Philanthropist Isabelle Lewis, a Vincentian who migrated to the United States, has expressed utter disgust over the loss of a quantity of school supplies shipped in care of the Ministry of Education by her US-based charitable organization, for distribution to less fortunate students in rural St Vincent.
Lewis in an interview with local newspaper confirmed that over 100 backpacks were missing from among 8 barrels of school supplies shipped to a teacher, and in the care of the Ministry of Education.
She said barrels were packed to capacity with backpacks, library books, and other school supplies.
Supplies were to be packed into the backpacks and distributed to three schools in the North of the country this coming Monday.
Lewis said that the amount of ripped, empty plastic covers found in the barrels indicated that over 100 backpacks were stolen.
The Philanthropist told the local newspaper that she could not sleep because she was so petrified.
“Why would you want to go in and rob from children? “This one really hit me hard. “How am I going to explain that all the children didn’t get backpacks?
Lewis said she arranged with a teacher Natasha Nero, to go with someone from the Ministry of Education to deal with clearing the barrels. She said has had controversial reports as to when the barrels were cleared.
So far there has been no explanation as to what may have happened. Questions have been raised as to whether they went missing at the customs or after clearance or whether they went missing even before being shipped to St Vincent.
Lewis said that Dr. Ronald Child was present when he barrels were packed in the US and when she contacted him here this week and he visited her home he confirmed that the barrels were packed to capacity before shipment.
Lewis confirmed that over 100 composition books, 60 pencils cases, and 128 backpacks were among items missing.
She said last year some supplies also went missing and as a result, there was not enough to distribute.
First Published The News Photo Credit The News