Speaking to MyVueNews.com, Liburd said the focus was on youth today. “The youth of East Basseterre, the youth of St. Kitts and Nevis are the future leaders of tomorrow,” he said, hence the importance facilitating the education of the children.
Schoolbooks, pencils, rulers and bags were distributed to over 200 children in the area. Vouchers were also provided to obtain a haircut from a barber of choice.
The funds used to purchase the school supplies are provided through a monthly contribution of 50 percent of the representative’s salary. Liburd said, “It is a commitment that I shall continue, as long as I have the means to do so.”
The East Basseterre constituency representative reflected on having grown up in the community, and after seeing what did not happen in the community, he was moved to respond to several pressing needs, particularly in Newtown.
Liburd commented, “After 20 years, we had a representative who literally did nothing. I was almost in a state of shock when I walked through some of those alleys that I knew from a small boy and see the near absolute poverty in some of the areas. It moved me to decide to give back half of my salary once elected, and I have done that from my very first salary after being appointed to office.”
Fifty percent of the representative’s salary is paid into the ‘Ian Patches Liburd Social Assistance and Youth Development Fund’. The Fund is run by a committee chaired by former bank manager Ernest Pistana. Also on the committee are Cleopatra Lake, Lisa Lewis, Chris Roberts and Randy James. This committee processes applications that come to the Fund.
Some of the programs run by the committee include the Senior Citizens Hot Lunches, where over 60 lunches are provided on the last Sunday in the month; medication assistance for constituents who cannot afford to purchase, as well as sponsoring a basketball tournament, support to the East Basseterre Fishnet Festival and a football tournament, plus the placement of bins in the community to aid garbage disposal.