Why did Hands Across the Sea choose the Caribbean?
The Caribbean, as everyone knows, is a beautiful place. The sunny sprinkling of islands offers gorgeous aquamarine water brimming with tropical fish, coral reefs, and world-class dive sites, all ringed by sugar-sand beaches. The entire region is truly a vacation paradise, as evidenced by the multitude of luxury cruise ships and four-star resorts. So the Caribbean is a beautiful place, right? Of course it is.
But if you step off the cruise-ship tour or venture beyond the gates of the resort into nearby villages, neighborhoods, and local schools, you’ll discover that the Caribbean is also a real place beset by real problems. High levels of poverty and unemployment, and low levels of literacy â€” especially among young boys â€” are having a debilitating effect on the fabric of modern Caribbean society. Low literacy levels sharply curtail the chances of primary- and secondary-school children moving into fulfilling lives free of drugs and gang violence. The disturbing effects of low literacy on children in the Caribbean are well-documented by the World Bank and the U.S. Peace Corps. And of course we’ve seen it all firsthand during our hands-on work with school teachers, principals, and U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers. It comes down to this: What does the future hold for a 15-year-old boy or girl who has not learned to read?
Here’s how Hands Across the Sea is fighting low literacy: We ask school teachers, principals, and U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in the Caribbean to assemble a Wish List of books and materials they need (www.handsacrossthesea.net/HandsWishLists.htm), and then we get what they need, and then we ship it to them. This October, as part of our Caribbean Literacy and School Support (CLASS) program, Hands will ship approximately 43,000 books and 92 boxes of teaching materials to 47 schools, 10,000 students, and eight community libraries/reading projects.
Perhaps you’re thinking, “This seems like a worthy cause, but what can I do?” Here’s some awesome news: we’ve just received a $25,000 “challenge grant” commitment from two generous Hands supporters. Which means that the way you can help children in the Caribbean right now is to make a cash donation to Hands Across the Sea, with the aim of matching the $25,000 grant and realizing our $50,000 goal, so Hands can fulfill all of the 2010 Wish Lists and bring positive change to thousands of Caribbean children. To make a donation, please click here: www.handsacrossthesea.net/Donate.htm
If you’d like to know the answer to the question we posed at the beginning — Why did Hands choose the Caribbean? — you’ll find the answer, as well as some great photos of Caribbean kids and classrooms, online at the latest Hands Log: www.handsacrossthesea.net/HandsLog.htm
Thank you for caring and for your support!
T.L. & Harriet Linskey
Hands Across the Sea, Inc.
Donate to Hands: www.handsacrossthesea.net/Donate.htm
Check the latest Hands news: www.handsacrossthesea.net/HandsLog.htm
See the 2010 Wish Lists: www.handsacrossthesea.net/HandsWishLists.htm
NEW! What Hands Does: www.handsacrossthesea.net/WhatHandsDoes.htm
NEW! The Hands Goals: www.handsacrossthesea.net/HandsGoals.htm
NEW! Meet the Hands Crew: www.handsacrossthesea.net/HandsCrew.htm