(CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – Friday, June 5, 2020) –Twenty-one-year-old Rickela Joseph of Morne Serpent, Grande Riviere (Gros Islet) is a much happier woman now, thanks to the benevolence of Vision Express and several other private sector companies.
The mother of two young boys had her entire home refurbished as part of Vision Express’s “One Community, One Vision” programme which was recently launched.
The unpainted two-bedroom wooden structure measuring 20 feet by 14 feet was greatly compromised when the Vision Express team visited the family on May 5 this year offering to undertake the renovation works at its expense. Joseph immediately agreed to the offer, prompting the Vision Express team – made up mostly of staffers and volunteers – to begin planning the refurbishment phase.
A deadline for completion of the works was set – May 31, 2020 – and the team soon realized that the structure needed more remedial work done to make it safe, especially for the two young children. While Vision Express committed a large share of the material costs and the total costs for labour, we recognized that we needed other corporate partners on board.
To that end, Vision Express reached out to several local businesses for assistance which came in the form of total donations or reduced prices for materials and other essentials. The volunteer team also received lunch and refreshments for the five-day project from local companies free of charge.
Partners who came on board to make this project a success include Massy Stores St. Lucia, Saint Lu Metal & Plastic Manufacturers Ltd., Blue Waters, Domino’s, Harris Paints, Island Style Tile & Bath Inc., Sunbilt, St. Lucia Homes, Damien Robinson Construction, SLYOU Marketing, FreshNutz, Stone Cast St. Lucia, Bexon Wood-Fired Pizza, Bay Gardens Resorts, The Landings, Coco Palm Hotel, Exotic Cuisine SLU, and the Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association (SLHTA).
From May 27-31, a team of experts in the construction field undertook the repair on the family’s home, much to the delight of Joseph. Over the course of those days, they were able to replace the wooden floor, the exterior plywood walls and stronger wooden steps. Some of the wooden windows were replaced with glass pushup windows, and a kitchen counter and cupboards were installed. The entire structure was also painted inside and out, thereby ensuring its protection from the natural elements.
With her newly-refurbished home already making a clear statement to the spirit of Saint Lucian generosity, Joseph expressed gratitude to everyone involved, noting that her home is now attracting the attention of many of her neighbours.
“I’m really overwhelmed by the transformation of the home,” Joseph, who has been living in the house since 2008, said. “I’m also very happy and grateful, for sure. I can’t even remember what it looked like before. My one-year-old son feels more comfortable because there’s more space now to play. It feels like home.”
She added: “This all came like a blessing to me because I’ve always wanted to get it done on my own, but never thought I would be able to. So I really appreciate it. It’s an awesome thing to do for someone.”
As part of the “One Community, One Vision” programme, Vision Express will embark on socially uplifting activities across Saint Lucia to assist families, communities and organizations in need. These efforts are important to us as we see Saint Lucia as one large unique community of amazing people.
Meanwhile, part proceeds from every pair of eyewear purchased from Vision Express will be used for the upcoming Vision For Life project aimed at assisting others in need as these were a vital source of funding for the Morne Serpent family home refurbishment.