View from the SEA balcony
Sisterhood Agenda's SEA: Sisterhood Empowerment Academy is located on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. It serves the U.S. Virgin Islands, residents and visitors from neighboring islands and from the United States mainland. One of the most important aspects of the SEA is its safe health and healing space for women and girls. This space, included interior and exterior eco-friendly areas, is coming back nicely to fulfill its purpose.
WHAT WE HAVE DONE
After Hurricane Irma, Sisterhood Agenda staff and contractors have completed cleaning and salvaging, water removal, debris collection and removal, dumping, and resource coordination. A temporary tarp roof was installed shortly after the hurricane as a protective measure.
Recover and rebuilding on the small island has been slow due to delays in receipt of building materials, skilled labor shortages, and lack of local resources. After several months, Sisterhood Agenda was able to secure most of the building supplies and materials needed for its rebuilding process. The roof and ceiling repairs are now complete, along with the installation of exterior walls, most of the doors and windows.
THE WORK RIGHT NOW
While we have made great progress to date, we still have important work to do. Specifically, Sisterhood Agenda will complete the following recovery and repair tasks:
- Continue to purchase rebuilding materials and ship materials, when necessary
- Complete installation of patio doors, windows, interior walls, interior doors, cabinets, shelving
- Complete electrical work: wiring, installation of exterior and interior lights
- Complete plumbing: sinks, toilets, cistern expansion
- Scrape, prime, and paint interior and exterior
- Complete hurricane mitigation: preparation to reduce the impacts of future hurricanes, including but not limited to, hurricane resistant patio doors and windows, hurricane shutters, and cistern expansion to prevent flooding
- Replace building contents: program supplies, equipment, and furnishings
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can make an important difference in our efforts by donating to our cause. In addition to the physical structure, our extensive library, located in our media center, was destroyed by Hurricane Irma and we look forward to the day where we can build our library back again, book by book. Your monetary donation, books, and book gift cards will be gratefully accepted.
Another tragedy that some may not immediately recognize is our garden. Due to the storm, we lost many native plants, including: bananas, coconut, sugar cane, basil, collard greens, kale, avocado, hibiscus, bromeliad, and bougainvillea. Even our mature ginger thomas tree fell. The good news is that we still have many plants such as papaya, lime, aloe, bamboo, yucca, ferns, mandevilla, and oleander.
St. John is currently experiencing a drought and our fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens were still in a state of recovery before the water shortage. In addition to destroying many plants, the hurricane ruined our fencing and grey water systems. The fencing is necessary to keep the goats, peacocks, and other wildlife away. We will gladly accept donations, volunteer labor, and in-kind donations of plants, fencing, trellis, and landscaping materials to reestablish our gardens, which nourish heart, body, and soul.
STAYING AND PRAYING WITH US
Many of you have been with us since the beginning when we first started building the SEA: Sisterhood Empowerment Academy. We want to acknowledge you and give you special thanks for staying with us for the long haul. You supported us: 1) during the extensive and specialized building process, 2) while winning the Energy Globe Award after the building was completed, and 3) rebuilding now after Hurricane Irma.
I believe in the power of collective prayer and you prayed for us, too. In our times of need, you asked, “How can we help?” Together, we created a system of support so that we were not alone. Your belief in us and unwavering support has meant so much-THANK YOU!
In the Spirit of Sisterhood,
Angela D. Coleman, MBA, CNM
Founder & President
Peacocks keep us company during the recovery
Welcome to the SEA: Sisterhood Empowerment Academy