The blue skies blended in perfect harmony with the theme colour as True United Sisters (TUS), with cake and champagne, recently celebrated a significant milestone.
The registered charitable organization was established at Church Road in Bog Walk, St. Catherine, by Karen Sudu, on 31 July 2005 – just over 15 years ago.
The anniversary celebration, which unfolded at Bethel Baptist Church in Bog Walk, was chaired by TUS Board Vice Chair Cyrine Cargill, and TUS Board Public Relations Officer Ripton McLean.
The event featured well-wishes from beneficiaries of TUS projects, and an impressive entertainment package – including a performance by visually impaired Gospel artiste Barrington Newton.
“This is a really wonderful occasion and a noteworthy achievement by this noble organization!” said Sudu, who outlined the amazing journey that has brought TUS to this milestone.
Her organization was inspired by the determination of her mother, Evadney Daley, who struggled to fund the education of her four children, including Sudu, who attended St. Jago High School in the 1980s.
TUS started out with an aim to fulfill the needs of teens, as well as unemployed and unskilled single mothers and their children.
However, the demand for assistance increased, and the organization expanded its programmes to facilitate seniors, at-risk youths, and the indigent.
Sudu explained: “Through initiatives such as skills-training workshops, the distribution of care packages, back-to-school awards programmes, spelling bee and quiz competitions, and visitations to shut-ins, TUS has consistently been working towards the execution of its mission statement with great levels of success.”
The most popular TUS initiatives includes a back-to-school programme that, since inception in 2012, has benefited more than 300 students – with several being repeat beneficiaries.
There is also an After-School Programme, which was implemented in 2014 to cater primarily to slow learners.
Another initiative – the TUS Someone Cares Programme, assists seniors and the indigent.
Every International Women’s Day since 2013, TUS also recognizes outstanding women for dedicated and invaluable service in various fields. To date, 23 women have been awarded.
The indelible mark being made by TUS has not gone unnoticed.
Principal of Lucky Valley Primary School Kenrick Bennett, during the anniversary ceremony, noted: “Several students, including students from my institutions, have benefited from True United Sisters’ education programme. This is a wonderful organization that has been doing an excellent job.”
Pastor Brian Campbell of the August Town New Testament Church, while commending Sudu for being a visionary and a beacon of hope, indicated that there is much more work to be done.
However, he bemoaned the unwillingness of some persons to volunteer, adding that community development can only be attained if more people work together.
“There is more work to be done, but we need more hands on deck to make sure what this organization started continues for some time to come,” Pastor Campbell further said.
In the meantime, Sudu made it clear that TUS is still dreaming big and is planning for the future.
It wants to build a recreational centre for seniors and to establish a shelter for homeless, abused and battered women.
Sudu declared: “The organization hopes that, with an increase in its donor base, as well as the help of funding agencies, it will continue to make a difference and impact the lives of seniors and youths-at-risk in a more significant manner.”
During the anniversary celebration, the TUS Board of Directors also awarded Sudu for her more than 25 years of dedicated service to volunteerism and community development.
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