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Unite BVI is a registered not-for-profit foundation based in the British Virgin Islands. The overarching vision of the charity is to bring people, great ideas and resources together to tackle community and environmental challenges for the benefit of this and future generations.
The three main areas of focus for Unite BVI are:
As part of Unite BVI’s work, the team strive to bring attention to the urgent need to protect vulnerable species, both on land and in the sea. The ecosystems around the BVI are delicate and easily threatened and there are several species that are at risk.
The Unite BVI team work closely with the wildlife team on Necker Island to support the huge range of species that live and thrive on the island. Turtle Beach is a protected area which has happily become a favourite nesting and breeding site for local turtles. Guests can even participate in turtle tagging to help track turtle movements in the BVI waters and beyond.
Recycling is another area the team on Necker have whole heartedly embraced. Over the last 10 years, the amount of waste being produced by the BVI has tripled so the team are finding ways to help reduce their impact. The deck planking on Red Dock is made from recycled plastic and over the past few years the team have made the shift from 100% diesel power to mixture of wind and solar power with 2,500 solar panels providing half of the renewal energy needed to power the island.
Unite BVI want to support efforts for education, public health and social welfare with the aim of encouraging young people to speak out, to challenge mindsets, and to ‘be the solution’ to the challenges they see facing their communities and natural environments. A portion of funds is dedicated to help improve education for local children. 9 out of 10 children living in the BVI cannot swim so to try and ensure all staff working on Necker and Moskito Island are able to swim, swimming lessons were set up with Richard himself even getting involved as swimming instructor!
On Necker Island, we are proud supporters of BugOut BVI, a community-driven, privately-funded nonprofit initiative to control mosquitoes and the spread of mosquito-borne diseases in the British Virgin Islands. Working closely with the Unite BVI team, staff work hard to keep Necker Island clean and implement all of the BugOut recommendations in their own homes. BugOut conducted over 13 Virgin Gorda community clean-ups in 2016 and continue to work diligently to help spread the word in the local community about how they can prevent the spread
One of the most important aims is to connect the region’s most promising start-up and existing entrepreneurs with the tools, knowledge and resource they need.
The KickStart Small Business Loan Program (organised by Virgin Unite) provides access to funding for aspiring BVI-based entrepreneurs who use business based solutions for challenges in our community. The work of the Branson Centre (BVI) aligns directly with the work of Unite BVI, as the teams take entrepreneurs/startups/existing businesses and help them scale and grow their business. Many of the Virgin Unite gatherings which have taken place on Necker Island provide the entrepreneurs with pitch practice, group mentorship, and networking practice as well as a fresh perspective about how to overcome certain challenges or roadblocks.
Not only will supporting these businesses create jobs in the BVI but they will amplify the message that business can be a force for good.
For more information and to get involved with any of these projects, please visit www.unitebvi.com
The Kodiak Queen is an ARTificial Reef project coordinated by Unite BVI and several partners that aims to solve a series of challenges in the BVIs and amplify the message of Ocean Conservation, partnership and using audacious ideas to solve real world problems.
The Sinking of the Kodiak Queen