A Very Special Need
Established by Renuka and Alex Harrigan, the Foundation is named after their daughter, Arijah (pronounced “are ee yah”). After the couple learned that Anguilla had few resources for her, they were inspired to create their own. As Renuka Harrigan explains, “Arijah was born in 2004, and we came to find out that she has a condition that is going to affect her ability. We began to look around in Anguilla for help for children with disabilities or conditions that will affect their development; there was very little. So, rather than moving overseas, we decided, ‘Let’s try to do something here.’”
The nonprofit works tirelessly to fund The Blossom Centre, a childcare and development facility that opened in 2010. After opening, the Centre invited special-needs teachers from Jamaica to join the team. More teachers would soon follow. Since inception, the Arijah Children’s Foundation has held numerous successful fundraisers.
Today, Anguillan children with special needs have a place to find education and physical therapy. They are no longer shut in their rooms or their cribs; instead, their Centre is supported by BTG Charities and recently enjoyed a visit from Princess Sophie, the Countess of Wessex. Last year, The Blossom Centre held its first awards ceremony to showcase the successes of children who could once barely walk or talk as they recited sentences and walked across the stage.
However, Renuka doesn’t want to stop here. “Our goal for the future,” she remarks, “is to help people of all ages, not just children. We started with the children because they didn’t have anything here, but one day, they are not going to be children: they are going to be adults. We hope to grow as they grow.”
To help the Arijah Children’s Foundation/Blossom Centre, donations can be made via their website arijahcf.org. For more information, contact Renuka Harrigan: email@example.com; or (264) 235-ARIA (2742).
Additionally, the Anguilla Progressive Association of New York (APANY) can accept tax-deductible donations from US taxpayers on behalf of the this, or any other not-for-profit organisation in Anguilla. Any donations received less necessary administrative fees and expenses will be sent directly to the organisation of your choice.
Visit their website for more information: www.apa-ny.org.