Soufriere, St Lucia- On Sunday, January 14th, 2018, a press statement surfaced in the media alluding to the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation’s (SRDF) involvement in the expulsion of a vendor at the Hummingbird Beach.
The SRDF wishes to state that these allegations are the furthest from the truth given that a justifiable offer was presented to Ms. Fedelis Francis. The organization had finalized discussions with Ms. Francis and her future status at the Hummingbird Beach in which a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was instituted.
According to Executive Director, Mr. Jimmy Haynes, “We are extremely disappointed that Ms. Francis chose to interpret the situation in the manner that she has. Our offer was finalized with mutual consent in a meeting which took place at her shop on Wednesday, January 10th, 2018. This mutual agreement is captured in the Memorandum of Understanding that was presented to Ms. Francis on Friday morning, January 12th. That is before she contacted the media to complain. That is rather unfortunate.”
Senior Projects Officer, Mr. Malcolm Mathurin provided further clarification on the matter.
“In the MOU, it was agreed that the SRDF will pay her a monthly allowance of $1000.00 for three months (the duration of the phase 1), and priority would be given to her to rent a booth upon completion of the project” he said.
Mathurin also indicated that Ms. Francis agreed that she would remove her structure by January 19, 2018. The organization would be responsible for dismantling her building and transporting it to a new location of her choice. The agreement further noted that permission would be granted to her for continued vending on the beach while the first phase of the project is ongoing.
We would like to reiterate our commitment to our mission statement which translates into the creation of sustainable livelihoods in Soufriere and we stand resolutely averse to any action that would compromise that position.
The Soufriere Foundation is a not for profit organisation located in Soufriere. Its mandate is to undertake social, economic, cultural and other sustainable developments in the Soufriere region. The organization which was established in 1993 generates revenues from its operational sites: the Sulphur Springs Park, Gros Piton Nature Trail, Comfort Center, Soufriere jetties and 88.5 Soufriere FM.