The Bel Air Home for Children and Adolescents Inc. is a not-for -profit company which was registered in Grenada in 1997. It is situated at Calliste and the land on which it is built was purchased by St George’s University and transferred as a Deed of Gift to the Company. It was built at cost by Creative Design Limited and the building costs were provided by the Grenada Electricity Services Limited. It was opened officially in January 1999 by His Excellency Sir Daniel Williams, the Governor General. Audited accounts are published annually as part of the Company Report.
The Friends of Bel Air (UK) is recognised by the Charity Commission in the United Kingdom. Details of the revenue funding base can be seen in the Annual Report of the Company.
The Home was purpose built to accommodate up to forty children from backgrounds of abuse, abandonment or neglect. It was intended to accept children in need of either gender but experience led the Board of Directors to decide that boys would only be accommodated until the age of seven, whereas girls could be accommodated until they were no longer children as defined by the laws of Grenada, i.e. until they are eighteen. Although the ideal for these children is to return to their home environment eventually, this is rarely practical or possible in most cases.
The Home currently employs nineteen staff with trained nursery workers and adolescent development workers providing twenty four hour residential care. Staff development and training are given high priority at Bel Air.
The quality of the care provided now is reflected in the behaviour of the individual children and the atmosphere that exists at the Home. It is something of which we are proud. Endorsement of the standard of care is evidenced by the attachment starting in January 2006 of two students of Social Work from the Skovtofte National Institute for Social Education in Denmark. This attachment is part of their prescribed course and has been approved by the Institute in Denmark. Endorsement of the financial probity of the Bel Air Home is evidenced by the appointment of Bel Air as the Management Partner by the Resource Foundation of Johnson and Johnson Ltd. in the distribution of funding provided by the Foundation for the rehabilitation of Children’s Homes in Grenada following the passage of Hurricane Ivan.
Rationale of Project Proposal
As can be gathered, we are well satisfied with the development of the residents of the Home but difficulties arise as the girls approach their late teens. Some leave school and then go to the New Life Organisation (NEWLO) where there is a further emphasis on personal development followed by training in areas such as carpentry, hairdressing, child care etc. Others find employment but whichever path they follow it is almost impossible for them to be able to support themselves financially. The difficulty of finding and the cost of accommodation are major factors in this situation.
Bel Air accepts a moral responsibility for these girls even though the Home is no longer responsible for them legally. A number of girls have been allowed to stay on at Bel Air without cost to them after their eighteenth birthday. This is where the difficulties arise because these girls clearly have to abide by the “rules” of Bel Air while living there but are of an age when they are frustrated and feel restricted by what they see as petty regulations that are not appropriate to people of their age.
The aim of this project proposal is to give them increasing independence until they are earning money to support themselves and have been guided in managing their own finances and have gained experience in independent living under guidance.
Based on the number of adolescent girls that the Home can accommodate, it is envisaged that approximately three or four girls would be suitable at any one time to move to a new residence where they would be given greater freedom with regard to their leisure time etc. but would be under the guidance of a housemother. This residence would comprise a bedroom for the housemother, two other bedrooms, a communal eating/leisure area, a kitchen area, and toilet and bathing area.
In addition, three or four small dwellings would be built on the same site, probably in a chattel house style. These would comprise one bedroom, which could accommodate one or two girls, cooking and washing areas, bathing and toilet facilities. Each would have a small veranda at the front. These dwellings would be used for girls who had obtained employment. They would be charged a nominal rent but would also be responsible for their own utility bills and buying food etc.
The residents would probably be still at school but not necessarily so and if they did not behave in a responsible manner commensurate with their greater freedom then they would have to return to reside in the main Bel Air building. At an appropriate stage of development, the girls would progress to live in the dwellings described below.
There would be rules governing occupation of these dwellings and there would be a limit on the time that a person could reside in one of these dwellings. There would be an inventory for each dwelling to include kitchenware etc. and the occupant would be responsible for ensuring that the inventory was complete, subject to acceptable wear and tear, when they eventually vacated the building.
The residents in these individual dwellings would be under the guidance of the housemother and would be advised on how to operate a bank account, run a monthly budget etc. The intention is that when they vacate the dwellings finally they will have the ability and skills to become useful members of the Grenadian community.
Land: Land owned by Government adjacent to the Bel Air Home has been made available at no cost for the Moving-on Project. Approximately 7,000 Square Feet.
Construction Costs: The costs are based on completed and approved drawings and estimates received from two local contractors.
Clearing and Site Fence ………………………. EC$ 15,000
Foundations and elevated slab ………………. EC$175,000
House Mothers/Communal Area …………….. EC$255,000
Three Residences ……………………………… EC$170,000
These costs are based on basic requirements to furnish and equip the residences appropriately at current prices in Grenada.
Residence with housemother ………………… EC$20,000
Individual residences…………………………… EC$15,000
TOTAL CAPITAL COSTS: EC$650,000
If you are interested in visiting the home or giving your assistance in any way, please contact Lisa Charles Home Manager on:
Phone: (473) 444- 5100
Fax: (473) 444- 5220
Or in the UK : Alison Kynaston Jones
Chairperson Friends of Bel Air UK
+44 1691 777671