Aunty Olga Memorial School Aid Programme

Do you remember Aunty Olga? She was one of the greatest philanthropists Barbados has ever known. Perhaps her finest initiative was to fund the cost of school uniforms and basic school supplies for needy children across the island. When she died, Aunty Olga asked Variety to maintain this programme and keep her legacy alive. The Aunty Olga Memorial School Aid Programme is a celebration of the life and times of Aunty Olga, who spent her life taking care of the less fortunate children on the island.  

At the beginning of every school year, the programme ensures that children whose parents experience financial difficulties are not disadvantaged by not having the necessary uniforms, bags, shoes and stationery to begin a new school year. THE MAIN SOURCE OF SUPPORT FOR THIS PROGRAMME IS THE ANNUAL CHEFETTE FUN RUN HELD IN MAY. The fund is also supported by corporations and individuals who donate in currency or in kind to the cause.

Children from more than two hundred of Barbados’ financially disadvantaged families receive the benefit of Variety’s School Aid Programme. 

Variety—The Children’s Charity had a long and close association with Dame Olga, providing her with the vehicle she used to visit families and transport donations. Variety’s mandate is to assist needy and sick children. The Charity has been active in Barbados since 1994 and among other activities, donated funds to purchase equipment and outfit the first Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  The annual Gold Hearts campaign is Variety’s most visible fundraising programme.


THE SCHOOL PROGRAMME AIMS TO PROVIDE UNIFORMS AND BASIC SCHOOL ITEMS TO CHILDREN OF FAMILIES WHOSE PARENTS ARE UNEMPLOYED OR ARE ON THE WELFARE SYSTEM. While there is government funding which assists some families, the demand increases year after year and includes single-parent working families; families that temporarily need assistance and families falling into ill-luck, such as losing jobs or homes and possessions to fires during the course of the year. 

Items supplied to the children through our partnering vendors include:

  • Uniforms (shirts, skirts, tunics, pants)
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Back packs
  • Games bags
  • Books
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Rulers
  • Erasers
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Binders

Recipients are screened by Variety for identity and authenticity and are given interviews via our team of experienced social workers. The programme is run by a small committee comprising Variety staff and volunteers with experience in administration and social work. The programme averages $60,000 BDS in donations to children annually.

Variety runs several programmes which touch needy children in every community. Continue to browse this site to learn more.

Please consider becoming a Member of Variety Barbados. It costs just $60 each year and you will be proud of the good work we can do with every cent of your money.

Visit Do it now! Help us keep Aunty Olga’s great legacy alive

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