Officially, tourism accounts for one in four jobs in the British Virgin Islands, however, the real impact of the tourism sector on the livelihood of the thousands of local people is far greater. A preliminary assessment has put damage to the tourism sector at over 3 billion dollars.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria have removed the roofs from as many as 60% of houses in BVI and up to 95% of all houses are damaged in some way or other. Many local people were not insured and so face an immediate future without a house, a car or a job. The majority of districts are also without power, connectivity or safe and clean water.
The immediate response has been to provide emergency aid for those most in need. This continues with the help of the UK Government and various global Aid Agencies. One small step at a time, the infrastructure of the islands is starting to come back to life but there is a long road ahead.
The BVI White Cedar Fund has been established to provide long term aid for those individuals and families in most need. We want to help them get them back on their knees and onto their feet. Long term thinking is essential so that we can help rebuild their lives gradually and in turn restore the British Virgin Islands back to the incredibly unique and beautiful destination it once was.
We are primarily looking for ongoing monthly donations from individuals, companies and philanthropic organisations. We welcome one-off donations but feel that a steady stream of donations across a number of years will make a much bigger difference. We have partnered with Tourism Cares to channel donations to the BVI in the most effective, productive and waste-free manner.
Please support and share this initiative. If we all collaborate we can bring the BVI back as a better and more beautiful tourist destination for everyone.About