GEMS Holdings Limited — an impact-driven Caribbean-based company dedicated to owning, managing and developing world class, sustainable luxury properties and businesses in the hospitality and tourism markets, including the six-star, award-winning Secret Bay and The Residences — is pleased to announce two new philanthropic initiatives — GEMS Foundation and GEMS Hospitality School.
“The mission of GEMS has always been about combining environmental consciousness with a commitment to delivering authentic, life-enriching experiences,” said Gregor Nassief, CEO of GEMS. “We remain focused on our staff and guests, but now we’re also creating a path and opportunity for others, as well as giving even more attention to the environment.”
The GEMS Foundation is a non-profit initiative to support projects that will have a positive and sustainable impact on four “E’s”:
- Environment — This programme’s primary goal is to support projects that are focused on protecting and preserving the environment particularly within the context of climate change.
- Entrepreneurship — This initiative aims to empower entrepreneurs in strengthening and growing their businesses within the hospitality and tourism supply chain. The first initiative will be an annual GEMS Entrepreneurship Challenge (GEC) award which will provide a minimum annual grant of EC$30,000 to the winning entrepreneur(s).
- Education — This initiative seeks to empower individuals to develop their skills and a future career in the hospitality and tourism sector. The GEMS Hospitality School, funded by the Foundation, is the first initiative in this area.
- Entertainment & the Arts — This programme is designed to empower and support contemporary local artists – whether in the visual arts, theatre, music, dance, and interdisciplinary performances – in developing their work and gaining further exposure.
A part of the education division of the Foundation, GEMS Hospitality School is an initiative aimed at allowing young people with interest in the hospitality sector the opportunity to gain practical skills in various aspects of hospitality, including food and beverage, housekeeping, front desk operations, security, and bartending. The main objective is to develop a cadre for eager Dominicans who not only possess theoretical and/or practical knowledge of tourism and hospitality, but are passionate about working in the tourism industry and understand its importance to Dominica. Each programme will run for a period of three months, with the next intake focusing on food & beverage, front desk and housekeeping on August 15, 2022, and food & beverage, villa host and concierge on October 15, 2022. Persons interested in applying to GEMS Hospitality School should send an email to [email protected].
The GEMS Foundation recently appointed an independent board of directors, comprised of:
- Dr Genora Joseph, Chairperson, responsible for environment initiatives
- Lizra Fabien, Director, responsible for entrepreneurship initiatives
- Katie Julien, Director, responsible for education initiatives
- Jael Joseph, Director & PRO, responsible for entertainment, arts & culture initiatives
- Ronson Dalrymple, Director, Corporate Secretary & Treasurer
“The GEMS Foundation board is excited to launch these programmes as a means of encouraging innovation in the areas of education, environment, entertainment, arts, culture, and entrepreneurship. We are hopeful that the Foundation’s curated programmes will enhance community cohesion and hopefully have an enduring, positive impact for Dominica,” said Dr Joseph.
Ms. Julien adds: “GEMS is pioneering numerous transformational and meaningful initiatives, and I’m delighted to be a part of it. I am especially happy to see the GEMS Hospitality School in its early stages of implementation and excited about its future impact from a tourism and hospitality education perspective.”
GEMS will contribute to the Foundation on an annual basis and the Foundation will also provide a funding opportunity mechanism for guests on property to make a direct contribution to the Foundation, or to a specific project that the Foundation is supporting. GEMS has long been committed to giving back to, and collaborating with, the community. It has launched numerous community initiatives over the years, most recently Koudmen Kitchen, a 30-day initiative designed to supply COVID-19 frontline workers and healthcare professionals with over 1400 no-cost meals at four locations across the island.
To learn more about GEMS Foundation and GEMS Hospitality School, visit gems.dm/responsibility.