Annual Report of the Bel Air Home for Children and Adolescents Inc: 2011 – 2012
The Bel Air Home for Children and Adolescents Inc. has been established since 1997. Its main objective is to provide a safe, caring, loving and protected environment for children and young people deprived of their natural family setting. It presently caters for children from 0 -18 years. The Child Protection Authority is the Governing Body of the Home. The authority provides for the Protection of Children in Grenada under a legal framework.
This is the fourteenth annual report of the company published every year for its many contributors and members. The appended audited financial statements for 2011-2012 form an integral part of this report.
2.0 The Company
At the last annual meeting in December 2011 there were nine ordinary members of the Company including five directors listed below. The Company welcomed Mr. Tim Byam as a new member. The officers and Directors were re-elected in December 2011 until the next annual meeting. The officers are:-
President : Ms. Claudia Alexis
Vice-President: Mrs. Lauren E. Grey-Beliaeff M.B.E.
Treasurer: Mrs. Merle Byer
Secretary: Mrs. Lisa Charles
Director: Sis. Francis Nelson
Sister Francis-Nelson is appointed by the St. George’s University.
The other members are:
Mr. Clement Gabriel
Dr. Desmond La Touche
Mrs. Marina Williams-Johnson
Mr. Tim Byam
At the end of the financial year twenty-three (23) persons were employed. Five shift supervisors were appointed in the year to manage the three shifts on a daily basis. These are new positions which have improved the efficiency of the care of the children.
Conscious Discipline training for staff commenced in January 2012. It focused on helping staff to understand how the brain functions, therefore staff was better able to more positively discipline and interact with the children. Ms. Juliette Smith and Ms. Alison Greene our Deputy Manager, Educational Needs Co-ordinator conducted training sessions in May and June 2012. The training focused on child development from 0-10 years. The staff was trained in understanding the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development and needs of each age group. Emphasis was placed on teamwork, planning and communication among staff and better management and supervision of the children within the nursery. The staff is now working with a schedule, implementing what was learnt and so makes the children in the nursery more manageable.
The Friends of Bel Air (UK) part funded one of the facilitators of the training. Ms. Alison Greene, Deputy Manager, Educational Needs Co-ordinator attended an exchange programme in Wisconsin sponsored by the Rotary Club of Madison, Wisconsin in the U.S.A to see how orphanages are operated in that State and the different ways they work with vulnerable children and their families. As a result new methods and practices for working with children were implemented at the Bel Air Home. We are grateful and appreciative of the funding received for the training from the Friends of Bel Air (UK) and the Rotary Club of Madison. The Board of Directors is pleased to place on record its appreciation and gratitude to all the staff members who worked at Bel Air during the year. The training has paid off and we look forward to your continued commitment and support.
On 30th June 2012 there were twenty-six (26) children, resident at Bel Air Home, sixteen (16) in the Nursery and ten (10) adolescent girls. During the year, there were four (4) admissions, eight (8) discharges, and five (5) were reunited with their biological families. The Nursery continues to operate at full capacity.
Our school age residents continue to show improvement in their academic studies. Three of the adolescent girls were successful in the CPEA exams and are now attending secondary schools. Another one is scheduled to write the exams this year. The toddlers continue to go to playschool at the Home to develop skills to prepare them for regular school. Presently there are twelve (12) in primary school, (2) in secondary and three (3) in pre-primary.Congratulations to the successful children and particularly to Ms. Alison Greene – Education Needs Co-ordinator, staff, Peace Corps and community volunteers who assisted with their studies and homework.
The audited financial statements for the year July 1st 2011 to June 30th 2012 are attached to this report. Special thanks to Mr. Henry Joseph of Pannell Kerr Foster and his staff for continuing to undertake this task on an honorary basis. It is heartening to note that the home was able to operate and manage its finances without much liquidity problems in the year. The Directors express gratitude to the Trustees of St. George’s University for their continued generous contribution which amounted to EC$133,620.00 in the period, paid on a monthly basis towards the running costs of the Home. The Board also acknowledges the Government of Grenada’s subvention of EC$370,326.00 received during the period under review, and sincerely thank the Government for its continued contribution to the Home. The Friends of Bel Air (UK) continued to provide invaluable support both financial and in kind with its donations of food, clothes, sewing machines and other valuable items. Through this partnership there are many volunteer sponsors of children and visitors who visit the Home and assist with the playground and other areas of need.The financial contributions received from the Friends of Bel Air during the year was $26,186.
We will again wish to place on record our thanks and appreciation to Alison, the sponsors of the children and all other supporters and donors in the UK for their continued support. We also thank the Chairman of Grenada Electricity Services Ltd. for his continuing contribution and interest in the Home. To all other overseas contributors we thank you for your support and contributions. The Directors also thank the members of the local community and business houses for their support provided during the period, both financially and in kind.
7.0 Professional Services
The Directors are very grateful to Dr. Beverly Nelson, Dr. Jennifer Isaac, Dr. Lutz Amechi, Dr. Hage, Dr. Byron Calliste, Dr. Joseph, and CHORES for their medical services provided free of charge. We also note and thank Mr. Roy Hall for his support, assistance with fund raising and technical contributions in the maintenance of the Home over the years.
8. 0 Volunteers
This year there were more volunteers than previous years at the Home. Many of them are from the St. George’s University Students’ body. This year for the first time we also had visiting volunteers from the UK. These volunteers assist the children with homework, recreational activities and general care of the children. Ms. Katie Moran and the Peace Corps volunteers have also made useful contributions towards the educational and social needs of the children. We thank them sincerely. Reach Grenada has partnered with the Home during the year as it extended its yoga training programmes to staff and residents. We appreciate the support and look forward to continuing the partnership.
9.0 Future Outlook
Bel Air Home with its limited funds will continue to make the best choices in managing its resources to enable it to maximize benefits for the children.It is the intention that during the coming year more training programmes will be developed to assist staff to develop the necessary skills to continue work with the children. Reach Grenada has consented to assist with those programmes. Transition Programmes will also continue to prepare and provide the older girls with skills to prepare for life outside of Bel Air. They have already commenced sewing with sewing machines, materials and other equipment provided by the Friends of Bel Air (UK). We are also hopeful that we can find the necessary funding to extend the nursery to provide better sleeping, and playing facilities together with a changing bay for the toddlers. The plan for the structure together with the estimated cost is already prepared.We value all contributions whether in cash or kind as we strive to make Bel Air Home a better place for all the children entrusted to our care.
Our best wishes are extended to all for 2013.