The donation of the bus has been made possible thanks to a partnership among the Lions Club of Tortola, the West Indian Association of Bermuda, Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture and Ministry of Health and Social Development.
The bus will be presented to the institution for differently-abled persons on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, at 8:30am, according to a press release from the Lions Club of Tortola on February 6, 2021.
“This is a great display of community volunteerism and public-private partnership at work for the continued recovery of the Virgin Islands,” the Lions Club of Tortola stated.
The club said it had reached out to the school in September 2019 to see how they could assist with its needs, which included computers, a TV and a school bus for transporting the students to their homes and for field trips.
In March 2020, the Club, along with corporate sponsors Infinite Solutions and Mourants donated four Ipads and a 65 inch Smart TV to the EHRLC. The Club also committed to further assist with getting a School Bus.
It said in August 2019, the Club was approached by the West Indian Association of Bermuda who had raised $20,000 to assist the Virgin Islands following the devastating hurricanes of 2017.
“They agreed to partner with the Lions Club of Tortola to use the funds for a community project. The Club agreed to apply the funds towards the purchase of the School Bus for EHRLC. The funds were supplemented by donations of $9,000 and $5,000 from the Ministries of Education and Health, respectively.”
The donation of the bus comes as Government is making moves to rebuild the Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre in the area where the Magistrate’s Court in John’s Hole is currently located.
The school was first established by the BVI Red Cross and opened its doors in 1972 as Fort Charlotte Children’s Centre at McNamara.
On March 13, 1998, Fort Charlotte Children’s Centre was officially renamed Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre in honour of its first principal.