Monday 24 September, 2018

The children of Barbados need your help

The Nature Fun Ranch and the Optimist Club of Barbados Bridgetown are on a mission to help disadvantaged children throughout Barbados.

Many needy and disadvantaged young persons throughout Barbados are benefiting from a range of initiatives of the Optimist Club of Barbados Bridgetown.

One of those projects involves assisting the St Andrew based Nature Fun Ranch in its efforts to help at-risk youth gain skills and experiences, which will hep to take them away from the appeal of crime and other antisocial behaviour. Youth activist Optimist Corey Lane, told Loop News that the Ranch was established to “help young persons find positive support and encouragement while doing things they enjoyed.” He explained that this includes “a range of activities, such as agriculture, animal husbandry, horseback riding and ATV riding.”

The charity has faced many difficulties in its quest to help young persons become their best selves however, as seen in their challenges with the bus used to pick and drop off the children, as well as some challenges with the Ranch itself, and the Optimist Club of Barbados Bridgetown is stepping in to assist them through an annual event.

Chair of the fundraising committee with the club, Zahidha James, told Loop News about their annual fundraising event Soup and Pan, where Chef John Hazzard will stir up the pot to satisfy guest's appetite, while their donations will help children with various needs across the island.

"We are a children's charity, so of course the funds go to our various programmes for children and primarily this year we want to focus on building a fence for the Nature Fund Ranch. 

"This is our big annual fundraiser and it takes place on Heroes Day from 11 am to 3 pm."

She explained the rationale behind the name of the event:

"Soup and Pan has become an annual fundraiser for the Optimists Club of Barbados Bridgetown - we do it every National Heroes Day and it takes the form of a brunch.

"We call it Soup and Pan because we have live pan music and unlimited soups at $40 for adults and $20 for children. So there is a full brunch meal and we also have difference assorted soups that would be served throughout the entire event, so people can come and refill throughout the day." 

Ms James added that while the Nature Fun Ranch will be the main beneficiary from this year's event, funds will also go towards some of their other initiatives:

"Soup and Pan this year is being held primarily to fund a fence for the Nature Fun Ranch, but it will also help with our Arthur Smith School Programme and our Belmont Primary School Programme.

"I really have to thank all of the persons who came out to our bake sale a few weeks ago and gave incredible donations towards the Arthur Smith Primary School Breakfast Programme.

"It is however an ongoing venture where we feed needy families five days a week. The families are exclusively from the Arthur Smith Primary and because it's ongoing we always need more items, so we are always asking people to bring things in, but part of this fundraiser will go towards that."

She encouraged Barbadians to attend the event which will be held at The Orchard, St. James, to assist them in their efforts to change the lives of Barbadian children: 

"The event will have a kid's zone, a swimming pool, live music and its just a fun filled family day, so we are asking persons to come out and contribute."

PHOTO CAPTION: Students from the Optimist Club of Barbados Bridgetown's Belmont Primary School Programme visit the Nature Fun Ranch. 

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