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iYES Foundation Receives $320,000 from Oaktree Medical Center for Establishment of International Youth Education & Sports Facility

Nassau, THE BAHAMAS – “That 13-year old today on the path to illiteracy, in five years could possibly be an angry 18-year old man with one or two things in his hand, a gun or a knife,”expressed Mr. Marvin Henfield, Executive Director of the International Youth Education & Sports (iYES) Foundation. “This partnership with Oaktree Medical Center will allow the iYES Foundation to begin to mitigate some of the social demise we are experiencing.”

His comments resonated loudly, as the country continues to experience increased levels of social decay due to many young adults feeling hopeless, coupled with the sharp economic downturn and joblessness due to COVID-19 pandemic. However, the solutions to these massive challenges are not insurmountable when hope, vision and generosity intertwine.

With a passion for the community and supporting Bahamian youth, Oaktree Medical Center’s Medical Director, Dr. Don D. Deveaux and General Manager, Mrs. Kristi Deveaux partnered with the iYES Foundation for a sizable donation of $320,000 for the establishment of an indoor 8,500 square foot YMCA style, technology enhanced learning and sports facility primarily developed for inner city youths in New Providence.

From left: Mr. Jabari Wilmott, iYES Foundation Assistant Director of Development; iYES Foundation Executive Director, Mr. Marvin Henfield; Mrs. Jesse Hinsey, iYES Foundation Board Secretary; iYES Foundation Board Chairman, Mr. Peter Rutherford; Oaktree Medical Center Medical Director, Dr. Don D. Deveaux; and Oaktree Medical Center General Manager - Mrs. Kristi Deveaux.

“For us this is a game changer, this allows us to be able to manifest our vision of creating the first YMCA style facility here in The Bahamas and gives us the ability to touch thousands of lives on a weekly basis. In the 80s, we were taught as kids to say ‘no’ to drugs but they never taught us what to say ‘yes’ to,” Henfield noted.

The “I say YES” after school programme is designed to teach kids to say ‘yes’ to their dreams, ‘yes’ to their future, ‘yes’ to their purpose and ‘yes’ to their education. The space will provide year-round academic assistance, training and development for young men and women to help them develop physically, socially and spiritually.

Oaktree General Manager Mrs. Kristi Deveaux shared her appreciation for the opportunity to partner with the iYES Foundation on this project. “We believe in the vision of the Foundation and are grateful to be able to step alongside you. Dr. Deveaux and I decided to take this leap because we want to be connected to something that is a refuge for young people. We understand as a child what it was like to struggle at times, however, we were able to make it out and given a chance to succeed. As a result, we want to do the same for children who might not have anyone else to provide a safe haven for them,” she expressed.

iYES Board members with Oaktree Medical Director Dr. Don D. Deveaux

Chairman of the iYES Foundation Board, Mr. Peter Rutherford reflected on how, many of the iYES Board members and associated partners are former athletes who benefited from the community and are now able to give back to the same community that blessed them. He also expressed his gratitude to the Deveaux’s for their generous donation.

“To the principles of Oaktree Medical Center, it is with a gracious heart that we accept this gift. It is not normal that we see partners step up in such a generous manner and to that we say thank you. Rest assured that stewardship and accountability is the mantra by which we will carry out our duties,” expressed Rutherford.

Medical Director Dr. Don D. Deveaux lamented the pains and challenges he sees in the community due to societal decay, the pandemic and current economic downturn.

“During this pandemic, so many children are suffering and as a result, here at Oaktree we are not trying to just treat the medical side, we are treating the community. We want to be a pillar in our community to help people. For us, we asked the question, what is the next big investment? It is not another hotel or technology; it is actually investing in the human soul. That to us, is the most important investment we can actually make in the community. As Bahamians, we must come together and save this nation at this critical time. I want to encourage corporate Bahamas to continue to sow into the worthy causes which support and uplift our young people,” said Dr. Deveaux.

About the iYES Foundation

The iYES Foundation is a registered non-profit in The Bahamas which teaches sports fundamentals and life skills to young men and women ages 5-21 years of age. By building brighter futures through education and sports, the Foundation has trained, mentored and shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with more than 8,000 youth to date. The iYes facility will be located on Tonique Darling Highway.

About Oaktree Medical Center

Oaktree Medical Center (OMC), a world-class medical facility provides high quality, holistic, patient-centred, affordable medical services in a safe, caring environment. They provide customized care to meet the needs of each patient and health condition. OMC is focused on family values and its doors are open to serve the community.

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Honouring A Warrior - Oaktree Medical Center Donates $20,000 for Jonique E. Webb Community Youth Center

Nassau, THE BAHAMAS – Jonique Elizabeth Webb was an athlete, leader, daughter, sister and friend who lit up any room she entered. Described as vivacious, classy, bubbly, resilient and stylish, her pleasant personality left an indelible impression on those privileged enough to spend time with the accountant with big dreams and bright smile.

Jonique’s battle with Lupus did not stop her mission to live a life poured out in service to God and her community. The Jordon Prince Williams High School (2006) and then College of The Bahamas (2011) graduate excelled in the classroom, on the field and court. Additionally, she was actively involved in many organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., National Baptist Youth, National Baptist Young Women, Lupus 242 Association, St. John’s Native Baptist Young People Union, National Society of Leadership and Success, Bahamas All Star Band, Colours Junkanoo Group, Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants and Baptist Sports Council.

Despite the physical challenges and pains she experienced during her eight-year journey with the autoimmune disease, those closest to her all echo the same sentiment of the warrior.

Honouring Ms. Jonique Elizabeth Webb

“My granddaughter was a gem, she was not a complainer,” recalled Deaconess Joanne E. Webb. “She succeeded in many ways and lived a youthful life, seeing her you would never know she had all these things going on with her health. Sadly, in preparation to get a kidney from her father, Jonique passed away at the age of 30.”

Charge Nurse at the Kidney Clinic, Ms. Jamie Sears, fondly recalls her time with Jonique during her kidney dialysis treatments. “My time with Jonique was pleasant, she always had this effervescent personality. She had such a presence about her, when she came in the room you wanted to be happy. For me as a caregiver, that was something special, it was a pleasure. Losing her was very painful,” recalled Nurse Sears.

Honouring Ms. Jonique Elizabeth Webb

Heartbroken by his daughter’s death on January 19th, 2020, one year later, John Webb, Sr. and the family have a deep resolve to memorialize Jonique in a concrete way to benefit others in the community. “Jonique was a girl who was a high achiever, she let nothing get her down. She always tried to excel in everything that she did. We are trying to come to grips and put things to rest and build on her name and remember her by having a youth center in her honour,” expressed Webb.

Jonique was an Assistant Manager at the Securities Commission of The Bahamas and the first female treasurer of Golden Gates Native Baptist Church and active member. This year, the Webb family began soliciting support for the creation of the youth facility. Oaktree Medical Center’s Medical Director Dr. Don D. Deveaux and wife, Mrs. Kristi Deveaux, General Manager donated $20,000 for the completion of the Jonique E. Webb Community Youth Center.

“During this pandemic the world needs to see Jesus’ light now more than ever. For us, it is time to let our light shine. What better way can we do this than to start off by honouring Jonique. When I look at Jonique, I think about the hardship, trials, the tribulations she faced, in life, each one of us will have our own set of trials but is how we conduct ourselves during these trials and tribulations will makes the difference and Jonique obviously was anchored in the Lord Jesus Christ,” expressed Dr. Deveaux.

From left – Reverend Alonzo Hinsey, Jr., Golden Gates Native Baptist Church; Ms. Jamie Sears, Kidney Clinic, Charge Nurse; Deaconess Joanne E. Webb, grandmother of Jonique; Dr. Don D. Deveaux, Oaktree Medical Center Medical Director; Mr. John Webb, Sr., father of Jonique; and Mr. Marvin Henfield, iYes Foundation, Executive Director

The center will provide a safe haven for young adults to congregate and engage in wholesome, educational and spiritual development.

Reverend Alonzo Hinsey, Jr., Golden Gates Native Baptist Church, expressed his gratitude for the donation. “We are so thankful for God touching your lives, one of the things God said to us this year was that he is sending destiny helpers and that there are people who he has already aligned that will understand the vision he has already put in place. We are thankful for God touching your heart. Jonique was someone very near and dear to our heart. As people pass through the youth center, they will remember her. We are encouraged and her legacy will live on.”

Her father, reflecting on his daughter’s life, with tears welled he proudly proclaimed, “Jonique was a beautiful lady who touched many lives and I know through this donation, she will touch even more lives and young ladies will achieve great things through this youth center.”

About Oaktree Medical Center

Oaktree Medical Center (OMC), a world-class medical facility provides high quality, holistic, patient-centred, affordable medical services in a safe, caring environment. They provide customized care to meet the needs of each patient and health condition. OMC is focused on family values and its doors are open to serve the community.

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