The private sector-led R3 Cayman Foundation has released $346,000 of grant funding to grassroots organisations targeting hunger and education needs in the community.
The new non-profit, set up in May to support Cayman’s post COVID-19 revival, has been raising funds and reviewing grant applications over the past month.
Its first wave of funding is targeted at the most pressing problems identified in a community needs assessment, according to chairman Bryan Hunter, a former managing partner at Appleby law firm.
“Our first grants seek to address the urgent humanitarian issues of hunger and access to education,” he said.
“We are proud to announce our first grants will support a number of food charities serving vulnerable populations, provide disadvantaged students with much-needed technology, enable 10 unemployed Caymanians to receive vocational training, and allow a number of underprivileged children to participate in a YMCA summer camp to assist their parents in their return to work,” he said.
A total of $110,000 was donated to Cayman’s Acts of Random Kindness, Meals On Wheels, Feed Our Future, Cayman Food Bank and Resilience Cayman in support of their efforts to provide meals and food vouchers to families and individuals in need.
A grant of $150,000 was made to Literacy Is For Everyone (LIFE) in support of its Education for Everyone programme which provides children in need with laptops and internet access to enable distance learning. R3’s grant will cover the cost of approximately 357 laptops which will be distributed directly to students through their school principals.
To support the reskilling of unemployed Caymanians displaced by COVID-19, R3 has also donated $56,000 to Build Your Future Cayman, a new non-profit organisation which provides scholarships for Caymanians to pursue vocational and technical qualifications through Inspire Cayman Training, the trade school operated by Michael Myles in central George Town.
This donation will enable full scholarships for 10 Caymanians who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 to receive accelerated training, according to a press release from R3.
The organisation also committed $30,000 to the YMCA in support of its summer camp programme to provide free or deeply discounted placements for underprivileged children.
Hunter added, “The Board felt the urgency of the needs in the areas of education, food relief, reskilling and childcare support required immediate action.
“We seized the opportunity to provide children with the desperately needed technology to facilitate remote learning and make sure children of lower income households don’t fall further behind in their studies, and to help prepare unemployed Caymanians to take part in our country’s economic recovery, and ensure no one in our community goes hungry.”
R3, which stands for ‘readiness, relief and recovery’, is a private sector-led, charitable organisation whose mission is to help the Cayman Islands prepare for, cope with and sustainably recover from man-made or natural emergencies and disasters. Its current focus is on the coronavirus pandemic and preparing for hurricane season.