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Mark Brantley Urges Applications for Windsong Financial Grants By Sheena Brooks

As the designated Nevis agent for the Windsong Foundation, Hon. Mark Brantley is appealing to local schools and other organizations to apply for financial grants. According to Brantley, the Windsong Foundation is now fully operational in Nevis with an earmarked US$1 million available to provide educational assistance for children under 18 years of age. “I am really ecstatic, as I imagine all the good that this money can do for Nevisian children, and am encouraging all schools and civic organizations involved in the development of children under 18 to apply for grants as soon as possible. The trustees have indicated to me that they would be interested in the holistic education of children which includes sports,” he said, though informing The Observer that the Foundation would not be accepting applications for individual scholarships. “We are encouraging the government, as it owns most of the schools on Nevis, school principals, school sports coaches, etcetera to apply for grants. Make use of these funds, because if the money just stays there and no one applies for it, it would give the appearance that Nevis doesn’t need any assistance,” he said during the exclusive interview. Brantley explained that although he is the sole agent responsible for collecting applications, the decision as to which applicants receive funds will be made By the Windsong Foundation Board of Trustees. “I am just responsible for collecting applications and forwarding them to the Board for consideration. I’m sure I will be involved in the process, due to my longstanding relationship with them. I think I would be consulted, but the final decision does not lie with me. Once applicants are successful, the funds will be disbursed to those recipients as was the case with the US$50,000 for the Lynn Jeffers School in Nevis,” he said. There has been no communication regarding a limit on the amount any applicant can seek, according to Brantley, nor the number of applications an individual organization can submit to the Foundation. “They have not indicated any cap on the amount for individual grants. They will evaluate each proposal strictly on its merit. If a school needs a computer lab, for instance, I think that is something they would be very keen to consider. These individuals are very serious; they have already demonstrated that in Anguilla,” he said. Brantley assured that there would be no partisan concerns regarding the Foundation’s local operations, stating: “Other than the fact that I am a politician, there is no politics involved whatsoever. This is for the benefit of the children of Nevis. This about free money for the educational advancement of the youth and is available to all, whatever one’s political persuasion may be. It is open to the government, if they have any project for children under 18, which they too can seek funding for. As it is, most of the educational institutes on the island are government-owned and run. The hope would be that the government would avail itself of the opportunity to apply and receive grant money just as the government in Anguilla has done.” The Windsong Foundation was recently established By the California-based Windsong Trust and is charged with carrying out the philanthropic wishes of the late Martin Crowley, who left his entire estate for the education of children around the world under the age of 18 years in need of educational assistance. Brantley has had a long professional association with the Estate of Martin Crowley and Windsong Trust, and has campaigned tirelessly for funds for the benefit of the children of Nevis. According to a communiqué from the Foundation, “All applications from interested persons should be made in writing and set out clearly the group that the funds are intended to benefit, the proposed project to be undertaken, and the total amount of funding sought. All applications should be addressed to: Windsong Foundation c/o Mark Brantley, Daniel, Brantley & Associates, Main Street, Charlestown, Nevis, West Indies.”

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