Caribbean Union WM Activities During COVID-19
A virtual agricultural training project for "breadwinners" affected by the pandemic draws 236 participants.
Inter-American Division (IAD)
[Caribbean] The year 2020 began with its usual resolutions, projections and events, however, the unprecedented arrival of a Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, disrupted the serenity of many islands and nation territories within our Union. The social and economic impact of closing borders and initiating lockdowns, while the regional governments reeled to acquire the requisite medical supplies for testing and treatment, left many out of gainful employment. Numerous “bread earners” were now responsible for feeding their households with meagre resources.
It was against this backdrop that the vision of the Women’s Ministries Director Sis. Debra Henry was conceptualized as she heard the cries of women under her care. The Caribbean Union Conference Women’s Ministries Department in consultancy with two Agricultural training agencies: The Caribbean Network for Empowerment and Training and Faith Farming conducted an agricultural training program with an orientation for entrepreneurship. This 6-8 week virtual course was entitled “An Introduction to Sustainable Gardening” and was offered for both SDA member and non- member. The course started on June 28, 2020 and on August 30th, a total of 236 participants from across the Union Graduated. Among the participants were a group of persons who were visually impaired.
At the virtual graduation, Senator the Honorable Clarence Rambharat, the Minister of Agriculture of Trinidad and Tobago commended the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Caribbean Union Conference for its role in providing affordable training to participants while teaching a lifelong skill and ensuring food security for families and by extension nations during this unprecedented time. Senator Rambharat recognized the role that faith-based organizations play in developing the human capital of a country and he vowed to have greater collaboration with the Seventh-day Adventist church in the future as his government seeks to ensure national food security. Sister Heather-Dawn Small, GC women’s Ministries Director, delivered the Charge to the Graduates and Dr. Kern Tobias, President of the Caribbean Union Conference, gave a congratulatory message.
Undeniably this initiative was a resounding success as many participants praised both Dr. Wendy-Ann Isaacs-George and Dr. Bibi Ali and their respective teams for the excellent quality of tutoring delivered. The following are a few testimonials form some participants.
“It was very informative and the wealth of information shared was detailed and of university quality…the interaction among students was stellar.” S. Green, Faith Farming Class Moderator, Dominica
“With humility I receive this certificate. The content of the course was beyond my expectations. I wish all the persons who planned and executed this Course God's continued blessings in your lives. Thank you.” G. Wilson, Faith Farming Participant, St. Maarten
“Our sincerest thanks and blessings to the Women's Ministries department at CARU for this initiative. The program was indeed a blessing to both of us. We have learnt much, corrected even more, and look forward to greater things in our garden going forward.” R. Reid-Hylegar, CNETT Participant, Trinidad
Read more about WM activities in the Caribbean Union Conference during COVID-19
Reported by Debra Henry, director of Women’s Ministries for Caribbean Union Conference
Published in Mosaic newsletter, 2020 Q4, fall issue