ST JOHN’S, Antigua — The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda, having received an assessment from local officials of the current conditions on Barbuda following the passage of Hurricane Irma, has decided that no decision can be made at this time as to the opening of schools on the island.
Following a special meeting of the Cabinet late Friday night, it was however directed that a plan be formulated immediately to integrate the over 500 students from Barbuda into the public-school system in Antigua.
The Cabinet also agreed to commence consultations with the people of Barbuda and stakeholders on Monday, during which Barbudans will receive an update on the current situation on the island and given the opportunity to be involved in the decision-making process.
The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda said it remains committed to the education of the children of Barbuda, the rebuilding of the island and most importantly the welfare of all Barbudans and Antiguans.
Meanwhile, global citizenship advisory firm Arton Capital is leading an initiative to help rebuild a school in Barbuda destroyed by Hurricane Irma. It is pledging an initial US$50,000, and calling on clients, stakeholders and all global citizens to join this fund-raising effort.
“Like many people around the world we have felt the devastation in Barbuda caused by the hurricane,” said Armand Arton, founder and president of the Arton Capital. “Our hearts go out to the people of Antigua and Barbuda, whose lives have been turned upside down by one of the most powerful hurricanes in history.”
Through the Global Citizen Foundation, Arton had donated more than US$20,000 for equipment to a school in Antigua just a few years ago.
“Proceeds from this year’s Global Citizen Forum, taking place this October in Montenegro, will go the Global Citizen Foundation specifically to help rebuild Barbuda,” said Arton, who is also an economic envoy of Antigua and Barbuda.
The Global Citizen Foundation has not only donated funds in the past but has had a hands-on experience in the rebuilding of schools.
“We have done it India, at refugee camps, and most recently in Nepal,” Arton noted.