grenada.

In seeking to mitigate the stigma attached to persons with disabilities, we also donated specialised equipment to the Resource Centre for the Blind, to assist persons coping with the daily challenges of blindness.  In addition, we sponsor annually, the Grenada School for Special Education Sports meet.  Ongoing donations are also made annually to the Grenada National Council of the Disabled and the Dorothy Hopkin Centre for the Disabled.

Educating and Inspiring a Nation

The Bank’s focus on the development of young people through sport, education and the arts has continued apace, with the maintenance of the Republic Bank RightStart Cup Youth Football Tournament, Carriacou Domestic Cricket Tournament and Republic Bank Angel Harps Junior Steel Orchestra.  We also give support to the National Disaster Management Authority’s Disaster Awareness Quiz for Primary Schools, and the Grenada International Triathlon’s “Tri de Spice” Triathlon.  Upgrades were carried out at various schools across Grenada and Carriacou.  Computer laboratories were outfitted at Westmorland Secondary School, Presentation Brothers College and Bishop’s College.  To create safer, more conducive learning environments, much needed enhancements were done to the Morne Jaloux R.C. School, St. Patrick’s Catholic School and St. Mark’s Secondary School.

Firmly asserting our role as a staunch supporter of national culture, Republic Bank continues to fund the Angel Harps Senior Steel Orchestra and provides support to the Grenada Board of Tourism to host the Carriacou Maroon Festival.    Commemoration of Emancipation is observed each year, at all branches across the Bank’s network.   A nation can only know where it is going, when it knows from whence it has come.  This year, the Bank has partnered with the Grenada National Museum, to convert the European Invasion and Amerindian Heritage display rooms to a full social history gallery and resource centre for students and visitors alike. Our national heritage, in the form of our history and culture, are therefore important components of the Power to Make a Difference programme. 

The Bank’s support of the University of the West Indies (UWI) – Scholarship and Bursary programmes has been a key component in the promotion of literacy.  We also collaborate annually with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to plan and execute Financial Information Month, by promoting financial literacy and awareness throughout the month of October.  This initiative includes presentations to schools, television discussions and open-house awareness on financial literacy. 

The Poor, The Sick and The Marginalised

Echoing the sentiments of author, John Green that, “There is no Them. There are only facets of ‘Us”, we continued to focus on breaking the cycle of poverty, keeping our ongoing commitment to thirteen (13) Charitable Organizations around Grenada.  We constructed a wing at the Hillview Home, which provides geriatric care for senior citizens. We supported the Pink Ribbon Society, in its staging of the worldwide Globeathon Walk against Women's Cancer, as they support survivors and families of breast and other cancers in Grenada. This walk also sought to educate the population through the dissemination of information on the importance of early screening as a preventative and early treatment measure, to increase the number of cancer survivors. 

Steadfast Resolve

After ten years, Republic Bank is more convinced than ever before, that as an organisation and as individuals, we have the Power to Make a Difference in the lives of our fellowmen.  Every journey begins with a single step, and through this programme, Republic Bank joins this powerful movement to help, to care, to teach and to move others onto the road to success. A decade and an investment of $1.5million later, small remote communities are growing, physically and mentally challenged children are getting a new lease on life, young people are learning that there are viable alternatives to guns and violence; and those alternatives lie in embracing their sporting talents, immersing themselves in our cultural heritage and grasping the opportunities for education that are available to them.  There is much left to be done, but with our committed staff and selfless non-governmental organization and community-based organization partners, we shall continue this drive in the interest of building a better Grenada.

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