The Soufriere Regional Development Foundation (Soufriere Foundation) is a non-profit company established by the people of Soufriere to promote, encourage, support, facilitate and coordinate local development initiatives in the Soufriere region.
HOW DID WE BEGIN?
The Soufriere Foundation was formed in 1991 out of the trail blazing work of the Soufriere Development Programme (SDP). The SDP was a predecessor organization formed by Cabinet in 1986 at the behest of a few visionary individuals of a local community development group called the Soufriere Development Committee, which consisted of pioneers such as Clem Bobb, Nick Troubetskoy, Joan Duboulay-Devaux, Michael Duboulay, Lennard Riviere and Pelham Reid. The SDP was formed with the goal of promoting coordinated socio-economic development for the Soufriere region and creating socially acceptable, environmentally friendly and economically beneficial tourism-related infrastructure and amenities. The SDP is best known for its development of the Sulphur Springs Park, construction of the Soufriere jetties and waterfront, development of an inventory of the community’s heritage assets, and initiation of an anti-Harassment Programme. Mr. Clem Bobb was the programme’s first chairman.
In December 1990, the Soufriere Development Programme in collaboration with the St. Lucia National Trust held a participatory planning exercise to identify the concerns, needs and priorities of the community and to develop a plan for the development of all sectors of the Soufriere community. The 2-day retreat which was dubbed “Soufriere 2000” had as its theme, “Helping To Shape The Development Of Soufriere Towards The Next Century”. Soufriere 2000 ended with a clarion call from the participants that the SDP evolve into a broader institution capable of mobilizing better the energies of the Soufriere people, and undertaking more activities in support of social and economic development. In direct response to this call, the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation Limited (The Soufriere Foundation sometimes called the SRDF) was formed and duly registered under the Commercial Code of Saint Lucia on January 05, 1993. On registration the company comprised of nine (9) directors from the following organizations:Soufriere Development Programme (3), and one each from
- Soufriere Town Council
- National Mothers and Fathers League
- St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce
- St. Lucia National Trust
- St. Lucia Tourist Board; and
- Ministry of Planning
Mr. Clem Bobb and Michael Gustave, were the Soufriere Foundation’s first chairman and deputy chairman, respectively.
Between 1993 and 1995, the SDP was voluntarily wound up and all its assets and liabilities transferred to the new company, the Soufriere Foundation. In 1996, ownership and management of the Sulphur Springs Park was transferred to the Soufriere Foundation through a 99-year emphyteutic agreement made with the Government of St. Lucia. Today, Sulphur Springs Park and the Soufriere jetties represent the organisation’s main income earning centres.
In 1997, the Articles of Association were changed to replace the three (3) directors from the SDP with a director from each of the following organizations:
- Fond St. Jacques Development Committee
- Soufriere Fishermen’s Cooperative Society
- Soufriere Taxi Association
In 2008, the Articles of Association were again changed this time to allow the Prime Minister of St. Lucia to appoint the full board of the organization, including selection of its Chairman and Deputy Chairman.