Saint Lucia
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The Botham Jean Foundation: Continuing a Humanitarian Legacy

Sylvestre Phillip M.B.E
By Sylvestre Phillip M.B.E

THE Botham Jean Foundation is firm in its resolve to continue the humanitarian legacy left behind by Botham Jean. The foundation, that is under the able leadership of his sister, Allisa Charles-Findley, is manifesting the work of the foundation in St. Lucia and the United States of America where he was killed. 

Botham, a humanitarian activist, was killed, in the sanctuary of his home, by Amber Guyger, an off-duty woman police, on 6th September, 2018.

That vicious act of brutality sent all family members, including myself, in a frenzy. Indeed, he was my cousin, and was well loved and embraced whether he went. It is hoped that by the work of the foundation, in the coming years, people would get to know who Botham Shem Jean really was.

Botham was a human who provided extraordinary humanitarian care to people who are disadvantaged, deprived, outcasts, underprivileged and youth who were at-risk.

Botham, during his lifetime, made it his business to visit the Boys’ Training Centre, at Massade, the Marian Home and other such institution, when he came to St. Lucia.

The Botham Jean Foundation continues its drive to reach communities, institutions and individuals that were of interest to Botham.

One activity planned for 2023 is the Second Annual Wellness Exposition (Expo). In this regard, the foundation is collaborating with a team of medical practitioners from the United States of America led by Dr. Linda Lucome, a St. Lucian National residing in Florida, to present the 2nd Annual Wellness Expo on July 21, at the Providence Commercial Centre Parking Lot, Rodney Bay, Gros Islet. All are invited to attend the Expo.

Today, Saturday, 22nd July, 2023, the Foundation is at the St. Lucy’s Home providing the services of the medical team to the Street and Homeless people of the St. Lucy’s Home.

The practitioners are expected to conduct health checks and would include, specifically: Diabetes Screening, HbA1c for diabetic residents, Blood Pressure Checks, talks on Nutrition and Health Education, questions and answers. There will also be giveaways. The HbA1c test would tell the level or percentage of sugar in the bloodstream.

The management of the St. Lucy’s Home welcome the opportunity for the screening of the residents. That is not going to be the first time that the Botham Jean Foundation is extending a hand of friendship to the St. Lucy’s Home. On two previous occasions, the foundation had donated cheques to the St. Lucy’s Home to assist with its general operations. The Home had been grateful for the donations.

Coming back to the issue humanitarian activities or legacy, the Botham Jean Foundation are working on many exciting projects to improve the lives of others and promote positive change in the lives of others and the community where they live.

Regarding the community outreach the goal is to promote great opportunities for those in need. With access to the right resources, people can become empowered by their own abilities and gain confidence in fulfilling their potential.

Many young people who are missing the opportunity for proper home training and, by extension, self-development, usually would end up on the wrong side of the law and eventually get into the Boys’ Training Centre of Her Majesty’s Prison. The Botham Jean Foundation in aiming to reverse all of those trends.

In addition to Botham’s sister being the President of the Foundation, his parents, Allison Jean and father Bertram Jam, his cousin Dr. Linda Lucombe, on the medical team, and Botham’s Aunt Deserie Charles, a lawyer by profession are all members of the foundation.

The foundation is full of life and energy. Ultimately, by their action the story of a young St. Lucian hero, would be amplified.

It is my hope that the body of information which will be derived from the work of the Botham Jean Foundation would become very rich archival material which could be accessed quite easily.

The humanitarian Landscape of St. Lucia over the last 50 years has been very colourful. However, I am not sure that all the work of individual and organizations like the Botham Jean Foundation is so well documented stored or archived to allow other individuals and organizations to replicate. Even the names of the organizations conducting or implementing those activities are clearly and skilfully recorded.  

It is my hope that the Botham Jean Foundation would be the first to record and archive the work of the foundation in order to enrich community development in St. Lucia, and, indeed, the whole world.