HERO continues to save
December 16, 2005
HERO continues to save

by Kenara Woods in Barbados

Christmas came earlier than expected this year for more than three hundred children of the St. Mary’s School in Barbados as they gathered at Hasting Rock, Christ Church last Sunday for a day of fun and games.

HERO International, a non-profit organization based in St. John’s, Antigua, along with sponsors Caribbean Star and Caribbean Sun, held their annual ‘Share the Gift’ programme where Christmas presents are delivered to disadvantaged children around the Caribbean each year.{{more}}

Established nearly eight years ago by Stanford Financial Group’s Chairman and CEO, R. Allen Stanford, HERO International seeks to break the cycle of despair and anxiety of marginalised families.

A press conference was held at the Accra Beach Resort in Christ Church, Barbados with HERO International Executive Director, Boris Emanuel. Emanuel said that the organization caters for families and communities in need of help. He mentioned that in Antigua, they help families to pay their bills for a period of three months until they are able to provide for themselves. These families are also offered financial counseling.

Residential services such as the Safehaven Women’s Shelter are provided for women who have been victims of domestic abuse. This is the only shelter of its kind in Antigua and Barbuda. There is also a Safehaven Children’s centre for disadvantaged children.

Meanwhile plans are in the works to spread Safehaven facilites throughout the Caribbean. These facilites will be called ‘Mac HERO’, where there will be a similar structure to govern all the institutions. It will take approximately US$2million to build and maintain yearly.

HERO Director, Teresa Emanuel said, “For some in the Caribbean- children in foster care, children in families facing economic hardship, children of young single mothers – Christmas is a painful reminder of what they do not have.” She stated for this year, Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company donated over US$140,000 worth of presents, and more than six hundred presents will be delivered by Caribbean Star to each island destination in time for the HERO parties.