July 24 Bridgetown: Barbados and Grenada
are the next two Caribbean territories being targeted by United Way International in its expansion plans for the region, according
to the Nation newspaper.
At the first regional conference of Caribbean United Way offices, held in Jamaica from
last Wednesday to Friday, it was announced that expansion of United Way in the region would see Barbados and Grenada being
offered the opportunity to get on board.
At the moment Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St Thomas, St John's and St Croix are the territories comprising the Caribbean
region. Puerto Rico, also a member, is part of the South American region.
United Way in an internationally recognised agency which builds communities through voluntary contributions distributed
according to needs. It solicits both corporate and individual contributions and, through its various agencies, supervises
the way in which the funds are spent. It provides co-ordinated and focused disbursement of funds, and stresses accountability
at all levels.
It now has over 4 000 offices in 42 countries throughout the world. It is a not-for-profit organisation which has been
able to improve the lives of the less fortunate in many countries, including Colombia, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Turkey, China
and Lithuania, among others.
Each United Way member is an independent organisation which raises and allocates its own funds with emphasis usually on
health and human services and childhood improvement.
The Jamaica meeting was attended by Ms Christine James-Brown, president and the first Afro-American woman to hold the post.
Also in attendance was Ms Lorna Johnson, director for the Caribbean and African regions, and Karl Rodney, director and member
of the Caribbean regional committee.
The opening ceremony was addressed by Jamaica's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, K.D. Knight, who committed
himself to be a United Way volunteer. He praised the outstanding work being done both internationally and in Jamaica, where
the unit is now 20 years old.
Among the presenters were Ms Gloria Pace-King, chief executive officer of United Way of Central Carolinas in the Untied
States, and Mrs Joyce Wilbur, director of Major Gifts.