Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The St. Christopher National Trust (SCNT) is proud of the relationships it has formed with public and private sector agencies as it works to protect and safeguard the heritage of St. Kitts.

The SCNT is a national, non-governmental, voluntary organization that "promotes and preserves the natural, historical, ecological and cultural heritage of the island."

"They say if you don't know where you come from you really wouldn't know where you are going," Executive Director, Rylis Percival, said on this week's edition of the government radio and television programme "Working for You." "If we don't preserve our history, our real purpose might be lost if our future generations don't understand what the real struggle was in getting where we are."

"As such, the Trust operates in various fields and with persons of all ages. Take for instance the performing arts, cultural music, visual pieces and the customs and traditions handed down from one generation to the next. The primary partner in this effort is the Department of Culture."

"We do that with partnerships from the Ministry of Culture," Ms. Percival stated, adding that the Ministry of Tourism also plays a part. The Trust and tourism ministry are also collaborating on several other initiatives.

One of the projects involves mounting information and other educational markers at several sites around the island so that visitors can learn more about the site and its place in the nation's history. A second initiative will see the creation of a foot trail at the Petroglyphs at Stone Fort to allow visitors the ability to move around more comfortably. Collaborations are also frequent with other government departments including the Department of Sustainable Development, Ministry of Education and others.

Partnerships with private sector entities are also important, particularly in providing funding for the SCNT activities. As a non-profit organization, the agency relies on cash donations from companies, a subvention from government, ticket sales from the National Museum and grant funding for projects. Ms. Percival said that donations from companies are tax deductible.

The executive director said more collaboration is needed as the scope of the work of the SCNT expands. She invited the public, particularly young people, to visit the SCNT office at the National Museum on the Bay Road, Basseterre, to learn more about ways they can assist in protecting the country's rich history and heritage.

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