I feel privileged to have been selected for the Youth In Partnership program through the Coady International Institute which has been made possible through funding by the Canadian International Development Agency(CIDA). The program includes a three week orientation, along with a 2 week debriefing held in Antigonish Nova Scotia at the Coady Institute. The orientation gave a survey of a variety of development topics lead by wide range of development experts. Orientation also provided the opportunity to meet people from all over Canada and the rest of the world. Being a participant in the program, I am excited about the creation of this blog and look forward to updating it on the regular with my experiences and reflections from abroad.
I am blessed to be located in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines in Kingstown(SVG) with an organization called The Caribbean Farmers Network(CaFAN) for the next 6 months. My position title is: Marketing, Training & Information Communications Associate. CaFAN works alongside farmers associations and non-governmental organizations with the mandate to ensure a sustainable future and building capacity for Caribbean farmers. The CaFAN network represents over 22 farming organizations in 13 Caribbean countries. CaFAN mobilizes resources through strategic networking and collaboration among farmers while facilitating the exchange of ideas, resources, and technologies, the goal of which is improve farmer’s capacity and enhance intra and extra regional trade. Through the prioritization of food security, health & nutrition issues, CaFAN asserts that poverty can be eliminated, and the livelihood of farmers’ improved.
The focus of my work alongside CaFAN and its associated member organizations is to implement and establish a stable and effective marketing program for local farmers. I will also play a role in developing a comprehensive communications and networking strategy alongside farmers and governments on behalf of the members of the CaFAN network. Some of the work I will be doing includes writing reports, planning and coordinating workshops(upcoming Regional Workshop on Policies for Improved Business Efficiency Agriculture for the Youth being held June 19-21), and regular visits to rural farming communities to document information on crops(the above photo was my first field visit to Richland Park), acreages planted as well as problems encountered by farmers. I am fortunate to have this opportunity to apply my ability and experience to the development of farms and communities of SVG; while building on my own skillset and gaining practical development experience working alongside CaFAN and associated member organizations.