NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Lyford Cay Foundations this week honors “the impact of the generosity of its donors over the past five decades” as it celebrates 50 years of philanthropy in The Bahamas.
Noting that “2020 has not provided many opportunities to celebrate” as a result of the global impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the foundations issued a statement reflecting on its initiatives and noted that a film telling the stories of some of its Lyford Cay scholars will air on ZNS tonight.
“Lyford Cay Foundations recognized years ago that the government, even with all its leadership, commitment and resources, cannot achieve all that it wants alone, and that philanthropic investment in education is a crucial component to the long-term development of a prosperous, safe and healthy Bahamas,” the statement read. “This belief is put into practice through three major programme areas: community grants, college access programming and scholarships.”
It noted that more than 250 community organizations have received assistance from the foundations, and that its Hurricane Dorian relief efforts have included raising and disbursing “millions in aid for grants for hurricane recovery, including more than $2.5 million towards the rehabilitation of Central Abaco Primary School”.
In addition, “in response to the economic devastation of COVID-19, the organization committed and disbursed $1.75 million in food aid grants to Bahamian NGOs”, the statement noted.
The Lyford Cay Foundations also highlighted its “long history of funding scholarships” and initiatives towards education, including the launch of the FOCUS programme; its “main work” of providing post-secondary scholarships to Bahamians; its supporting of “100 students a year at University of The Bahamas (UB), through funding generated by a $5 million endowment fund”; and its donations of more than $4 million to support the Harry C. Moore Library & Information Centre.
“Today, in any given year, 50 to 80 Lyford Cay Foundations Scholarships are awarded valued, on average, at $15,000 per year, with a few awards as high as $30,000 a year,” the statement continued.
“Over the past 50 years, nearly 3,000 Bahamian Lyford Cay Foundations Scholars have earned post-secondary degrees, internationally or nationally at UB. More than 80 percent of successful candidates in its international scholarships programme are students who will be the first generation of college graduates in their family; around 35 percent graduated from public schools in The Bahamas; and, on average, 25 percent originated from the Family Islands.”
It also stated: “The impact of its scholarships programme and partnership with UB reverberates throughout the country in the Lyford Cay Scholar alumni community, most of whom are home in The Bahamas, working, starting their own businesses, running or volunteering in non-profits and much more. On Tuesday, 1 December, in a film premiering at 8pm on ZNS, the stories of some of these Lyford Scholars are told.
“Lyford Cay Foundations dedicates this film to its donors and partners, without whom, none of such impact would be possible. More than 3,000 private donors have invested more than $80 million in the organization. Within that timeframe, some $50 million has been disbursed directly to Bahamians and to organizations carrying out work to improve life in this country.
“The Bahamian NGO community and public sector partners like the Ministry of Education, University of The Bahamas and Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute have also been critical to the impact achieved over the last 50 years.”