Community-based groups, schools, and registered non-profit organisations or charities involved in sustainable environmental projects can once again benefit from funding through the Ministry of the Environment’s ???Fund for Non-Profit Organisations’.
According to Environmental Education Officer with the Environment Unit, Donna King-Brathwaite, the fund, which forms part of the Ministry’s Environmental Education Programme, seeks mainly to engender community-based environmental stewardship.
Extending the call for the submission of grant proposals by the end of October, Mrs. King-Brathwaite said the Environmental Education Committee, which is responsible for the administration of the fund, would like to place greater emphasis on "greening" initiatives as opposed to clean-ups and the development of recreational spaces.
"We would like to see projects involving recycling and energy and water conservation, where possible. For example, if a school wanted to do an environmental programme, there would be scope for looking at how they managed their energy and how they managed their water. ??If there is space available, and it is not in contravention of the health laws, we would also be interested in how they could tap into rain water recycling or capture rain water and use it for watering the school gardens," she explained.
The Environmental Education Officer stressed, however, that some assistance would still be given for schools’ tree planting and landscaping initiatives.
Mrs. King-Brathwaite also underscored the need for proposals to be community-based and sustainable in nature.
"We are asking that whatever the institution or community group does that it benefits the community as a whole, and that it is sustainable. The idea is that even when all the funds have been used up in developing the process, they have worked out how it will be maintained and carried on, so that other persons affiliated with the institution could benefit," she explained.
In terms of eligibility, the Environment official emphasised that prior to applying, persons must be registered with the Corporate Affairs department as a charity, or non-profit organisation in order to qualify.
While awards are traditionally made in January of each year, Mrs. King-Brathwaite said once the response was favourable, attempts would be made to have them presented at Independence, thus giving the projects and organisations "national" attention.
For further information, interested persons may contact the Ministry’s Environmental Education Desk by telephone at 467-5500 or email at email@example.com.