GrenVet Island Veterinary Services (GIVS), a nonprofit charity group in Grenada and the United States carried out a largely successful community outreach mission in Grenada this past week.
For the past four years, GrenVet has provided spay, neuter, and wellness clinics for farmers and pet owners in need in Grenada.
To date, over six hundred dogs, cats, sheep, goats, and pigs have been examined, vaccinated, and treated for diseases ranging from simple skin infections and tick-borne illnesses to an emergency tail amputation.
While GrenVet’s efforts have been aimed at helping the community by way of providing care to animals, the most recent trip had a very different focus.
After finishing an animal care clinic in St. David, Dr. Heather Douglas, Founder and Executive Veterinarian of GrenVet Island Veterinary Services, was invited to visit the nearby school – St. David’s Catholic Secondary School (SDCSS).
As Dr. Douglas was touring the facility with a former student Ranisher Livingston, she was touched by the hospitality of students and faculty alike.
The students were beaming with a deep passion for learning and were enthusiastic about sharing their experiences with a new visitor.
As she spent more time at the school, Dr. Douglas happened upon the computer lab and couldn’t help but take note of the outdated computers and lack of functional stations.
After observing a classroom of forty-two students who were sharing fifteen computers amongst themselves, Dr. Douglas envisioned a plan that would provide additional technological resources with the help of GrenVet Island Veterinary Services.
With the upcoming CSEC exams moving to being completely taken online, having a three student to one computer ratio with outdated hardware and software would create barriers to the success of the students.
SDCSS needed updated technology to stay relevant and be able to continue to offer top-notch educational experiences to its students.
At this moment Dr. Douglas found a way for her world of veterinary medicine and the technological world to collide.
A phone call to Dr. Douglas’ dad Stephen, who has been a computer programmer for as long as she can remember, launched the plan for a pilot program which would provide computer resources to schools in Grenada.
In collaboration with GrenVet and in part to generous donations from individuals committed to the advancement of youth, the Grenadian Youth Technology Improvement Program was created.
This program provided thirty new computer workstations, a computer server and laser printer to SDCSS.
A skilled volunteer team including Stephen Douglas and Mitch Burton (an information technologist specialist), installed and formatted a state-of-the art computer lab that will serve students at SDCSS for years to come.
In commenting on the project, Dr. Douglas said, “I consider Grenada my second home and am committed to giving back to the community however I can. I feel truly blessed with the support offered during our stay including lodging donated by Maca Bana and the volunteers at St. David’s Catholic Secondary School. They took great care of our team, assisting with the computer lab setup and providing home-cooked meals.”
As GrenVet continues to provide much needed services to the island of Grenada, the organisation will evaluate the sustainability of future technological advancement projects.
With their sights set on cultivating career opportunities and inspiring future generations, GrenVet and Dr. Douglas plan to continue finding ways to give back to the country that has given her so much.
GrenVet would like to thank Stephen Douglas, Mitch Burton, Janice Douglas, Principal Miriam Calliste, Shem Francis, Devon Greene, Akish Rennie, Brenard Malcolm, Denise Williams, Shirlene George, Edison Francis, Kell Hazzard, Mrs. Venta Bubb, Mrs. Jocelyn Francois, Douglas Animal Hospital Team, Maca Bana and Belmont Estate.
In addition, GrenVet would like to extend gratitude to the many donors that helped make this financially possible.