If there’s one time of year residents of the Cayman Islands love most, it’s the holiday season. But, even in Cayman, there is no denying that Christmas will look a little different for everyone this year.
“Even as Christmas lights are strung and families put up decorations, there are so many in our community who continue to face difficulties as a result of the pandemic,” said Pilar Bush, Dart executive vice president with responsibility for community development. “Through Dart’s annual Christmas give, we wanted to give back to our youngest learners who have shown such adaptability and perseverance in the face of adversity, and to the educators who have provided their unwavering support throughout these unprecedented times.”
Following a tradition established in 2018 with surprise CI$10,000 donations to three local charities, this year Dart is offering every primary school in the Cayman Islands the opportunity to choose a gift from a “wish list” spanning literacy, STEM, sports, or school and art supplies.
“We really wanted the schools to be able to choose the donation they felt would bring the biggest impact to their students, whether that be new books and toys, technology, sports equipment, stationery or art supplies,” Bush said. “We hope the donations will provide resources that will enhance learning and the development of the whole child.”
Each of Cayman’s 30 primary schools across all three islands has been offered a choice between a voucher from Books & Books, Office Supply or Sports Supply, or a STEM kit. Depending on the number of students, the gift value for each school ranges from CI$750 to $1,500.
“At Dart, we are guided by the belief that a good education is fundamental to a child's being able to achieve his or her full potential at school, in the community and in life," Bush said. "Investments in education deliver direct benefits to the students and their immediate families, and more broadly, to the entire country."
Dart has a long-standing commitment to education and youth development through a number of initiatives. These include the annual series of Minds Inspired STEM-focused initiatives, two Dart Scholar programmes and nearly two decades of support for various other youth programmes.
Bush said Dart’s corporate social responsibility efforts in the Cayman Islands — the location of its global headquarters — are focused on three key areas: education, youth development and the natural and built physical environment. These areas were prioritised because of the company’s commitment to making a positive difference to Cayman’s sustainable development, she said.
“Our inaugural 'Holiday Give' addressed all three categories and last year we focused on the environment with our 'Tree Give,'” she said. “This year’s focus on education is our way of giving back to our students, teachers, school counsellors and principals, and celebrating the true meaning of the holidays.”
This article appears in print in the December 2020 edition of Camana Bay Times.