Following what seemed like a frustrating wait at times, the first container of medical supplies and furniture totaling over USD$100,000 from Switzerland has finally arrived in Grenada.
Over a period of time, items ranging from medication to furniture for the hospital and other items intended for Grenada’s health care system were solicited by Grenadian entrepreneur, Chester Simon, a Zurich-based restaurateur.
It was not the first time that Simon had come to Grenada’s rescue.
Following Hurricane Ivan, the former musician also assembled containers of aid for the battered tri-island State, and has a penchant for helping worthy causes in his homeland.
Simon was then faced with the task of finding the funds necessary to ship the first container to Grenada, a process that took several months.
Eventually, a group of Grenadians residing abroad began assembling on the GrenadaBroadcast Skype network and embraced the idea of raising the necessary funding.
These people included Trisha Mitchell (Toronto), Chester Simon (Zurich), Tesfa Peterson (Montreal), Kenneth Nedd (Miami), and Michael McLeod (New York).
Mitchell initiated a web-based fundraiser through the website, Indiegogo.com and that was followed by a community fundraiser organised by the Grenadian community in Montreal with the help of Peterson.
Through email campaigns, Nedd and McLeod were also able to generate support from family and friends; as was Margaret Francis from New York, along with donors from right here in Grenada.
When the effort appeared to be falling short of its target, the initiative received a shot in the arm from Swiss national, Peter Gernert, a retired businessman who now lives in Grenada.
Gernert provided matching funds, which brought the initiative close to its goal.
The remaining amount was then provided by the Government of Grenada, under the auspices of former Health Minister, Ann David-Antoine who is now an advisor to the current Minister of Health.
David-Antoine has advised the team that the container has now been cleared from the St. George’s Port and emptied and that distribution has already begun.
Simon has already shipped another container, which is due to arrive in Grenada shortly.