Che Emmanuel
The Knapsack Project St. Lucia

At our meeting on Monday January 20, 2019, Che Emmanuel talked about the the St. Lucia Knapsack Project. Che grew up in Grenada and St. Lucia and moved to Canada to study. He lives in Toronto with his wife Sophia and children Sloane and Kaedin.

Che has always wanted to give back to youth in St. Lucia and after a trip to the island in 2011 he was inspired to start the project. On a chance visit to Marchand Boulevard, Che saw first hand young children who couldn't afford to go to school, exposed to negative influences of drugs and gangs. Back in Toronto, compelled to do something to help at risk children, with the help of his parents, sister and wife; Che founded the knapsack project. 

Modelling the St. Lucia project off a similar one in place for St. Vincent, in its inaugural year 141 children in 3 communities were provided with a new knapsack filled with school supplies. Since then close to 3,000 new knapsacks filled with school supplies have been delivered to primary school children living in rural and at risk communities on the island. 

The project is spearheaded in St. Lucia by Che's sister Anika. They have met with the principals and relevant Ministry of Education officials to identify the needs of students in St. Lucia. The project is reliant on individual donations from sponsors in the Greater Toronto Area and community groups with a similar interest.

The ability to make an impact in the lives of young children is the driving force behind the project. If we can help one child by providing hope, love or inspiration then it would be a success.