DUTCH QUARTER–I Can Foundation hosted a special night for donors, children and supporters in celebration of its twentieth anniversary on Saturday. Founder and President Cassandra Gibbs has been in charge from day one as she and a handful of workers turned this home into a sanctuary for foster children.
A total of 27 donors were honoured for their continued support to the Foundation throughout the years. Jane Caines worked for the Foundation for 20 years while Carlota Albert worked for 14 years at the home. They were both given special certificates.
“Thank you to everyone for their support over the years. It was not easy starting 20 years ago, but I had a vision and here I am 20 years later,” said Gibbs to the audience present.
Radio personality Mercedes “Elektra” Wyatt was the host for the evening while most of the donors spoke about their dedication to the children’s home. Acting Governor Reynold Groeneveldt was also present with his wife and gave some encouraging words about Gibbs and I Can Foundation at the start of the ceremony.
I Can Foundation was established and notarised on July 17, 1996, by the notary office of Elco Rosario. The board consists of seven members who represent a cross-section of the community.
The Foundation established a home where children were placed by The Court of Guardianship. The first set of residents came into the home in 1998 and since then it has given shelter to 100 or more children. The Foundation also had the opportunity to provide shelter for children from the neighbouring Islands.
The Foundation’s objectives remain: to foster strong and capable human beings; to assist families/parents who are in critical and needy situations with the care and rearing of their children; to equip children through educational programmes with skills that will strengthen their social development and life-long skills; to offer information and educate children in seeking perspectives in loving themselves, society and the world at large.
I Can Foundation’s home offers living accommodation to children ages 0-13 years who have been victims of neglect, abuse or other social issues. The children receive around-the-clock care and through treatment programmes, guidance and other activities they are prepared for the future.
The home is situated on 1,200 square metres of land. The house consists of four bedrooms and two bathrooms, with a lounge, TV, dining room and kitchen area. There is a large playground attached to the home where the children can be found daily doing all types of activities.
Children are accepted when they meet the criteria of the house policy, have all their documents and the intake form filled out. No emphasis is placed on religion, race, background or cultural differences. The home has a non-discriminatory policy whereby all children are treated equally and are expected to grow into well-rounded human beings.
Most of the placements are through the Court of Guardianship, or by parents and guardians in need of such service. The Foundation works closely with The Family Guardian Supervisory Foundation, the schools, etc.
Children placed in the home by the Court of Guardianship are taken out of their homes by order of the judge and then placed in the home’s care.
The I Can Home is based on a reality-oriented treatment programme. The children are taught the principles of receiving natural consequences for their actions, both positive and negative, from staff or administrators.
All community resources are utilised to ensure that the children receive proper counselling, medical treatment, recreation and individualised scholastic programmes. The professional staff at the home works with each resident to improve self-esteem and identity, and to teach responsibility and respect.
Source: Daily Herald
I Can Foundation celebrates 20 years of children’s care