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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, January 20, 2022
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Community Action NOW! Updates the Savan Community

Putting up a new hoop at the Savan Basketball Court (Submitted photo)

Community Action NOW! (CAN) Executive Director Iffat Walker provides the Savan community following updates after the July community forum.

“Due to the rising numbers in COVID-19 cases, we made the decision to cancel the onsite meeting originally scheduled for August 26th at the Romeo Malone Community Center. Despite the cancellation, it is critical that we provide an update on the outcomes following our July community forum in Savan,” said Walker.

Following the forum, Commissioner Calvert White reached out to CAN’S executive director to inform her that despite the fact that the Savan Basketball Court does not fall under his agency, but under the V.I. Housing Finance Authority, he was inspired during the forum to move forward in spearheading the project so that children in Savan can have an outlet.

In an email dated July 29, 2021 to Iffat Walker, Commissioner White wrote “Good Day, I can no longer sit back while our community suffers. I took it upon myself to purchase two adjustable rims for the Savan community.”

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Since this email, Commissioner White began organizing in partnership with CAN, Director of USVI Fire Services Daryl George, Sen. Dwayne DeGraff, Public Works and several members of the Savan community to revitalize the basketball court –cleaning up the court, painting the court, and installing light and rims at the court.   “Actions speak louder than words; we can’t see it yet, but those rims have just saved at least one life in Savan,” said White.

“This is why we do the work that we do here at CAN.  We must continue to advocate for the communities that we serve in order to motivate and inspire action in our leadership and community as a whole; that’s our role — enough with the talking about the issues, we must address them. This is what real progress looks like. I am thankful for Commissioner White in all that he does to support our mission for Savan” said Walker.

Solarize St. Thomas’ Share the SUN program – Following our community forum, CAN launched the community intake for the Share the SUN program conducting intake for Savan and surrounding communities on St. Thomas. The residents were invited to register at the Romeo Malone Center.  “Our initial goal was to register 50 low- or moderate-income residents for mobile solar systems and nine for fixed systems. To date, we have conducted intake on 49 applicants and pre-qualified nearly 30. We are excited for this progress; we are going to exceed our program goal in record time. This is great news for Savan and surrounding communities.

“We anticipate the first 20 devices to be distributed at the Romeo Malone Center within the next two weeks. This is an important step in meeting our mission of providing vulnerable populations with resources to combat poverty.  We are excited to administer this program. This work most certainly demonstrates our ability to reach the most vulnerable populations and getting the job done. We are thankful for this partnership with Solarize St.Thomas, ” said Walker.

Registration for the Share the SUN program is ongoing until Sept. 17 on St.  Thomas. Residents that are income eligible for the Share the Sun Program are asked to contact Ms. Hodge at the Romeo Malone Community Center at 474-1510 to schedule an appointment to register for this program.

Savaneros United NOW! (SUN) – Residents of Savan were informed of a grant received in the amount of $1,000 to legally form Savaneros United NOW! (SUN) as a DBA of Community Action NOW!, engage the community, and develop community needs assessments/surveys that examine the community needs after Irma/Maria.

This grant was received through grants from the Community Foundation of the USVI’s (CFVI) Neighborhood Recovery and Revitalization. The initial planning phase has begun. CAN will formalize (SUN) by mid-September. Residents of Savan that attended the forum should expect to receive a phone call and/or email requesting participation in a community survey/needs assessment as invited to volunteer with SUN.

“We will continue to do what is necessary to revitalize, engage and advocate on behalf of the Savan. We are thankful for the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands for continually supporting our efforts. We are grateful,” said Walker.

Community Action NOW! is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.   We are on a mission to provide those in underserved communities with resources to combat poverty through social justice advocacy, disaster management, education and outreach services.

For more information about our agency and how you can support our efforts in Savan and surrounding USVI communities, please send an email request to: info@communityactionnow.org.

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