Friday, March 1, 2024

Camp suit


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Government could soon be facing a lawsuit from the Israel Lovell Foundation.Attorney-at-law Gregory Nicholls told the DAILY NATION yesterday that he was about to file proceedings to commence a suit for judiciary review on the ministry’s decision to withdraw financial support to Camp Kuumba, which had been approved as part of the National Summer Camp programme last year.According to director of the foundation, Trevor Prescod, the camp had met all the necessary requirements and had been approved by the National Camp coordinator Hamilton Lashley, but had experienced problems with the meals on the first day.Prescod said subsequently the ministry announced that it had closed the camp on the second day, leaving the foundation at a loss as to how it would carry on without the funding.It was after this that the ministry sought to bring charges against Prescod and his colleague Cheryl Hunte, who were charged with behaving in a threatening manner at the Ministry of Family and Youth Affairs on June 6 last year. The charges were subsequently dismissed by the court.Nicholls noted the foundation had written to the ministry on the issue, but was yet to get a satisfactory response from the ministry as to why it had closed the camp and refused funding.Not satisfactory “To date we have received no satisfactory answer. The camp was approved as part of the National Summer Camp Programme . . . , and hence we are arguing the decision was unreasonable, vexacious and bordering on capriciousness,” Nicholls stated.With summer vacation now started, Prescod said the foundation had been flooded with calls for a summer camp this year, but he said it would not be having one, since it had been very costly last year.Prescod said after the ministry withdrew funding from the camp he had over a 100 children who had already been signed up and could not be turned back. He said the number grew to about 179 by the end of the six-week camp.“Last year it was costing us almost $1 700 a day to feed those children and continue that camp, and after Government left us high and dry, it was really a big struggle for us, but we couldn’t afford to turn away those children. Without corporate Barbados and the Barbadian public we could never have done it, so this year there will be no camp,” he lamented. Those who attended the camp would have participated in designing arts, costume designing, stilt walking, dance, community theatre, Spanish and an element of sports.

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