Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday made a number of stops on St. Croix to various nonprofit organizations. The leaders first visited Lutheran Social Services where they spoke to officials and met with children. Also on this tour was Governor Albert Bryan and First Lady Yolanda Bryan. Tim Duncan, who held an event earlier the same day at the Claude O. Markoe Elementary School as part of his $500,000 donation towards a program aimed at helping children from low-income families succeed in school, was also part of the first stop at Lutheran Services.
Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett was also in attendance, and even spoke of her history at Queen Louise Home for Children. “Many years ago when my [mother’s mother] passed away, it was five girls that were twelve and under, and they were sent to Queen Louise Home for a number of months before they were sorted out by relatives. My mother has always made us give back to Queen Louise and I was on the board of Lutheran Social Services, because she said those were the best months maybe of her childhood,” Ms. Plaskett said.
Queen Louise Home for Children, founded in 1904, has provided a safe haven and residential foster care for children in the Virgin Islands who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected. The program also provides temporary placement in a family setting where children receive unconditional love and support, as well as tutoring, recreational activities, and guidance in overall skill development.
Later the same day, the Clintons toured the St. Croix Foundation in Christiansted, where the foundation’s history and that of the building in downtown Christiansted were given by officials of the nonprofit.
At the end of the tour, standing outside the St. Croix Foundation building, Mr. Clinton said, “This has been a very enlightening experience because I’d never really spent some real time on St. Croix before, and I see how different each of the islands in the Virgin Islands are. I’m really encouraged by the community of non-governmental groups and how they’re working together.”
Mrs. Clinton added, “I think that our stop here is significant because the arts can be a driver of economic development of jobs. And what we saw inside is a terrific space and if it can be realized as a theatre, a performing arts center, [it] can really spark even more development. So this is a very positive tour that we’ve had and we feel like there’s a lot of good work going on.”
According to a media advisory provided by the Clinton Foundation, from June 3-4, Mr. Clinton and Mrs. Clinton will convene the fourth meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The meeting, in partnership with Bloomberg LP and Love City Strong, will continue the discussion around hurricane recovery in the greater Caribbean region, and address topics such as infrastructure, agriculture, workforce development, clean and renewable energy, health, and Caribbean arts and culture.
The approach of the Action Network brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to focus efforts on putting people first, including prioritizing a resilient future by helping communities to plan and prepare for future storms and the mounting effects of climate change. At the meeting, new Commitments to Action will be announced, adding to more than 57 commitments made to date, according to the release.
Mr. and Mrs. Clinton will also visit sites to see the impact of these commitments and encourage continued engagement, according to the release.
The meeting of the Action Network also follows a Clinton Foundation Day of Action led by Chelsea Clinton at the Afya Foundation warehouse in Yonkers, NY, where Clinton Foundation staff and volunteers sorted, cataloged, and packed medical supplies collected by the Afya Foundation at the request of the U.S. Virgin Islands, the release said.
The Action Network, along with Clinton Global Initiative University, follows the success of CGI and its commitment to action model. Over the years, CGI and its partners have brought together leaders from across sectors to develop commitments to action that, when fully funded and implemented, will improve the lives of more than 430 million people in 180 countries worldwide.