NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The leading financial planning, investment, trust and corporate services firm Leno has supported Colours Junkanoo group for six straight years.
This year, with Junkanoo cancelled but Leno’s commitment intact, Colours gave the $10,000 donation away, using the funds to secure tablets for students in the popular Junkanoo group.
“When Leno said they wanted to continue with their support of Colours, knowing the work we do in the community, even though there is not going to be Junkanoo this year, we were really grateful because we knew many of our members were in urgent need of a tablet or learning device,” said Colours Leader Chris Justilien. “We have students from primary straight up to university who are trying to get through the school year taking a course on their phone. Can you imagine what that is like?”
The generous donation came at a particularly sensitive time.
The group had just buried one of its longest-running female members, a marshal who contracted COVID and left behind a daughter who lost her job to the pandemic, and a granddaughter who is less than a year old. They were evicted from their home as their mother began her struggle with the disease that has claimed more than 1.3 million lives worldwide, including 163 in The Bahamas.
Leno founder and CEO Sean Longley said there was never a question about continuing its support for Colours.
“Parade or not, this is about reaffirming confidence and trust in a group that has come to mean so much to its close-knit community on Faith Avenue,” he said. “Colours is to be commended. They built their own centre that has become the heartbeat of the area whether it’s during Junkanoo season or summer. Kids always have a safe place to go, surrounded by good energy, creativity, a sense of purpose and, most importantly, strong role models. We also applaud them for creating a virtual junkanoo performance which brought joy to many. You can watch the video on Youtube by searching Colours Junkanoo Bahamas.”
In September, Leno announced it would partner with the Ministry of Education, launching the Leno Learning Link national campaign to put a tablet in every child’s hand to enable distance learning.
It kicked off the campaign with a donation of $60,000. Since then, another $123,000 has been raised through the Leno Foundation which is also partnering with Aliv, which is supplying tablets, MyFi and connectivity at a reduced cost.
Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd has repeatedly thanked Leno and its corporate and individual donors, acknowledging that the government, with strained resources, cannot “do this alone and we are extremely grateful to Leno and all those who have partnered and continue to partner in this important cause”.