ApaNa Magazine Issue 5 May 2021

Page 1

ApaNa ISSUE No.5 I MAY 2021

OECS Celebr ates 4 0 Year s GREEN & DEVELOPMENT









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MAY 2021 / Issue #5




OECS Celebrates 40 Years

Think Mangroves

Social Enterprise Development

OECS celebrates its 40th Anniversary in June with virtual events from March to July 2021.

Martin Keely, mangrove activist believes educating the next generation is key to protecting the mangroves.

Featuring the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange and Barbados Youth Business Social Enterprise Incubator apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021



I nside this Issue In this f ifth issue of ApaNa Magazine, we celebrate the 40th Anniversar y of establishing the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States with messages from the Hon. Roosevelt Skerritt, Prime Minister of the Republic of Dominica and Chairman of the OECS Authority and, from Dr Didacus Jules, the Director-General of the OECS Commission. We also highlight the milestones of the OECS integration initiatives from 1962. ApaNa features the great work of a mangrove teacher who has, over the past 50 years, developed the Mangrove Education Curriculum that is taught in over 15 countries worldwide and youth who have become Mangrove Rangers f ighting to protect mangroves in their country. We also cover the new social enterprise incubators in Barbados and St.Lucia and the innovative social stock exchange in Jamaica for social businesses.

56 Features 23

24 // Message from Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, Chairman of the OECS Authority 30 // OECS Milestones 32 // An Opportunity to Look Back, Look Forward and Look Within - Dr Didacus Jules 34 // Treaty of Basseterre 36 // 40th Anniversary Calendar of Events

Our team talks to two award-winning young persons who are helping at-risk youth get on the right path.




'Reaching', 'Obtaining', 'Coming to', 'Market', 'Trade', 'Waves'

8 MAY 12 MAY 2021 2021/ /apanamagazine.com apanamagazine.com

OECS Celebrates 40 years


Inter view with Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT) Cardell Fergusson, General Manager, BYBT, talks about how the Trust is supporting entrepreneurs in Barbados



42 Green & Development 16 28

Prince Charles' Terra Car ta A look at the Terra Carta (Earth Charter) launched by Prince Charles in January.

OECS: Tug of Unity Perhaps, now is the time to put the OECS Political Union back on the agenda


Doing Good 82

Caribbean Youth Still At Risk


Youth Helping Others At-Risk

We pose some questions on systemic issues that hinder Caribbean youth from successfully transitioning to adulthood.

Nature Fun Ranch Barbados youth recognised for their outstanding work by Optimist Club. 88 // Tahira Holder Helps At-Risk Girls 89// Dario Greenidge: An At-Risk Youth, Now a Mentor

The M angrove Teacher Featuring Martin Keeley's work in wetlands protection using education as the key.


M angrove Rangers/Dinara Perera A new youth group is working to protect the mangroves in the Cayman Islands. Featuring Dinara Perera, a Mangrove Ranger.

Business 58

A New Business-Construct for the Caribbean The social enterprise is relatively new to the Caribbean and worth exploring.

62 70

Plus 38

La Soufriere Volcano Eruption, St.Vincent & the Grenadines


Managing Remote Work


Developing Strategic Leaders


Corporate Sustainability Repor ting

Jamaica Social Stock Exchange

Write to Us

A session with Nora Blake, Manager of JSSE on, the financing initiatives for social enterprises.

ApaNa is accepting article submissions, case studies, news and stories about corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, sustainable business practices, social engagement and good works in the Caribbean. Kindly note that all submissions are subject to editorial review and approval.

BYBT's Social Enterprise Incubator Highlighting a Social Enterprise Incubator in Barbados established by Youth Business Trust.

Please send your article ideas and submissions to: editor@apanamagazine.com.

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021



Dear Readers, Halfway into 2021, we are still living with the pandemic. As millions of people are vaccinated against the COVID-19 coronavirus with the hope of getting back to 'normal', we are facing the same pre-pandemic challenges albeit more pronounced and urgent. It is clear that in the Caribbean, the pandemic has compounded the already high unemployment rates, particularly among youth and women due to the closure or downsizing of business, particularly those in the tourism industry. Now, more than ever, we need to explore opportunities for the development of social enterprises in the region. Innovation in business models and a shift in people's mindset from the conventional way of doing business are necessary to achieve sustainable development.

Deborah Hackshaw Publisher and Founder ApaNa Magazine

Let 's Cel ebr at e d ev el o pmen t

We need to bring social business into the mainstream rather than applying it as a marginal business model. The learning of social business and social entrepreneurship must begin in schools. We must use schools as a gateway to social and economic advancement for real development. We need more platforms such as the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange and the virtual Social Enterprise Incubators in Barbados and St.Lucia to step up to the demands of local business development with a social focus. As we encourage innovation and build resilience in business and society, it is heartening to note that we have not forgotten the mankind is facing an existential challenge caused by the negative impact of climate change. We see various initiatives launched by governments, civil society and people in the Caribbean and worldwide. We are also celebrating the 40th anniversary of the union of ten Caribbean countries - the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean (OECS). This union has grown stronger since its inception in 1982. It has accomplished a monetary union and an economic union. Here is hoping that they will celebrate a political union by the time it is 50 years. We hope you enjoy this issue.

14 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

Eventually all pieces f all into place. Until then, laugh at the conf usion, live f or the moment And know that everything happens f or a reason. apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021




PHOTO: His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales launched the Terra Carta - (Magna Carta style charter) to save the planet in January 2021 Photo file: dailystar

16 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

apanamagazine.com / DECEMBER



Prince Charles' Terra Carta Prince Charles launched the Terra Carta in January 2021, over 800 years after the Magna Carta was developed. Will it make a difference? Prince Charles, a lifelong environmentalist and heir to the British throne, inspired by the Magna Car ta (Great Char ter in Latin) of 1215, launched the Terra Car ta (Ear th Char ter in Latin) in Januar y 2021, one year after the launch of his Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Magna Car ta focuses on the liber ties and fundamental rights of individuals. The Terra Car ta asser ts that the "fundamental rights and values of nature must be at the core of the global economy". What is t he Terra Carta and it s Intent The Terra Car ta sets out a voluntary framework to help the private sector combat the global climate and biodiversity crises and contribute to

a sustainable future. The char ter's 10-point recovery plan encourages businesses to "put nature, people and planet at the hear t of global value creation" over the next decade. It challenges businesses to put their resources and innovation to combat the global climate and biodiversity crises that we are facing. The Terra Car ta provides a road map that sets out one hundred broad actions to help integrate sustainability into their operating models and embed environmental and climate change effor ts into their business strategies. It includes commitments to "recognise that ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, on land and underwater, requires that climate, oceans, deser tif ication and biodiversity be treated as one common system and addressed simultaneously." apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021





What is t he Terra Carta's role over t he next decade? The Terra Car ta serves as the Sustainable Markets Initiative's 'guiding mandate' and will be updated annually over the next ten years. Prince Charles is using the char ter to urge corporate leaders to commit to the plan which he hopes will "reunite people and planet" and take the lead in mobilizing "the innovation, scale and resources that are required to transform our global economy." In the Terra Car ta's statement of intent, the voluntary commitments include suppor ting international agreements on climate, biodiversity and deser tif ication, backing effor ts to protect half of the planet by 2050 and make investment and f inancial flows consistent with a future of low greenhouse gas emissions. Two key init iat ives A key initiative arising out of the char ter is a private-sector alliance dubbed The Natur al Capital I nvestment Al l iance aims to invest $10 billion in environmental sustainability initiatives by 2022, including regenerative farming and biofuels. Spearheaded by founding par tners, HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management, Lombard Odier and Mirova, this initiative will develop a 18 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

Ph o t o s: Rural water pump near Ulundi by World Bank Photo Collection

'common language' for natural capital investing and expand the flow of natural capital investment through corporate offsetting and carbon pricing. Global giants such as AstraZeneca, Bank of America, BP, EY, HSBC and Unilever have signed on to the char ter and have committed to the $10 billion fund. It should be noted that some of these signator y remain big investors or f inanciers for the fossil fuel industr y and sectors linked to biodiversity loss. Hopefully, their commitment will move beyond mere pronouncements toward def initive action to facilitate the transition to a low-carbon future that backs biodiversity restoration. Another initiative launched in March is the Resil ient Water Accel er ator to protect water services from climate change. Prince Charles aims to provide 50 million people with a reliable and sustainable water supply by 2030. Six locations in Africa and Sout-East Asia will be selected by September to pilot the new approaches to

Prince Charleslaunched a new charter to promote sustainable business practices.

tackle pollution, rising water stress and decreasing supplies. Work on the ground will commence in Januar y 2022. Will SMI make a difference? For many, the effectiveness of the Terra Car ta is somewhat questionable since it does not carry legal status. However, it is hoped that it will influence legislation, as did the Magna Car ta for the American Bill of Human Rights in 1791 and more recently the Universal Declaration of Human Rights penned in 1948 after the Second World War.

Live Responsibly.

It's time to rethink your actions. Think creatively to find ways to stop damage to our planet and protect lives and livelihoods..

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021




Ph o t o s: Solar Energy (Top); Wigton Wigfarm, Jamaica (Top left); Solar Powered Boat (Bottom left)

Ph o t o : Prince Charles attend WaterAid and climate event at Kings Place in March 2021 (Photo file: MailOnline)

Full Version of Terra Carta Download PDF

20 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

10-point Recover y Act ion Pl an "Choosing Sustainability does not require us to sacrifice profit but asks us to broaden our assessment of capital and its value while exploring how to optimise for global future benefit." 1. Platfor ms Connecting investments to investibles by using platforms that can rapidly scale solutions and transform the marketplace 2. Pr ices Embedding positive and negative social and environmental costs into goods and ser vices to ensure sustainable options are obtainable 3. Standar ds Adopting common metrics and standards so consumers, investors and shareholders are better informed to make better decisions and sustainable options. 4. Natur e Investing in Nature as the true engine of our economy 5. I nnovation Invest in STEM, innovation and research and development with a focus on sustainable solutions 6. Pol icies Reversing per verse subsidies and improving incentives for sustainable alternatives 7. Solutions Identify game changing technologies and emerging solutions whilst eliminating the barriers to transition. 8. Systems Transitioning our existing systems by creating entirely new industries, products, ser vices and supply chains 9. Pathways Outlining responsible transition pathways to decarbonise and achieve net and negative zero to reimagine industries through the lens of sustainable markets 10. Defaul t Settings Shift default settings to sustainable by putting Sustainability at the core of our business models, our decisions and our actions.

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021



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1981 -2021 apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021


PHOTO: Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, Chairman, OECS Authroity

24 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

M essage from Prime M inister H on. Roosevelt Skerrit, Chairman of the OECS Authority The breakup of the West Indies Federation in 1962 and

- The defunct currency of the Federation - the

the fracture of the dreams of the Caribbean people did

British West Indies Dollar - was resurrected in

not mark an end to our aspiration but the beginning of

1965 as the Eastern Caribbean Dollar through the

a new ambition.

Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority which subsequently found its sovereign identity in the

In his Agony of the Littl e Eight written in 1965, Sir

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

William Ar thur Lewis called for an economic and political union of the Little Eight, namely Antigua and

The ignition of this flame led us on a progressive

Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat,

systematic path of designing this union and the

St.Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St.Vincent and the

transformation of the journey of the eight to what we


now celebrate today as the solidarity of the eleven. It was a journey that led us to this milestone.

Emerging from the cloud of disappointment that shrouded the optimism of regional will was the

This 40th year is a historical marker on a road of

movement in 1967 from colonial status to incipient

increasing convergence, greater anticipation and

statehood in the conf iguration of the West Indies

unyielding possibility.

Associated States. Notwithstanding the bad weather through which we In that year (1967) the embers of regional unity were

have journeyed, there have been bursts of sunshine.

kindled in the establishment of a suppor ting structure:

Notwithstanding the pain we have endured, we have also enjoyed the blessings of rain and we have reached

- A West Indies Associated States Supreme Cour t

this milestone for one simple reason - we have always

which ultimately evolved into the Eastern

focused on the things that unite us r ather than the

Caribbean Cour t of Appeal and subsequently the

things that divide us.

Eastern Caribbean Supreme Cour t in 1981 Every time we hold hands tighter in circling the apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021




A Caribbean Union Formed forty years ago, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States is a sub-regional grouping of ten member countries - six members and four assoicated member-states. This grouping has a common currency called the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) which is pegged to the United States Dollar. It is not only a monetary union but an economic union which allows for the free movement of goods and services.

elements of unity, we strike a blow against the shackles

37 years, has maintained a f ixed and immutable

of disunity. Our darkest moments have been

exchange rate with the US dollar and is now the

illuminated by light and that spirit of unity.

strongest and most stable currency in the Caribbean.

As Prime Minister of Dominica, I can attest to the


The fr eedom of movement of peopl e that allows

sense of suppor t, the infusion of courage and the

the citizens of Member States to travel without

reinforcement of hope that I experienced in spite of

hindrance or restriction to work, to play, to study,

the physical and emotional destruction of literally

to visit friends or to relocate, to follow carnival or

everything around me by Hurricane Maria. In the midst of Dominica's nakedness was the covering cloak of OECS solidarity. Equally, Prime Minister Keith Mitchell of Grenada can tell the same tale of how the devastation and destruction of Hurricane Ivan were

to follow a crusade. - With those rights came contingent r ights that empower our families to relocate with use and enable our children to attend schools, to obtain scholarships.

dispelled by the same spirit of solidarity and the assurance that it would be alright in the morning.

As we travelled this road in the last 40 years, new members of the family have joined in this journey.

What has been some of our most spectacular

First came the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla

achievements of the past 40 years?

joining their sister Montserrat which was there from inception. Then came our sister, Mar tinique followed

- The Easter n Car ibbean Dol lar, which for the last

26 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

by Guadeloupe adding a new cultural and linguistic

PHOTOS: Flags of OECS Member-states (left); Participants of OECS development programmes such as Trade and Enhancement for Eastern Caribbean Programme (right)

texture to the character of our community. The OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service has over the past 40 years transacted almost one billion US dollars' wor th of medicines and essential medical supplies for our health system, saving in the process $5 million annually and has now moved since the pandemic from a Phar maceutical Pr ocur ement Ser vice to a Pool ed Pr ocur ement Ser vice. In this 40th year, although the road may be steeper, although the pain may cut deeper and although the clouds may appear darker, we move forward with the conviction as we say in creole "an la woute say tje" -in the road lies hope. In every diff iculty lies an oppor tunity; in our pain lies redemption. We have no choice but to keep going forward because life does not move backwards. And if we must go forward, we must do so in unity, more determined and more convinced of the veracity of our vision. Notwithstanding the pain and the pressure of the pandemic, we will be celebrating this 40th anniversary with pride but not with pomp. Our celebrations will be frugal but fulsome. As we look back with gratitude to what we have accomplished by the Grace of God and through the foresight of our forefathers, we must look forward with determination and optimism. Onward with integration for progress and sustainability! Happy Anniversary to us all.

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021


Tug of Unity By Deborah Hackshaw As the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2021, we note that it has strengthened its regional integration efforts with a monetary union and economic union. Perhaps, now is the time to put the OECS political union back on the agenda. 28 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

It was just over thir ty years ago when I wrote

asters. For how much longer can we act on

my undergraduate dissertation exploring the

our own and unite only when and if neces-

notion as to whether the Organisation of the

sary? We need to revisit the concept of a po-

Eastern Caribbean States will achieve the f inal goal of a political union of the OECS

litical union for the OECS sooner rather than later.

member-states in the shor t term. While studying the European Common Market integration; I thought the Eastern Caribbean integration might be an excellent topic to explore. After much research on this relatively new organisation that had achieved so much in

No longer can we continue the old modus operandi in this changing world where size, money and might matter. We must stop lamenting our small size as an excuse for our limitations and innovate ourselves out of the impending economic disaster that awaits us.

ten years, I concluded that if the OECS did

Let us hope that, like the visionaries of for ty

not form a political union at that time, it would not happen for another f ifty years or,

years ago, our OECS leaders can take that

perhaps, not in my lifetime.

leap of faith with collective fortitude and a dream of a better future for our Caribbean people to spearhead that movement towards

As we all know, the drive to form a political

achieving the next level of integration.

union waned over the years and, this goal seems to remain a distant one. No doubt,

We must put the OECS political union back

transfer power from each member-state to

on the agenda. No doubt, we will have in mind different things for a political union.

this one state. However, it is a monetary

However, as the last for ty years have proven,

union and is now an economic union which have worked well thus far.

each member-state will work through those

one of the reasons was the need to massively

It is hear tening to note that the theme of the

differences. Therefore, we need to kick off this debate on the type of political union they would want sooner rather than later.

OECS' 40th-anniversary celebrations is 'Onward with Integration for Progress and Sus-

I do hope that my prediction of f ifty years is

tainability'. However, one begs the question as to how far are we willing to go? Perhaps

wrong and we can celebrate the achieve-

we should consider putting the issue of


ment of a political union by the OECS's

OECS as a political union back on the agenda.

Congratulations to the OECS and all the best in its continuing integration efforts in the region

In my view, at no other time is an OECS po-

and perhaps one day in the not too distant fu-

litical union more relevant. Our economies and people are being negatively impacted by

ture, OECS citizens will enjoy the benefits of a political union.

the fallout of the pandemic and natural dis-

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021




Milestones The OECS evolved from institutions created during colonialism to associated statehood to independence. Here are some timelines depicting its evolution. The evolution of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States as we know it today is rooted in the British colonial history of the founding members states Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St.Kitts and Nevis, St.Lucia and St.Vincent & the Grenadines. Today, only Montserrat remains a British colony and the grouping has now expanded to include the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe as associate members. As the Caribbean islands moved from colonies to associated states to independent countries, the visionary leaders four decades ago, realised the strength in unity. While some countries such as Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago who were part of the colonial Federation of the West Indies, decided to go on their own, eight small island-states decided to stay together. The Treaty of Basseterre signed on 18th June, 1981 concretized the will and solidarity of small-island nations to form the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. Since then, this Caribbean sub-region has not looked back.

30 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com


1962 Federation of the West Indies was dissolved.*

* The Federation comprised British West Indian colonies: Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and the Windward & Leeward Islands **WISA Members: Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St.Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, St.Lucia, St.Vincent & the Grenadines

The Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority (ECCA) was formed.

1983 The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is formed replacing the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority

1968 Caribbean Free Trade Agreement (CARIFTA) and the Eastern Caribbean Common Market (ECCM) were established.

2021 OECS 40th Anniversary Celebration

1981 Treaty of Basseterre is signed and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is established combining WISA and ECCM.

1967 Institutions established include The West Indies Associated States Council of Ministers (WISA)* and the West Indies Associated States Supreme Court now the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

2011 OECS Economic Union formed under the Revised Treaty of Basseterre signed on 18th June, 2020 is operationalized.

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021




Dr. Didacus Jules, Director-General, OECS Commision 32 MAY 2021 / apanamag.online

A n Opportunity to Look Back, Look Forward and Look Within Message from Dr. Didacus Jules It has repeatedly claimed that the pen is mightier than the sword. And the truth of this is debatable because while

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States will involve not just looking back at the road already travelled but

empires have forged by steel and have been maintained

impor tantly also looking forward to the road ahead.

by the sword, so too, they have fallen by the sword. The pen for its par t has shaped mentalities that have far

In doing this, we will be acknowledging the incalculable contributions of many who walked before us and the

outlived empires. It has authored ideologies that have

signif icant accomplishment on this journey to regional

created f ictions of difference - on pretext of geography,

integration laid out in the road map of the Revised Treaty

race, class, gender - that has influenced the many tribes to which we belong and erased our elemental belonging

of Basseterre.

to the human race. But the pen has also lifted our gaze

It is also an oppor tunity for us to directly engage the

beyond those limiting categories to see beyond ourselves.

citizen in the street on how the OECS has impacted their

It has found expression in the holy books of humanity and has established notions of divinity that lie beyond the

lives and circumstances. It is an oppor tunity to listen to

hubris of Man (gender deliberate).

their expectations and ambitions for a future that has rendered so uncer tain by a chain of crises and challenges - from climate change to disasters to the pandemic and its

In our own geography, the pen has also etched the scrawl of our history in the treaties of warring empires that

multi-sectoral havoc. But equally, it is a chance for us to look beyond these storms and to see the possibilities for

divided our archipelago, to the bills of sale that transacted

speeding up our march to a closer, better integration that

the greatest commodif ication and sale of people in the

works for all.

human experience right up to contemporary times. In our time, as we sought to become the authors of our

As we enter this period of celebration and reflection, let us be guided by the Quero Apache prayer:

own destiny, we have wielded the pen to express our ambition. And so, it came to be that a simple flourish of

"Looking back, I am filled with gratitude

pen on 18th June 1981 in Basseterre in the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis, the people of vision brought into being

Looking forward, I am filled with vision

the OECS. And today, for ty years later, the word has assumed substantial flesh... Our celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the

Looking inwards, I am filled with strength And looking within, I am filled with Peace" May gratitude, vision, strength and peace pervade our spirit and for tify our will in the next for ty years.

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021



Treaty of Basseterre Treaty Establishing the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States The Or ganisation of Easter n Car ibbean States (OECS) was established by the Treaty of Basseterre which was signed on June 18th 1991 in Basseterre, the capital of St.Kitts and Nevis. Seven countries were signatories to the treaty namely Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines. The Revised Treaty of Basseterre was signed nineteen years later on June 18th, 2010 in Saint Lucia to form the OECS Economic Union. The OECS is governed by the OECS Author ity consisting of member-states represented by their Heads of Government and is administered by the OECS Commission located in Saint Lucia and headed by a Director-General.

For more informat ion on t he OECS visit : www.oecs.org 34 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com


Signatories to t he Treat y of Basseterre 1981 (L to R): Hon. Lester Bird Antigua and Bar buda Hon. Eugenia Charles Dominica Hon. Maurice Bishop Gr enada Hon. Franklyn Margetson - Montser r at Hon. Kennedy Simmons - St.Kitts & Nevis Hon. Winston Cenac St.Lucia Hon. Hudson Tanis St.Vincent & the Gr enadines

Signatories to t he Revised Treat y of Basseterre, St .Lucia, 2010 (L to R): Hon. Gaston Browne - Antigua and Bar buda Hon. Roosevelt Skerritt - Dominica Hon. Tillman Thomas - Gr enada Hon. Denzil Douglas - St.Kitts & Nevis Hon. Stephenson King - St.Lucia Hon. Ralph Gonsalves - St.Vincent & the Gr enadines

OECS Commission Director-Generals




DR.LENISHMAEL 2003- 2013

DR.DIDACUSJULES 2014- PRESENT apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021


OECS 40th A nniversary Celebrations CA LEN DA R OF EVEN TS M arch - June 2021

Officia l La unch

OECS Tea cher s Resour ce Book La unch

OECS Pub lic Sector Consulta tion

March 152021, 10am

April - June2021

May 2021

OECS Youth Assem b ly La unch

OECS Com m unity Sup p or t Initia tive (Ha nd over )

Tha nk sg iving Ser vice

June6, 2021

June11, 2021, 10am

June13, 2021, 9.30am

Develop m ent Pa r tner s Sym p osium

OECS Sta ff Awa r d s

June17, 2021, 10am

June19, 2021, 7pm

Sup p or ting MSMEs in the OECS (Web ina r Ser ies) June22& 29, July6, 2021

OECS 40th Anniver sa r y Che Ca m p eche Pr od uction "OECS For Me" Online Pr em ier es: OECS YouTub e Cha nnel

OECS Fa ceb ook

June 5, 2021, 7pm(Kweyol)

June6, 2021, 3pm(Kweyol)

June12, 2021, 7pm(English)

June13, 2021, 3pm(English)

For more information visit: OECS Calen dar of Even t s page

36 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

15 Mar ch OFFI CI AL LAUNCH The OECS 40th anniversary celebrations were officially launched and streamed live on the OECS Facebook and YouTube page.

May OECS TEACHERS RESOURCE BOOK LAUNCH The OECS Commission will launch its newly designed booklet - Building Together: AGuide to Regional Integration in the OECS. This booklet, co-funded by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Eastern Caribbean Office, will raise awareness on the OECS and the benefits of regional integration among secondary school students in the region.

6 Ju n e OECS YOUTH ASSEMBLY LAUNCH Two young people from each OECS member-state will discuss issues that are relevant to OECS youth through the lens of the OCES Youth Strategy which guides youth development interventions in the OECS region.

11 Ju n e OECS COMMUNITY SUPPORT INITIATIVE - DEVICE HANDOVER CEREMONY Devices donated by the private sector under the OECS' corporate social initiative will be presented to schools and students to hem them benefit from online learning.

13 Ju n e THANKSGIVING SERVICE The service will feature musical renditions, prayers for the OECS and its member-states and The Spoken Word. The service will be streamed live on the OECS Facebook and YouTube page.

17 Ju n e DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS SYMPOSIUM This virtual event will engage all OECS development and private sector partners. A presentation highlighting 40 years of collaborative partnerships and a panel discussion is on the agenda.

19 Ju n e OECS STAFF AWARDS The staff of the OECS Commission will gather virtually to celebrate those who have 'toiled the longest alongside the Commission' and who demonstrated its Team Beliefs. The event will feature local and regional art, poetry, competitions and surprises.

22 & 29 Ju n e SUPPORTING MICRO, SMALL, MEDIUM-SIZED (MSMEs) IN THE OECS ECONOMIC UNION JUNE 22 & 29; JULY6, 2021 A series of webinars will be held to highlight the role of MSMEs in the OECS' economic development and how the OECS is supporting MSME development. There will be policy discussions on key issues faced by MSMEs. Their current contribution to development goals and the future of MSMEs in the OECS. The series will feature research presentations and business owner testimonials.

5, 6, 12 & 13 Ju n e OECS 40t h ANNIVERSARY CHE CAMPECHE PRODUCTION " OECS FOR ME" This comedy-drama features the renowned Che Campech theatrical production team. They highlight the keys stages of Eastern Caribbean integration and its impact on the lives of everyday people living in the OECS region. The objective is to increase awareness of the OECS Economic Union and the wider OECS integration. The two-hour production will be aired in Kweyol and English and premiered via the OECS YouTube channel and Facebook page and on television channels in the OECS.

Ap r i l - Ju n e OECS PUBLIC SECTOR CONSULTATIONS The OECS will hold special sectoral consultations with the public sector, a key stakeholder to the OECS Commission. These consultations will feature a keynote presentation on OECS sectoral deliverables and initiatives undertaken over 40 years of development partnerships. The consultations will also feature a presentation on the state of the union, OECS integration milestone achievement plans for a sustainable future and a question-and-answer segment.

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La So u f r ier e Vo lca n o Er u p tio n As volcanic ash from the La Soufriere volcano eruption covers the land and people of St.Vincent and the Grenadines, there are growing fears of a humanitarian crisis. With over 16,000 people displaced, shortage of water, damage to crops and lost livelihoods, food insecurity and poverty are major concerns. Three weeks later, the country was further devastated by lahar (mudflows) caused by heavy rains posing another threat to the people.

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Some photos of the volcano and mudlfow in the public domain. (Sources unknown)

A n o th er Co n cer n La Soufriere Volcano in St.Vincent and the Grenadines erupted on 9 April 2021 and continued to do so many times since. The heavy ash fall impacted countries far and wide, most notably Barbados. The impact of this devastation coupled with that of the pandemic is a major cause for concern. St.Vincent & the Grenadines in the Southern Caribbean consists of 30 islands and cays only nine are inhabited. La Soufriere: 1,234 metres high, is located on St.Vincent, the largest island. The last eruption was in 1979.

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Think Mangroves Mangroves are a vital part of our ecosystem. Climate change and human action are negatively impacting not only mangroves but coastal lagoons and coral reefs. Martin Keely, a well-known mangrove activist, realised that education was the key. So he set out on a journey thirty years ago to develop curricula that will empower and galvanise the younger generations into action armed with the knowledge that will make a difference and perhaps save our fragile economies and the planet. Emanating from his work, we now the Mangrove Action Project, the Mangrove Education Project and the Mangrove Rangers. We highlight the work of Martin and his team and provide an overview of his projects.


PHOTO: Mart in Keeley, Mangrove Act ivist and Educator

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The Mangr ove Teacher Mar tin Keeley's work in mangrove protection is the result of a process that values education as the key to change


ar tin Keeley, a well-known activist, has spent most of his life trying to save the world's precious mangroves. His award-winning work in developing and implementing mangrove educational curricula is simple; yet ambitious. The Cayman-based conservationist and educator's work star ts with one central premise: reach the younger generation who will effect change. Back in the late 1980s, he realised that teaching guides on wetlands protection were missing in the formal education system. So, he developed a wetlands curriculum which was adopted in British Columbia, Canada and Washington D.C in the United States. This nor thern temperate template was adapted to the Caribbean and introduced to Year 5 students in schools in the Cayman Islands in 2001 and most recently to Year 3 students. Since then, he has worked with teachers, non-governmental organisations and governments worldwide to successfully adapt the Marvellous Mangrove Curriculum. It takes an average of two years to do so. Teachers benef it from workshops, interactive multimedia content and f ield trips before the programme is implemented in their country. The Marvellous apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021




Mangrove Curriculum is also available in nine languages including Spanish, French, Portugues and Dutch. The programme is now implemented in at least f ifteen countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Belize, Brazil, Cayman Islands, China, Colombia, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Suriname and The Bahamas. "We recently got funding to expand the Mangrove programme to include a Coastal Lagoon, Seagrass and Coral Reef Curriculum as they are all interrelated," says Martin. The programme will also include a societal component and, the structural version should be completed by April this year. Last year, Martin also organised young Caymanians to form the Cayman Islands Mangrove

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Rangers. Martin is utilising the trained Mangrove Rangers to pilot the new curriculum in the classrooms and the f ield trips such as the kayak discovery tour in March. An important component of the expanded curriculum is data collection. At the end of March, Year 12 students at the Cayman International School participated in a research project to collect baseline data on mangroves at a National Trust plot. The plan is that the same class (sometimes with different students) will conduct the same research ever y six months to establish a baseline. Working with the national trusts in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, Martin hopes to roll out the program by the end of 2021 or early 2022.

PHOTOS: Martin Keeley with Mangrove Rangers (left); Martin Keeley with a bucket of seagrass (above right); Dinara taking photos at lab (below right).

They will implement the programme that involves setting up the Mangrove Rangers, implementing the curriculum and the baseline survey with the high school students in their respective countries. coral reefs. Fifty years in, Martin believes that he is witnessing a change in young people. They understand what is at stake and are taking a stand against the government, big business and the 'strong man' to protect their environment. Ultimately, Martin is a realist and believes that it will take time for people to stop 'trashing the mangroves' for money. Money is the overriding factor. He anticipates that if "money continues to be oblivious to the environment", hurricanes will get stronger and last longer; sea levels will rise and destroy the mangroves, coastal lagoons and

He wants the Mangrove, Coastal Lagoon and Sagassum Curriculum to be par t of the formal education system and tied into the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exam in the Caribbean. "We have to adapt and recognise the value of the ecological systems that we all have. Our ecological system is who we are," says Martin.

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MANGROVE EDUCATION CURRICULUM Educat ing Fut ure Generat ions

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The Curriculum The Mar vel l ous Mangr ove Cur r iculum was developed by the Mangrove Education Project. It is a 300-page wetland/ environmental resource guide for adults and children. This award-winning curriculum is now being taught in over f ifteen countries by over 2,500 teachers. The curriculum has reached over one-quar ter million students worldwide. The Marvellous Mangrove curriculum is suppor ted by the Mangrove Action Project (MAP), based in the United States with hubs in the Caribbean, Asia and the United Kingdom. It seeks to preserve, conserve and restore the world's mangrove forests. Using the Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum, MAP seeks to

educate young generations on the impor tance of mangrove forests. Teachers and educators are trained to implement the curriculum adapted within the local geographic and socio-economic context. In some countries, it is now par t of the national curriculum and taught in schools. Students learn about mangroves, their relationship with the coastal ecosystems, observe mangroves, obtain guidance on how to take scientif ic measurements about the health of mangroves among others. The curriculum is now being adapted to include seagrass and coral reefs by Mar tin Keeley and his team.

MAP invites interested persons wishing to bring the Marvelous Mangroves curriculum to their country to contact them or more information. The Forum Teachers and students can connect via the Marvellous Mangroves Education Forum. This is an online platform that utilizes the Marvellous Mangrove Curriculum. Teachers, students and anyone interested in mangroves can learn and share their ideas across the world through this hub. It includes videos and other learning resources as well as an online discussion forum.

Mar vellous Mangroves Education For um m ar vel l ousm angr oves.or g Beach Dr ive, Cayman Br ac KY202200, Cayman Islands

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MANGROVE RANGERS Young ones lear n about mangroves and take on the challenge of protecting Cayman Islands' mangrove forests.

PHOTOS: Mangrove Swamp (left); Exploring the Central Mangroves in Cayman Islands with the Mangrove Rangers (Photo by Courtney Platts) (right); Mangrove Rangers Graduation (inset).

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angroves provide storm protection, habitat for native species, weather regulation and carbon sequestration. Mangrove forests, invaluable ecosystems on the planet, are depleting rapidly due to climate change and over-development. Protecting the mangroves in the Cayman Islands has been on activitsts' agenda for many years. With over 60% of the mangrove forests, about 3,900 hectares, lost in the western areas of Grand Cayman since 1970, this is not surprising. The remaining 8,500 hectares left and the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the Caribbean - the Central Mangrove Wetlands - remains under threat primarily due to illegal dumping and tourism development. In addition, some local Caymanians see the mangroves as 'stinky swamps' and do not necessarily understand the value in protecting them. Emerging Mangrove Protectors The latest group to join the battle to protect and preserve what they call the 'hear t of Cayman' is the Mangrove Rangers - the brainchild of Chris Lujten, founder of Cay-

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The goal of protecting Cayman Islands' mangrove forest are being actively pursued by a group of young people with the support of Mangrove Education Project and Mangrove Action Project.

PHOTOS: Cayman Islands International School (CIS) students taking notes during camp (top right); Mangrove Rangers with Protect Our Future (centre); Camp kids clearing an oil spill (top right); Dinara and Kayla at Builders' Expo in Cayman Islands (bottom right)' Mangrove Rangers and CIS students (inset).

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man Mangrove Conservation that is now par t of the Mangrove Education Project, the NGO flagship of the Rangers. Martin Keely, the founder of the Mangrove Education Project is the co-founder. The Cayman Islands Mangrove Rangers was set up in August 2020 to protect to preserve the mangroves in the country and enlighten youth and locals on the importance of mangrove forests. Who are t he Mangrove Rangers? Mangrove Rangers are a group of young volunteers who are passionate about protecting our environment. They come from diverse backgrounds such as marketing, law, hospitality and education. They undergo training through a series of workshops conducted by exper ts in areas ranging from science to law, for example, the mangrove ecosystems and Mangrove Species Conservation Law introduced in 2020. Not only do they use their knowledge and special skills to protect Cayman's invaluable resource, but they also help educate students, parents, teacher and their communities to understand and monitor the mangroves in the Cayman Islands. They are engaged in observation, outreach, data collection and advocacy activities. In addition to public education, they hope to influence policy decisions and legislative changes and stop illegal dumping in the mangroves. Six Mont hs Later Within a mere six months of star tup, the Mangrove Rangers have been able to catch a large factor y illegally dumping cement in the mangrove forests resulting in the company cleaning the area.

PHOTOS: Ranger observing Mangrove Trashing (top); Ranger collecting bugs (below); Observing micro-organisms in mangrove 'water' (below right).

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They held their f irst two-day Mangrove Discovery Camp at the end of January to celebrate World Wetlands Day (2nd February). This camp involved a series of hands-on activities based on the Marvelous Mangrove curriculum taught in all Cayman schools for over twenty years. The Rangers began working on piloting the new Marvelous Mangrove curriculum in the classroom early this year with Year 11 students. As par t of the curriculum, Year 11 students will collect, analyse and record data every year from a location identif ied in March.

PHOTO: Rangers walking t hrough mangrove forest ; Ident ifying mangrove species (inset)

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Mangrove Rangers are involved in various projects such as developing a video series for teachers entitled 'Creature Features' that focuses on the inhabitants and dependents of the Central Mangrove ecosystem, surveying mangrove concrete dumps and, education programs for students. The Mangrove Rangers piloted a kayak tour of the Central Mangroves for students in conjunction with Sea Elements - kayak operators. School and public education programmes and class presentations for Years 10 and 11 were held. The Junior Mangrove Rangers for 11 - 18-year-old students, launched in March, is a structured programme designed to educate young ones about Cayman's mangroves and the coastal lagoon ecosystem and equip them with skills such as data collection. Mangrove Rangers continues to work with par tners such as Protect Our Future and the Cayman International School to educate young people to protect the Cayman Islands' ecosystem.

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PHOTOS: Camp student checking out a white mangrove leaf (bottom left); Pilot Kayak Tour (below);

Q& A What mot ivated you to join t he Mangrove Rangers? I became interested in the environment when I was four teen years old, working with the Water Authority Cayman as an intern. I realised how the environment and society are linked with water. When COVID happened, I became even more aware and felt that I needed to do something. So I applied to be a volunteer with Mangrove Rangers.

What is your role at Mangrove Rangers? I am now the secretary responsible for the administrative aspects of Mangrove Rangers. I PHOTO: Dinara Perera

help with the camps, training and raising public awareness. I also attend Central Planning Authority meetings par ticularly those where the


development sites have a mangrove impact. I record what is left of the mangroves, what they

MANGROVE RANGER CAYMAN ISLANDS Last year, twenty-year-old Caymanian Dinara Perera took a sabbatical from her studies in Sustainability and Environmental Management at the University of Leeds, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, she spends much of her time with the Mangrove Rangers to protect and restore the mangroves in the Cayman Islands, where it has become a major environmental issue.

are f illed with and any wildlife.

What would you like to see in t he fut ure? I want to see more rangers get involved in activism and advocacy to protect Cayman's Central Mangrove Wetlands. I also want us to expand data collection to help establish baseline data and how change is affecting Cayman. We need data to stimulate policy change and data to back up proposals. We need to star t now so that it can be used in the future. apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021


Social Enterprise Development Fostering a social ent repreneurship cult ure in t he Caribbean.

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While not a new concept, social entrepreneurship in the Caribbean is not as well-developed as in other parts of the world. As social capital becomes increasingly important to meet the demands for social services, the business sector is coming forward to fill the widening gap. Strategic alliances and other partnerships with the public and social sectors coupled with the growing tenet of doing good for others have given rise to several social enterprises in the Caribbean - particularly among the youth.

However, achieving long-term sustainability that has enormous implications for these social investors, our impoverished population and communities at large is a challenge. It is heartening to note that Caribbean organisations such as the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange and the Youth Business Trusts have established infrastructure and systems to support social enterprises in the region.

Jamaica Social Stock Exchange Barbados Social Enterprise Incubator apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021




THE SOCIAL ENTERPRISE The social enterprise

goals of the social enterprise

generates a positive impact

are associated with

on society by offering

suppor ting and maximising

services or products for unmet needs or different

social impact.

solutions for social challenges.

Typically, most of the prof its generated by the social enterprise are re-invested to

The main clients of a social

suppor t its social impact

enterprise are marginalised or disadvantaged groups or

goals and sustainability. A limited propor tion of the

individuals who do not

prof its may be distributed

possess the necessary

among the members to pay

f inancial means.

back their investment.

Although prof it is impor tant to social entrepreneurs, it is

Therefore, social enterprises aim to maximise

not the key objective of the

potential returns and

business. The f inancial


A New BusinessConstruct for the Caribbean Social investment can play a vital role in driving the social entrepreneurship movement in the Caribbean


he younger generation is becoming more aware of the social and environmental challenges that the Caribbean faces and the need for companies to respond. With their growing sense of civic responsibility, many aspiring entrepreneurs choose social enterprise as their business model. The need for social innovation and entrepreneurship in the Caribbean has become even more acute considering the impact of the COVID19 pandemic. It has threatened the livelihoods of almost half of the region's workforce and the existence of many businesses. Social Enter pr ise: A New Business-Constr uct for the Car ibbean This relatively new business-construct ? the social enterprise - creates social capital critical to

pover ty alleviation and human and economic development. Often confused with corporate social responsibility (CSR), philanthropy or even charity, social entrepreneurship is more strategic and mission-oriented. It is based on the concept of focusing businessoriented thinking towards addressing social challenges such as high unemployment, crime, drug abuse and mental ill-health. This inclusive business model that falls in the grey area between the private and public sectors provides a vehicle to suppor t the impoverished sections of society in providing goods and services and generating income. It can also address the market failure that the Caribbean faces today. Social enterprises are prof it-making while seeking to achieve social impact through their mission. Investors may take out their original invest-

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So ci a l Bu si n e ss

ment, but the prof it must be reinvested. Social enterprises running on a sustainable business model can offer a promising investment opportunity on par with any other for-prof it organisations. A well-known example is the Grameen Bank suppor ts the disadvantaged in India to alleviate pover ty in India. The private sector, particularly larger companies, suppor t social enterprises but their contributions tend to be mainly f inancial. They need more than philanthropy. Social enterprises need not only funding but the deployment of talent and capability from both sides. They need suppor t and advisory services, technology, technical skills, increased public awareness and the proper legal and regulatory framework to operate. Social Enter pr ise I ncubator s The social enterprise incubator is an emerging

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model for social innovation and social enterprise development in the Caribbean. It is based on the traditional corporate business incubator model but with a difference. It works in different domains where competitiveness lies with its network, community engagement and, market infrastructure to suppor t entrepreneurs turn their social innovation into a social enterprise focused on addressing social and economic challenges. However, the successful conversion of social innovation to a social enterprise is a major task that requires conver ting social innovation into a market-based solution with community acceptable business models. Not all social innovations are enterprising in nature so, there is a need for a system that facilitates idea generation and societal innovations of an enterprise as entrepreneurial skills development. The social enterprise incubator provides such an environment and suppor t to founders and early-stage star t-ups.

MUHAMMED YUNUS The virtual Youth Business Trust Social Enterprise Incubator programme in Barbados and St.Lucia provides such suppor t services including, training, mentoring, f inance, access to a network and, talent and community engagement. The success of these social incubators will depend on their human resource capacity, institutional competency over their thematic priority areas and, the collaborative platform of stakeholders to channel the necessary resources. No doubt, the major challenge will be fund-generation beyond the grant and investment opportunity for the social enterprise. Hence, the need for medium- to long-term planning even at the star t-up stage.

The social business concept gained prominence when Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Laureate in Peace, economist and banker, star ted the successful Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in the 1970s to provide microf inance and suppor t poor entrepreneurs and promote social inclusion. It began when he lent a woman a small amount of money to buy bamboo from which she crafted stools to sell. He then went on to lend a group of for ty-two villagers US$27 to free them from moneylenders. Yunnus tried convincing the banks to give loans to the poor but, they refused as they had no collateral. They agreed when he decided to be a guarantor. By 1976, he was giving loans to the poor with simple rules. They always paid back the loans on time. He then decided to create a separate bank dedicated to ser ving the poor. He called it Grameen Bank or 'village bank' in the Bengali language. This is how microf inance, also known as microcredit, was born. It completely revolutionised the lives of people living in rural Bangladesh. The bank was designed to provide loans without guarantees. Today, Grameen Bank is a nationwide bank serving the poor in every village in Bangladesh. Approximately 97% of its customers are women. In 2012, Grameen Bank was nationalised by the Government of Bangladesh and remain the cornerstone of this new model.

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Jamaica Social Stock Exchange


discussion with Nora Blake, Manager of the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange on how it evolved to respond to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Interview with Nora Blake Manager, Jamaica Social Stock Exchange,

Fift y years after it s creat ion in 1969, t he Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) int roduced t he virt ual Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE) to st rengt hen it s corporate social responsibilit y, develop Jamaica's social sector and, help t he count ry achieve t he United Nat ions Sustainable Development Goals. The JSSE, a member of t he United Nat ions Sustainable Stock Exchange.

Stock Exchange about , how t he JSSE evolved since it s incept ion t wo years ago. Tell us a bit more about t he JSSE. Our current market and f irst star t-up market is the Jamaica Social Investment Market promoting investment in the social sector. It is like crowdfunding which is a donation made to the social sector. It is not an investment that

The first phase of t he JSSE, t he Jamaica Social Invest ment Market (JSIM), was launched in 2019 to facilitate donat ions from individuals and organisat ions for listed social project s listed on it s virt ual plat form.

would give you a f inancial return.

The COVID-19 pandemic made t he JSE to ret hink it s st rat egy and move out of it s comfort zone to respond to t he crisis in Jamaica.

We facilitate par tnerships because we cannot

Recent ly ApaNa Magazine spoke wit h Nora Blake, Managing Director of t he Jamaica Social

The JSIM accepts projects proposals with a specif ic timeline, monetary needs and results from social sector organisations.

do it alone. Our modus is to build an ecosystem that will encourage par tnerships. Our tagline for the JSSE is "Sustainable Growth Through Par tnerships", in line with one of the

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SDGs ' f ive Ps - Planet, People, Prof it/Prosper-

launched in August 2020, will help social sec-

ity, Peace and Par tnerships.

tor organisations raise capital and resources via the JSSE platform.

How is it linked to t he JSE? The JSSE is an extension of the corporate social responsibility arm of the JSE. It is mod-

What has the r esponse fr om the pr ivate sector been l ike?

elled on our JSE so, it manages the social sec-

By and large, we are getting suppor t from cor-

tor in the same way the JSE handles, mobilises and regulates the private sector businesses.

porate. The concept is new and so, we have

Our standards are also linked are to the JSE

and awareness, marketing and, public rela-


tions. Notwithstanding that, we have been

How can a social project get listed on t he JSSE? A company wishing to grow will make an application to the stock exchange. Like the JSE private businesses, qualif ications are applied to the social sector applications before they are approved and put to the market as an initial placement offer (IPO).

some way to go regarding public education

able to garner, from the market, a total of $16.4 million in addition to J$19 million that was bequeathed to one of the projects on the platform. Recently ApaNa Magazine spoke with Nora Blake, Managing Director of the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange about how the JSSE moved out of its comfor t zone to respond to the COVID-19

The applications include a template for a busi-

pandemic by suppor ting two notable projects

ness plan and f inancial repor ting. They are appraised by the Selection and Listing Com-

that made a difference to the crisis.

mittee of the board based on a matrix of qualifying standards similar to that of the stock

How many project s have been selected for social funding to date?

exchange, such as governance, technical com-

Initially, we selected f ive projects for funding:

petence, f inancial etc.

Agency for Inner City Renewal (AIR), the Al-

What is t he JSSE doing to help social sector organisat ions meet t hose standards? What is really good news is that - not only are we saying you have to meet the standards to mobilize capital, we want to help the sector to become more robust and eff icient. We now have a jointly-funded project by JSE and Inter-

pha Institute, Choose Life International, Deaf Can! and Spring Praise Jamaica. Three of them are fully funded. Last year we added two more projects to our por tfolio. How has t he COVID-19 pandemic impacted t he JSSE? During the pandemic, we realised that while

American Bank (IDB) to build capacity in the

we were doing the 'big picture development' of

social sector. The US$910,000 three-year 'Inno-

the sector, we had to meet the needs of pro-

vating Social Sector Financing' project,

jects that came in because of COVID.

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As I mentioned, the JSSE operates

parish of St.Ann on the nor th coast. It

within a framework that determines

is an exemplar y social organisation in

how we select the projects listed on the platform. I am very proud to say

that they operate a business to suppor t their mission - a small farm. The pro-

that we responded to the COVID crisis

duce from the farm is sold to hotels in

by moving out of our comfor t zone to

the region. Tourism was the f irst and

assist two projects that we are very

hardest hit sector during the pandemic

happy with and made a difference.

and, so they lost their market. They

Tell us about t hose t wo social project s?

were facing bankruptcy and needed J$1 million to stay afloat. They applied

We had an appeal from Teen Challenge

to JSSE and, we went to market. We

Jamaica, an addiction recovery programme targeted at young men, which

were able to raise just a little over $1

operates in our tourism belt in the

por t that they are still able to function.

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million. Today, they are happy to re-

PHOTOS: University of the West Indies's Mona Tech Engineering Services (left); Teen Challenge Farm (right);

Are t here any new init iat ives by t he JSSE? We are developing its second market, the Jamaica I mpact I nvestment Exchange ( JI I X) to promote social investment in social businesses for a f inancial return. We are rolling out the 'Give A Littl e' initiative to encourage individuals to participate. Individuals can go online or use PayPal to make a contribution. We star ted with our own staff at the stock exchange. They opt to give a small amount daily which is collected monthly - a salary deduction. We got a 76% response rate at the JSE group. We provide companies with the option to match the funds collected from their employees or contribute themselves. We are engaging other companies right now. Another interesting initiative is our 'Connect A Chil d Jamaica' initiative. Consequent to the pandemic, the digital divide for children in education became a national issue so, the Jamaican government has a program where

Another strong appeal came from the University of the West Indies - Mona's depar tment called Mona Tech Engineering Services. They were working on a project to rehabilitate biomedical equipment. With COVID-19, there was a focus on repairing ventilators that had stopped working at

they are seeking to provide digital devices for children in education who do not have one. In the programme, we are par tnering with the government and other members of the private sector to effect the programme. We are also par tnering with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica to reach other entities that are not listed on the stock exchange.

various hospitals. They said that if we can help us raise J$3.5 million, we believe we can make an impact. We went to market and raised J$3.8 million. With J$3.4 million in repair work, they saved the government about J$37 million in replacement costs.

Jamaica Social Stock Exchange www.jsse.jamstockex.com jsse@jamstockex.com

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Managing Remote Wor k 5 Ways manag er s c an su ppo r t r emo t e empl o yee Over the past year, many have had to adjust to working from home. For some, this is an entirely new experience. Moving an organisation from an office setting to a makeshift setting a makeshift workplace does come with some challenges. Workers experience lower concentration levels, distractions, loneliness, ineffective communication and much more. Here are some ways that managers can support remote employees and tackle issues relating to remote work, whether they are part-time or roles traditionally suited to the office environment.

1. DAILY STRUCTURED ROUTINE Set up and stick to a daily structured routine that is implemented and monitored by supervisors. For example, you can schedule daily one-on-one or team calls via video or audio call using software like Zoom. Supervisors should inquire about work progress, f ind out whether anyone has concerns or questions and, discuss future projects and tasks and other topics. Checking on staff should be pre-planned and regular. Staff should feel that their supervisor is there if they need to communicate with him or her.

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2. PROVIDE TECH SOLUTIONS Managing remote workers requires a more sophisticated way to communicate - emails are no longer suff icient. Those who work from home should have multiple technology solutions, such as video conferences and direct messages. An audio-visual communication tool such as video-conferencing or phone calls allows for increasing shared knowledge and reducing a sense of social isolation.

3. CLEAR TERMS AND BRIEF OUTLINED To maintain structure and eff iciency, it is a good idea for supervisors to outline clear briefs and terms early. Managers should set rigid expectations for their teams regarding communication and workload. For example, let workers know the best time to contact you, when to expect video-conference calls and when it is appropriate to use direct messaging. Keep in mind that workers may be in different time zones.

4. SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT Managers should encourage social interaction whenever possible. For example, at the beginning or end of a work call, they can discuss non-work related topics such as how they are doing and their plans. Encouraging employees to interact with each other can help reduce the feeling of isolation and increase mutual knowledge. Vir tual events or even informal chats over a messaging app or on the phone can help build trusting relationships.

5. TEAM PLAYER Managers should try to be personable and approachable to cultivate a culture of transparency and openness. They should engage with employees by listening to their concerns, offering encouragement, work advice and emotional suppor t if necessary. Managers could organise an event such as a vir tual par ty once a week or for tnight as a way of checking in and engage employees.

The majority of companies that had to go remote in the past year did not plan on doing so. For some, it was the f irst time and, they had to overcome many hurdles. Companies to be just as successful with a remote team as they were within an off ice setting. Some rules and methods may be a little different or unconventional, but the fundamentals of managing a team remain the same.

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021




The Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT) launched a Social Enterprise Incubator programme in Barbados in 2020. We spoke to Cardell Fergusson, General Manager, BYBT to gain her perspective on social entrepreneurship in Barbados and how her organisation is supporting young social entrepreneurs.

BYBT SOCIAL FOCUS BarbadosYouth BusinessTrust

7 0 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021




Barbados Youth Business Trust: Social Enterprise Incubator Youth Business Trust supports young social entrepreneurs in Barbados and Saint Lucia. A virtual Youth Business Trust Social Enterprise Incubator programme, designed by the Barbados Youth Business Trust, was launched in the islands of Barbados and St.Lucia to suppor t social innovation and social enterprises. The incubator programme provides ex-

organisation) benef its from

Barbados Social Enterprise

one-on-one coaching by mentors and provides access to


per t guidance, specialised suppor t services, early-stage f inancing, networking

business planning tools and

among stakeholders etc.


This structured twelve-month pro-

The social incubators are funded by the European

gramme guides founders from ideation to

resources and development

ticipated in the Barbados Social Enterprise Incubator since the programme began in

star t-up. The emphasis is on suppor ting star t-ups that will generate employment

Union and receive suppor t

for youth and marginalized persons. The

celerator programme called

social enterprise (nonprof it or for-prof it

Impact Collective.

7 2 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

Twenty social enterprises par-

from the German impact ac-

June 2020. The f irst cohor t of ten has completed training business plan development and are currently receiving launch suppor t from mentors.

Barbados Youth Business Trust The Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT) is a not-forprofit registered charity and youth development organisation focused on entrepreneurship. BYBT provides an integrated package of business mentoring, start-up loans and grants and other development support services to young people. BYBT promotes youth entrepreneurship development by providing persons with the necessities to start a business. BYBT offers: - Business start-up capital as a lender of last resort - Business support grants in the following categories: Go and See, Feasitibilty and Educational Grants - Business mentors on a one-on-one, group, specialist and cluster basis - Services including Needs and Competency-based Training, Personnel Development, Marketing and Promotion, Social Intervention/Counselling, Advocacy/Lobbying, Community Engagement, Outreach, Internships and Incubation. Their business ideas included counselling services to persons in the community who experience mental strain, providing livelihood suppor t like food and clothes, improving market access for female businesses, literacy training for children and, an intermediary for job placements. The second cohor t began training in March 2021. The St.Lucia Social Incubator programme star ted in April with a cohor t of fourteen

The Trust is a Centre of Excellence within the Youth Business International network, a regional resource and, is the lead programme for the regional grouping of the Youth Business Programme, Youth Business Caribbean (YBC). As the lead programme, BYBT has assisted youth business programmes in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Belize, St.Lucia, St.Vincent & the Grenadines and Dominica to start their operations. BYBT, an approved Centre of Assessment under the Technical and Vocational Education Training Board, can therefore assess and issue certification of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) that is a CARICOM occupation standard.

par ticipants. apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021




Interview with

Cardell Fergusson General Manager, Barbados Youth Business Trust

Recent ly, ApaNa Magazine discussed wit h Cardell Fergusson, t he Barbados Yout h Business Trust 's model for support ing ent repreneurial development , part icularly social ent repreneurship among Barbadian yout h. The Barbados Yout h Business Trust (BYBT) was founded t went y-five years ago to foster ent repreneurship among t he yout h. Tell us a bit more about t he BYBT?

tion with the Youth Business Caribbean (YBC),

BYBT was star ted in 1996 by a group of entrepreneurs who wanted to improve the social and eco-

hosted monthly webinars to help young entrepre-

nomic conditions of young, undeserved persons

tional and f inancial strain caused by the pandemic.

aged 18 - 35 years. We provide training, business mentoring and star t-up loans and grants to those

We have also introduced a simulation program for young persons between 11 and 16 years old, a

persons. We suppor t young entrepreneurs from the

decision-making programme to assist youths aged

ideation to star t-up phases up to two years after implementation.

16 - 25 years in assessing whether entrepreneurship

How has BYBT adapted it s operat ions to t he COVID19 environment? The strict protocols implemented by the Government of Barbados eliminated the possibility of co-

neurs in the region cope with the mental, emo-

is a good f it for them. Additionally, we surveyed of the entrepreneurial effects of the pandemic to help us better address the impact. BYBT is now fostering social ent repreneurship? What are you doing and, why t he shift in focus?

working space so, we moved all training and sup-

With the upsurge of businesses with a social focus,

por t to an online platform. We have, in collabora-

we thought we should capitalise on this trend. We

7 4 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

believe that the social enterprise model, which uses business strategies to maximize social impact, provides the push that is needed businesses, particularly those that are floundering. There is a greater need for businesses to become more sustainable and, suppor t the economic and social development of small island states. This is becoming increasingly important in this pandemic environment where social services are stretched and the problems faced by communities are increasing. BYBT adopted a Social Enter pr ise I ncubation (SEI ) programme last year to advocate for and suppor t businesses that are interested in creating social enterprises. Our virtual Youth Social Enterprise Incubator provides a space to educate, develop and suppor t individuals who possess the creative ability to harness business ideas and marry these with the achievement of social impact that produces sustainable social change. Do you t hink t he concept of social ent repreneurship is well-understood in Barbados? If not , what are you doing to improve t he educat ion process? Although the concept of a social enterprise is not new in Barbados, it is often used synonymously

enterprise to help them decrease their reliance on donor f inancing for their sustainability.

with charities or not-for-prof it organisations. Therefore, there is a great need for an awarenessbuilding campaign that will introduce and differentiate the concept in the public domain. We have included an education component on social entrepreneurship in all our programmes especially our early intervention initiatives for youths between 11 and 25 years old. This includes the development of a social venture in our Enter pr ise Chal l enge, a presentation in our Expl or e Enter pr ise programme and an open I ntr oduction of Social Enter pr ise training programme. We have also been working with NGOs on the benef its of social

BYBT launched it s Yout h Social Business Incubator last year and is t raining t he second cohort . Tell us about t he first cohort . Our f irst cohor t comprised six participants who were unintentionally all female. The businesses were in the following categories: Human Resources and Employment Suppor t, Depression and Mental Illness Suppor t, Effective Rehabilitation and Regeneration, Carbon Credit and Environmental Protection, Football Academy for Females, Organic Eco-farm. We had a 100% completion rate. We found that there is a growing need for suppor t

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021




to build businesses of this type.

There is a dear th of knowledge in social enterprise implementation across the Caribbean, which

What challenges do social enterprises face in Barbados, and your challenges when support ing t hem?

forced us to seek suppor t from international organ-

In Barbados, social entrepreneurship has been very

riculum development.

slow in its uptake. Few organisations are considered social enterprises. Additionally, because there is no legislation or policies to suppor t this type of

isations that could provide remote suppor t for cur-

What advice do you offer a social business interested in obtaining support from BYBT?

enterprise, they are often registered as charities or

Our advice to social enterprises is that it is best to

nonprof it organisations. This reduces their ability

be par t of a community of suppor t as there is com-

to get earned income or develop their revenue

for t in numbers. However, we will be holding each


other accountable hence you should come prepared to work.

There are currently no coherent, comprehensive training and suppor t programmes in social entre-

Business star t-up is generally a diff icult undertak-

preneurship in our region. The Cave Hill campus of

ing and as a trailblazer in the social enterprise sec-

UWI offers only a single undergraduate course in

tor, you must bring your passion and dedication to

this f ield.


76 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

You r St or y is Ou r St or y Bu sin ess . Civ il So ciety . Go v er n m en t We help you share your knowledge and social engagements in your community. We craft content to align your brand with relevant themes that resonate strongly with your target audience using text, audio and video. We develop quality content that delivers your message whether it is through case studies, impact stories, speical features, reports, toolkits etc.


Em ail: in f o@apan am agazin e.com Tel: +1 7705448659 / +44 7708 026748 (Wh at sApp)

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Developing STRATEGIC LEADERS Companies can build the capacity for strategic leadership with a few principles. Here are some of them:

78 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

Many companies have leaders with strong operational skills; however, they often lack str ategic leaders who can effectively lead transformations. Companies can build the capacity for strategic leadership with a few principles that represent a combination of organisational systems and individual capabilities. When implemented together, they enable a company to attract, develop and retain strategic leaders that may have eluded them thus far.

RESPONSIBILITIES, INFORMATION, IDEAS The following principles relate to approaches to decision-making, transparency and innovation: Distribute responsibility downward and across the organisation and empower people at all levels to make decisions. - Be honest and open about information and ensure systematic sharing of information so no one has to guess what is signif icant to the business strategy - Create channels for individuals to bring their

innovative thinking to the surface and connect their ideas to create business value. New ideas should not be limited to an individual's direct manager.

PRACTICES, LEARNING, HIRING The following four principles involve unconventional ways of thinking about failure, hiring and training: - Make it safe to fail by embracing failure as an impor tant par t of an employee's development. Enshrine the acceptance of failure and the willingness to admit it early in the practices and processes of the company,

including the appraisal and promotion processes. - Allow potential strategic leaders to meet and work with their peers across the organisation. Invite them to learn from one another. - Develop oppor tunities for experience-based learning rather than classroom-based training.

CAPABILITIES, EXPERIENCES, THINKING When hiring for transformation, carefully consider capabilities and experiences and, aim for diversity to overcome the natural tendency of managers to select people who are

much like themselves. The f inal three principles are for potential strategic leaders: - Strategic leaders must tap into all their capabilities, interests, experiences and passion to create innovative solutions. - Strategic leaders should study their way of thinking about a situation including the assumptions and biases that they might have. Take the time to think: "Why should I make that decision? What are the implications? What would I do differently next time?" - Recognise leadership as an ongoing practice

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021



Cor por ate Sustainability Repor ting Corporate sustainability is essential for long-term corporate success and for ensuring markets deliver value across society. They must operate responsibly in alignment with universal principles and take actions that suppor t their communities. There is a connection between a company's environmental, social and governance practices. The well-being of workers, communities and the planet is tied to the health of a business. At the same time our world's challenges ranging from climate, water and food crises, to pover ty, conflict and inequality are in need of solutions that the private sector can help to deliver. Businesses are moving beyond their basic responsibilities and developing business models, products and ser vices with a joint societal and economic return; publicly advocating for government policies that advance sustainable priorities and collaborating with peers to make systemic changes. Companies are putting systems in place to meet their commitments to operate responsibly and suppor t society. UN Global Compact has identif ied f ive def ining features of corporate sustainability and provides guidance on how a business can move for ward on achieving corporate sustainability.

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UN GLOBAL COMPACT PRINCIPLES HUMAN RI GHTS PRINCIPLE 1 Businesses should suppor t and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights

PRINCIPLE 2 Make sure that they are not complicit human rights abuses.



Business should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.

The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour



The effective abolition child labour.

The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation



Businesses should suppor t a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.

Under take initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.

PRINCIPLE 9 Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally-friendly technologies.

ANTI - CORRUPTI ON PRINCIPLE 10 Businesses should suppor t and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights

The UN Global Compact's Ten Principles are derived from: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Prinicples and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.





The Global Compact's Ten Principles provide a framework for corporate social responsibility for sustainability. It focuses on operating with integrity, respecting responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Respecting and complying with principles in business operations and supply chains is impor tant for corporate sustainability, par tners, employees and accountability.



Source: Guide to Corporate Sustainability: UN Global Compact

Sustainable companies suppor t communities. Pover ty, an uneducated workforce and, resource scarcity are strategic issues for business success. Companies are aligning core business activities, philanthropy and advocacy campaigns with UN goals and issues. Collaboration is essential. Companies and stakeholders are coming together to provide a collective voice and share risks in tackling challenges no single player can overcome such as climate change.

Effecting change begins with the company's leadership who must send a strong signal that sustainability counts. This means instigating action in areas such as board ownership of the agenda, adjustments to policies and practices; training and motivating employees and pushing sustainability along the supply chain. Sustainability requires long term vision and a commitment to ongoing effor ts.

REPORTING PROGRESS Non-f inancial repor ting is a necessary accountability measure required of the Global Compact signatories. This annual Communication of Progress, included in their sustainability or annual repor t provides the company's stakeholders with an account of their effor ts to operate responsibly and suppor t society. Measurable sustainable impacts help inform corporate strategies, inform community and stakeholder dialogues and guide investor decision-making.

LOCAL ACTION While the Global Compact principles are universal, it is acknowledged that companies operate within nations and communities with varying expectations of what responsible business means. The types of issues a company faces and how it can actively suppor t local and national priorities differ greatly according to location.

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021




Caribbean Youth Still At Risk At-risk youth are young people who are at a greater risk of vulnerability to exhibit problem behaviours such as substance abuse, school failure, juvenile delinquency and mental health disorders such as depression. These young people are more likely to develop problems that prevent them from transitioning to healthy adults. Various factors contribute to this behaviour, such as personal factors such as problem-

solving abilities and environmental resources such as social suppor t and family income. The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the risk of vulnerability and marginalisation among Caribbean youth. With school closures, more youth are left without adult supervision during the day. The digital divide has meant that many could not access online classes leaving them with much free time and increasing the risk of being left behind in education and becoming school dropouts. Pover ty and higher unemployment rates have also fuelled the risk factors associated with crime, violence, and drug abuse. In the Caribbean, risky situations or environments where

82 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com

We pose some questionsregarding some systemic issuesthat hinder Caribbean youth from successfully transitioning to adulthood.

circumstances predispose young people to engage in behaviour that have negative consequences have received considerable attention. In the last decade, youth development became a strategic priority for donors and governments and the mission of numerous civil society organisations in the Caribbean. There was a proliferation of donor-funded programmes designed to help youth acquire skills, gain work experience and improve their lives. Some were successful in steering them away from a life of crime and violence, substance abuse, becoming school drop-outs while creating economic opportunities and improving their employment prospects. As we ponder on how successful these programmes may or may not have been, we should

not lose sight of the systemic issues emphasising risky situations or environments for young people that are still present today. Perhaps, it is time to take stock and determine how successful we have been in providing an environment that suppor ts young people transition successfully in adulthood. To do so, we pose the following questions to the relevant stakeholders in each Caribbean territor y:

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021


Economic Opport unit ies: 1.

Are youth still struggling to secure jobs because of the lack of suff icient and diverse job oppor tunities?


Do youth still lack the necessary f inancial resources to star t their own business?

Educat ion: 1.


Does the educational system meet youth's needs and address the realities of today's labour market? Is the education system preparing youth to be more engaged and


productive citizens? Is access to education and training oppor tunities still a challenge for youth in the Caribbean?

Crime and Violence: 1.


Are the social suppor t systems and community networks adequate to suppor t youth development? Are there enough counsellors in schools to meet the demands


par ticularly among juveniles? Are there enough diversion programmes and adequate evidence on the effectiveness of those available?

Social Support Systems: 1.

Has the quality and quantity of social and physical infrastructures to effectively suppor t youth development improved? Are youth still left with large amounts of unstructured, unsupervised time and an overall lack of guidance and positive role models par ticularly during this pandemic and the deteriorating family structures? Are there suff icient cer tif ied social workers, guidance counsellors and mentorship programmes to serve the




needs of youth requiring additional social suppor t? Are there suff icient and adequately functioning safe spaces, including community clubs with organised programmes and recreational facilities offering spor ts and other programmes such as homework help, computer-aided teaching and learning, coaching, help with preparing curriculum vitae and activities that prepare youth for the world of work.

Healt h and Well-being: 1.


Has access to sexual and reproductive health information and services improved? If so, are they adequate? Are there suff icient and adequate mental health facilities and resources

for young people, par ticularly for those who may have turned to negative coping mechanisms such as alcohol, drug use and self-harm?

Ot her: 1.


Have the oppor tunities and mechanisms for dialogue among youth as well as between youth and national policymakers been improved? Are Caribbean youth better

prioritizing the signif icance of environment and climate change issues in their lives? Do they have the necessary capacity-building suppor t?

No doubt, responses to these questions will reveal mixed results and areas that must be addressed if we want to ease the hardship that this unprecedented crisis has caused Caribbean youth. The needs of the youth are interconnected and require a cross-cutting approach with strong, timely and comprehensive responses that seek systemic improvements. Other wise, more and more Caribbean youth will remain at risk.

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021



You t h Hel p i n g Ot h er s At - Ri sk 85 MAY 2021 / apanamagazine.com


Dar io Greenidge & Tahira Holder ThesetwoyoungBarbadians making stridesin transforming at-riskyouth Dario Greenidge, aged 26 years and Tahira Holder, 23 years, full-time volunteers at the Nature Fun Ranch in Barbados, were the proud recipients of the 2020 Optimists Club Barbados Awards.

PHOTOS: Dario Greenidge and Tahira Holder at the Optimist Club Awards (left); Nature Fun Ranchers receive certificat of award (top); Youth at Nature Fun Ranch (right )

Ever y year, the Optimist Clubs worldwide recognise the achievements of young persons between the ages of nine and thir ty-f ive years old in the ar ts, academics, NGOs and community-based organisations. Dario and Tahira received the award for their outstanding performance in helping at-risk youth reform and becoming better Barbadian citizens.

apanamagazine.com / MAY 2021


TAHIRA HOLDER HELPING GIRLS AT-RISK Tahira Holder joined the Girls for Girls Programme at Nature Fun Ranch (NFR) in April 2014 when she was sixteen years. Nature Fun Ranch, a nonprofit organisation, catering to youth-at-risk in Barbados runs a Girls to Girls Programme for at-risk young girls. This programme helps tackle teenage pregnancies by providing sex education and teaching them good hygiene, animal husbandry and farming. Some, like Tahira, learn to ride horses. Tahira recalls how the programme helped her realise her love for farming and animal husbandry. She learnt public speaking and gained

the confidence to better connect with other people.

and, is now selling them to help with the upkeep of the farm.

Seven years later, she is a full-time volunteer at the ranch wearing many hats. She is the Deputy Director of the Girls to Girls Programme, the Director of the Club and the Director of Administration.

Tahira believes that girls are not usually violent but troublesome. Peer pressure plays a major role in making young girls go down the wrong path. Teenage pregnancy is "a big issue and, some have a baby to prove a point."

Her love for farming has prompted her to start a small garden on the ranch where she plants sweet peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, hot peppers and even flowers 'to beautify the ranch'. She uses the vegetables and herbs to prepare meals at the ranch, donates some to the young ranchers' families

She is hoping to become a veterinarian. The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled her plans but she hopes to start her studies soon. She wants to be the best role model for girls in the 'Girls to Girls' programme. Tahira won the Optimist Award 2020.

DARIO GREENIDGE WAS AT RISK, NOW A MENTOR Dario Greenidge, the Assistant Ranch Chief at Nature Fun Ranch (NFR) in Barbados, has come a long way since he first visited the ranch in 2008. At the age of fourteen, Dario was heading for a life of crime. He was already engaged in petty crime and deviant behaviour. He recalls his school principal telling him that he will "end up in prison or dead." Dario says felt a sense of belonging and brotherhood among the boys who came from different backgrounds (similar to his own) at the ranch. Dario fed the goats, groomed the horses and took care of the animals.

He even learnt to ride a horse. He feels that his time at NFR gave him a different outlook on life. He went from someone who had to work on himself to become a leader who helped others save themselves. Dario's passion is to help at-risk youth get on the right path because he was once just like them. He mentors and helps them ?see the big picture and break away from the shackles that make them believe that they have no future." Dario acts like their big brother. He believes that is all they need is some help and, Nature calms them down. Today, he is an avid farmer and the

Assistant Ranch Chief with special responsibility for the Ranchers? on-site home and school monitoring and leads the agricultural aspect of the farm. He won several ribbons at Barbados? National Agricultural Showcase ? Agrofest and, most recently, the Optimist Club Award in 2020 for his achievements as a reformed at-risk youth working with at-risk youth. Dario did transform his life to become a positive peer leader and gave back to society. Although his circumstances have changed, he mentored many young people off the wrong path in life.

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Onward with Integration for Progressand Sustainability 1981 - 2021