Stewart is FCIB Unsung Hero
October 19, 2007

Stewart is FCIB Unsung Hero

She never thought a day like this would come, but Yolande Stewart has been named this year’s First Caribbean International Bank’s St Vincent and the Grenadines Unsung Hero.{{more}}

For decades, this 65-year-old beacon of light has impacted the Southern Grenadine Island of Union Island with her unselfish work among mothers, children, school drop outs, and babies.

She educated young mothers on the advantages of breast feeding, even introducing a competition to promote the practice. Yolande also organized the “Auntie Yolande Talent Show,” a move that was geared to keep the little ones occupied in the community.

As president of the Women’s Group for about 40 years, Yolande taught women new skills, including typing, sewing, and also facilitated lessons from volunteer tutors in English and Social Studies.

She was also a friend and mentor to many secondary school students.

Yolande, who credits the Lord for all her achievements, is lauded for being able to balance family life (a husband and four children), church involvement, social work, voluntary work in schools, among other things; this with limited financial resources.

“This is all the doing of the Lord…I dedicate this to my late husband,” said Yolande, when she was announced as the local winner, at a small cocktail reception, last Friday, October 12, at the Grenadine House at Kingstown Park.

Speaking at the brief ceremony, Country Manager of First Caribbean International Bank Radcliffe Nurse said that that the Unsung Heroes programme has cemented itself among the regional communities as the standard bearer for volunteerism in the Caribbean.

Some 200 entries were submitted from the 17 countries in which the bank operates.

“In St Vincent and the Grenadines, the programme continues to be embedded, and this is manifested by the fact that for the first time, we have had entries from the Grenadines,” Nurse said.

He told those present that as they look around this great Caribbean, it must not be thought that the societies of which we are proud, and the Caribbean way of life we enjoy, is free of cost.

“It has been nurtured and maintained by those who unselfishly give of themselves,” Nurse said.

Stewart will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of last year’s local winner Jestina Charles, who went on to win the regional competition.

Stewart was given US$ 5000 to be used towards her cause, and if she does follow Charles’ lead, a further US$7500 awaits her.(KJ)