On Sunday, November 19, in a remarkable display of community spirit over 150 residents of the Soufriere/Fond St. Jacques constituency participated in the much-anticipated, Koudmein Soufwiyé – an event that not only exceeded expectations but also left a lasting impact on the local environment. The event, brainchild of the parliamentary representative, Emma Hippolyte, was designed to undertake community driven, voluntary beautification and infrastructure works ranging from flower planting to road building.
The planning, mobilization and implementation of activities were expertly handled by the Soufriere Constituency Council. “Coordinating all the activities for Koudmein Soufwiyé was a huge undertaking. We are thankful that it all went to plan and for the strong community support that it received,” said Chrishna St. Brice, Koudmein Soufwiyé Coordinator. The event, which can only be described as a resounding success, involved the coordination and participation of the business community, religious groups, schools, community clubs and many private citizens. Funding support by way of financial resources for materials and supplies purchases, waste haulage costs and meals on the day were provided by the Soufriere Foundation.
Under perfect skies, people of all ages, from children to senior citizens, actively participated, showcasing a shared commitment to creating a cleaner and healthier environment and improved infrastructure for everyone. Community clean-ups were undertaken in Palmiste, Sulphur Springs, New Development, Belfond, Myers Bridge, Market Road and Wingsville; tree cutting on Upper Boulevard Street; flower and tree crop planting at Myers Bridge, Belfond, Mocha and Fond Gens Libre and the Fond St. Jacques Health Centre area was cleaned by residents and staff. The collective impact of the initiative was evident as heaps of waste were responsibly collected and disposed of, contributing to a noticeable improvement in the overall cleanliness of the community.
As their contribution to the event and with materials from the Soufriere Foundation; Bouton residents constructed two safety barricades, Belfond residents took on the potholing of their road and several farmers of Bois d’Inde, aligned a pebbled access road leading into an agricultural belt with two strips of concrete thus making it significantly more motorable. According to Windia Jaunai, Co-owner Jaunai Farms, and one of the volunteers on the Bois d’Inde road building initiative, “The success of this event showcased a shared commitment of farmers in Bois d’ Inde to improving their livelihoods and fostered a sense of community pride and camaraderie.”
Not to be outshone by the community groups, the Soufriere business community responded resoundingly to the call for participation. Sugar Beach and Spa, A Viceroy Resort, landscaped the PMA Monument Area and Stonefield Viewpoint; Stonefield Resort and Spa in conjunction with the residents of Bouton cleaned and beautified the entrance to Bouton, while Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain Resorts undertook the cleanup and landscaping of Lenny Hill, and Ladera Resort and Spa helped with flower planting and soil treatment on the Soufriere Square.
Members of other community organisations such as the Seventh Day Adventist Church spruced up the Soufriere Bus Terminal and Vendors Market, and the Constituency Council staff de-bushed the cemetery, pressure washed and painted its tombs, and planted tree crops in several assigned communities. While Sacky Productions and Zaka, in collaboration with students from the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School painted and artistically designed the Soufriere Cemetery wall.
According to an elated Parliamentary Representative, Emma Hippolyte, who visited and took part in activities in all the communities, “Koudmein Soufwiyé was a remarkable display of community spirit and resourcefulness as residents came together, dedicating their time and effort to cleaning, beautifying and improving the infrastructure in their respective communities. It’s heartening to see our community come together to address shared concerns and actively contribute to the well-being of our neighborhood. ” She added, “I am deeply thankful to all those who coordinated, funded and participated in the event.”
Buoyed by the success of this initiative, the Parliamentary Representative is already planning future events to sustain the momentum of positive change. “The volunteer clean-up serves as a shining example of what can be achieved when residents collaborate for a common cause, leaving a legacy of cleanliness, pride, and community empowerment, “she noted.