BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (MMS-SKN) — When members of the Liamuiga Agricultural Cooperative Society held a fundraiser in aid of their founding member, a number of sponsors came forward and offered assistance through donations but the National Insurance Company Limited had a physical presence for the entire period of the fundraiser.
Held at Maynard’s Park in Cayon on Saturday September 24, the fundraiser was in aid of founding member of the Liamuiga Agricultural Cooperative Society, 62-year-old Mr Stanley Baptiste, who is seeking funds to acquire a prosthetic leg from French St. Martin following the loss of his right leg as a result of diabetic complications.
“Mr Stanley Baptiste is a founding member of the Liamuiga Agricultural Cooperative Society, and he has been one of our main farmers over the years,” said President of the society, Mrs Telca Wallace. “We have some lands up at Whyte’s Estate, Upper Cayon, and he has been one of the persons who have been consistently maintaining the farm.”
The society was started in 2017, and is open to farmers from around the island although most members are persons from the Green Valley area, from Canada to Lodge. They have started a membership drive and currently they have a few members from Sandy Point.
According to Mrs Wallace, after they started planning for the fundraiser for their founding member, his 32-year-old daughter, Ms Leah Baptiste, was diagnosed with kidney failure and has been undergoing treatment locally.
“We now have to look at a more long term solution to the health challenges because Mr Baptiste has a family and he is a humble man, and he has really impacted the community and the family have been through a lot,” said President Wallace. “I could even mention that he had another child who died from kidney failure as well. As part of the moving forward, an account dedicated to people who wish to donate has been opened at the National Bank under Ms Baptiste’s name.”
Coming from a family of hard workers, Mr Stanley Baptiste was a welder before he ventured into farming at Whyte’s Estate in Upper Cayon. He however sadly observed that diabetes runs in his family as his grandfather lost both legs, his sister lost a leg and his brother also lost a leg. He lost his right leg about a year and a half ago.
He used to grow lots of potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and watermelon, and is not ready to give up as he noted: “I still continue doing my little thing in my yard where I plant some green vegetables, pumpkins, yams, tomatoes and sweet pepper – you can’t put down a good farmer down.”
“The day was such a wonderful experience,” commented President Wallace. “People came throughout the whole day, buying food back and supporting, and we have children and I think the children are the ones who were the beneficiaries of today.”
Mrs Wallace added: “They (children) enjoyed themselves even as they got the opportunity to learn what their elders are doing in an attempt to ensure that the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis achieves United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2), which is to ‘End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’.”
There were games that kept the children busy, even as Mrs Tricia King (Federation’s first female marine biologist) did face painting where the children queued to have their faces painted. Entertainment at the fundraiser which started at 10:00 a.m. and went on to early evening was provided by DJ Cut-I, while food was provided courtesy of society member Mr George Riley.
Apart from the National Caribbean Insurance Company Limited who contributed to the fundraiser, other sponsors were the Taiwan Embassy, Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla National Bank, Builders Paradise, Gideon Organic Farm, Coury’s Wholesale, Ram’s Wholesale, Carib Breweries, Island Purified Water, and individuals including Mr Solomon Morton.
The National Caribbean Insurance Company Limited who had a tent set up at Maynard’s Park was represented by Senior Manager, Sales and Marketing, Mr Floyd Charles, and Sales Consultant, Mr Chezyown Herbert.
Mrs Wallace thanked the insurance company for setting up a tent where they gave information on how the company could help in terms of health. She pointed out that it is a common feature to see people seeking assistance for medical issues as they do not have insurance. The company did the right thing to come and impart information pertaining to their products to take away people’s fear of getting insurance.
“We are here to support the fundraiser for Mr Stanley Baptiste, a man who is in the process of getting a prosthetic leg, and National Caribbean Insurance is always willing to support these types of causes,” said Senior Manager, Sales and Marketing, Mr Floyd Charles. “We are happy for this opportunity to give something back to the community.”
Mr Charles added: “At the same time the organisers gave us the opportunity to meet and share some information about our products. It was a wonderful chance to highlight some of our products and to meet the community as well. Those who availed themselves had their names entered in a draw to win branded National Caribbean Insurance umbrellas. We want to give back and we take every opportunity like this to give back to the community.”