The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring Resilience Cayman, an initiative that connects non-profits, entrepreneurs and businesses with tools, funds and volunteers to identify and meet community needs during times of crisis.
The Chamber said in a press release that the idea for the initiative had been under development for some time but was recently fast-tracked to help address some of the most pressing health and economic needs arising from the COVID-19 crisis.
The initiative will launch with four key programmes during the coming weeks, while others will be added as specific needs are identified, according to the Chamber.
Jan Gupta, organiser of the initiative, said resilience describes the ability of a person or a society to adapt to change and bounce back from adversity.
“In this COVID-19 era, it will take each resident and organisation in the Cayman Islands [private and public sector] to step up and work with each other to solve our community’s most critical challenges of meeting everyone’s basic needs for food, shelter, healthcare and jobs. We are volunteer-run and intend to work with all those who seek to support the rebuilding of a resilient Cayman,” Gupta said.
The four programmes slated to kick off the initiative include supporting food boxes and vouchers to residents that do not qualify for other existing programmes, as well as sponsoring daily meal services for those who have lost their income since March.
A financial-literacy programme will provide budgeting tools and financial counselling for those struggling with their bills. And a wellness programme will deliver a 30-day supply of Vitamin C to frontline medical and community workers to boost their immunity.
Resilience Cayman is also planning to introduce Farm Box, an online local farmers market, to support local farms and increase access to fresh produce for residents.
With seed funding in place, the Chamber of Commerce and Resilience Cayman are inviting additional donors to support their programmes. Donations will be facilitated by the Chamber through the Resilience Cayman website at www.resilience.ky.
Chamber president Woody Foster said the measures initiated by the government to support those in immediate need had been extremely helpful, but government required the support of the whole community in these unprecedented times.
“We have already seen many non-profit organisations and private sector firms stepping up and doing extraordinary things,” Foster said. “The goal of Resilience Cayman is to support those efforts and supplement them where necessary. The Chamber is happy to support this initiative and we encourage our members to visit the website, learn more, volunteer or donate if possible.”
Austin Harris, councillor for the Ministry of Community Affairs, said the ministry, which oversees the Needs Assessment Unit, welcomes the private sector collaboration.
“Not only will this programme help supplement the services already being provided to Caymanians and residents alike but will also lend itself to support our essential frontline workers who continue to provide vital services to our community,” Harris said.
For requests for support and to volunteer for any one of the four key programmes, go to the Resilience Cayman website at www.resilience.ky.
Businesses, farms and non-profit organisations that would like to partner with Resilience Cayman, or anyone interested in more information on the programmes, email [email protected]