DARDA is an acronym for the Dominica-American Relief and Development Association, Inc. The association was organized on June 28, 1981 by a group of concerned Dominicans living in and around the New York area.
After the destruction wrought by Hurricane David various individuals and groups were involved in raising funds to assist in the rebuilding of Dominica. It was from this effort, and at the request of Bam and Wilfred Shillingford, that the idea of a new organization originated. This group, originally known as "Friends of Dominica," then went about the business of attaining official status. On September 25, 1981 it was duly established and registered as a not-for-profit corporation, officially known as the Dominica-American Relief and Development Association, Inc. (DARDA).
DARDA is a 501 (c)(3) registered as a not-for-profit corporation in the State of New York.
DARDA has lent support to several worthwhile causes on the island of Dominica. Some of its major recipients have been...
The Grotto Home for the Homeless
The Alpha Centre
The Dominica Infirmary
The Northern District Home For The Aged
The Dominica Red Cross
The Social Centre (including the establishment of a library for the Pre-School Education Program)
St. Ann's Day Nursery
The Princess Margaret Hospital
REACH (Reaching Elderly Abandoned Citizens that are Homebound)
The Education Trust Fund
The Roseau Public Library
Various public schools across the island
DARDA has initiated several of its own projects. The most rewarding are the Annual Christmas Toy Drive - which yields hundreds of toys for the underprivileged children of Dominica, and The School Supply Drive - which provides underprivileged children throughout Dominica with school supplies for an entire academic year. In addition to these programs, DARDA also implemented the Agatha Shillingford Scholarship Fund aimed at providing funding for academic and extra-curricular expenses to students in Dominica.
DARDA is run by an executive board.
President - Lorna Phillips
Vice-President - Hermia Carrette
Treasurer - Shari Shillingford
Secretary - Sandra Norris
Public Relations Officer - Caryl Greaves-Bowen
Other Members: Ray Benjamin, Chev Carrette, Albert Deschamps, Marilyn Garraway, Daisy Norris, Cecilia McIntyre, Franklin McIntyre, Janelle C. McIntyre, Lisa McIntyre, Shelley McIntyre, Jo-Ann McIntyre, Wendy Phillips, Nicole Phillips-Sharpe, and Grace Bruney Nwokobia.
DARDA established a local chapter in Roseau, Dominica in February 1986 in order to assist in reviewing the numerous requests for assistance both from individuals and organized groups in Dominica. The local chapter was established to keep with DARDA's policy to only assist requests channeled through organizations and groups.
Kathleen Trotter is the current President of the local sub-committee. Other local chapter members include Denise Defoe, Hughette Giraud, Jennifer White, Adelina Detouche, and Dorothy Leevy.
Requests for assistance are channeled through the local chapter in Roseau where they are reviewed and forwarded to New York with recommendations. The local chapter also assists in the appropriate distribution of funds.