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Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 1 April 2024 | 0 Comments

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1 April 2024

Sandals Resorts International celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Sandals Foundation with The Power 15 – a new project to fund the installation of solar panels on school buildings, in under-resourced Caribbean communities.

Sandals Resorts International (SRI) has announced plans to commemorate the 15th anniversary of its non-profit arm, the Sandals Foundation, with a new with a new, year-long campaign titled ‘Empower 15’. As part of this initiative, The Power of 15 project will harness the strength of the Caribbean sun to bring sustainable solar energy to Caribbean schools, ensuring a much-needed power supply that allows for learning in the critical
digital space to continue uninterrupted.


 “Providing access to a reliable and cost-efficient energy source puts Caribbean children at an advantage. Power is power in today’s world, where a digital divide is determining who succeeds and who may be left behind,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation. “We celebrate and lean into our 15 years of work empowering Caribbean communities combined with a donor initiative, bringing forward the power of a $15 USD donation to light up schools in a way that limits carbon footprints through renewable energy sources.”

 Kickstarting the campaign and in tribute to Caribbean Heritage Month, for every donation of USD $15 or higher made to the Sandals Foundation during the month of June 2024, Sandals Resorts will donate USD $15 to The Power of 15 project. Throughout the year, guests staying at Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts can support the Sandals Foundation during their Caribbean holidays by engaging in programmes like Pack for a Purpose, Reading Road Trips, seasonal sea turtle watching experiences and more.

Through this effort, the Sandals Foundation will raise the funds needed for the installation of solar panels on school buildings in under-resourced Caribbean communities. Because many Caribbean countries are subject to fluctuating global oil prices that directly impact the cost of generating electricity, on average in the Caribbean one kilowatt – the amount of electricity consumed in one hour – can reach well over $.51 cents per kWh. The installation of solar panels in schools will help to combat these challenges for years to come. 
Since its inception in 2009, the Sandals Foundation has been dedicated to empowering Caribbean people and communities, impacting more than 1.5 million lives across the Caribbean and embracing the help of 33,000 volunteers. All administrative costs of the Sandals Foundation are covered by Sandals Resorts International – allowing 100% of every penny donated to go directly towards funding impactful initiatives under the Sandals Foundation’s three core pillars:  Community, Education and the Environment. 


“It’s a proud moment as we celebrate the work of the Sandals Foundation and the direct impact on so many. The reality is, that this work dates back long beyond 15 years, when my father founded Sandals Resorts in 1981. Long before philanthropy was considered fashionable, my dad tapped into the needs of our community and carried that torch because it was the right thing to do. He adopted local schools – from the provision of books to leaky roof repairs and so much more. It was just part of his DNA,” said Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of SRI, and President and Founder of the Sandals Foundation. “Today, our commitment to education has never been stronger; it’s the empowering force that lifts communities, which is why we are so proud to make The Power of 15 the centre piece of these 15th anniversary celebrations.”

 Letting Positivity Shine Through: Sun Murals 

 To highlight empowerment as the anniversary theme, The Sandals Foundation has teamed up with local Caribbean artists to create Sun Murals, vibrant works of art designed to inspire people seeking power over their own lives. A gift to 13 Caribbean communities, the outdoor art installations emblazon walls with unique designs under a unifying glowing sun concept, carrying uplifting messages of hope such as gratitude, be the sunshine, unity, and love.

 Gift shops at Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts will stock a range of graphic tees, totes and tumblers to commemorate the anniversary while giving back to a powerful cause, with a portion of sales going towards the project. 
About The Sandals Foundation
The Sandals Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), the Caribbean's leading family-owned resort company. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation was created to continue and expand upon the charitable work that Sandals Resorts International has undertaken since its founding in 1981, to play a meaningful role in the lives of the communities where SRI operates throughout the Caribbean. The Sandals Foundation funds projects in three core areas: Education, Community and the Environment. One hundred percent of the monies contributed to the Sandals Foundation go directly to programmes benefiting the Caribbean community. Part of the Sandals Foundation’s mission is to provide access to quality education, and to date, it has impacted over 350,000 students in their education needs. In its 15 years, the Foundation has distributed over 6,000 digital learning devices, supported over 2,000 schools, awarded over 200 scholarships, and distributed over 300,000 books to schools and libraries. 
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Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation; Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International and Christopher Elliott, General Manager of Sandals Montego Bay; invite students in Jamaica to the unveiling of Sun Murals created in collaboration with local Caribbean artists in celebration of the Sandals Foundation’s 15th anniversary.