On the afternoon of Wednesday, 17 February 2016, it was official. The Embassy of Japan handed over the Skills Training facility to the GARD Center. This project was graciously funded through the Grass-roots Human Security Project (GGP), entitled “The Project for Extension of a Skill Training Center for Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center”
The Completion Ceremony was held on site at the Gilbert Agricultural & Rural Development Center (GARD Center), Nature Park, Mercers Creek, Antigua and Barbuda.
The grant from the Government of Japan for the extension of their Skills Development Center which seeks to enhance the existing training and development activities offered, while also providing increased opportunities for vulnerable youth in Antigua and Barbuda. The amount donated was US$100,525.00.
The ceremony was attended by Mr. Takafumi Ura, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, Mrs. Roberta Williams, Executive Director, Gilbert Agricultural & Rural Development Center, and His Excellency Anthony Liverpool, Director General of Foreign Affairs who offered remarks. Ambassador to the UAE, Mr. Casroy James, also attended the ceremony along with other invited guests and media representatives.
In his speech, Mr. Ura highlighted that as “the Government of Japan continues to assist small island states in overcoming vulnerabilities, I believe the Gilbert Agricultural & Rural Development Center’s contribution to youth and female empowerment, along with their support for improved food security in rural communities, can boost the entrepreneurial capabilities throughout the twin island, therefore impacting on the reduction rate of unemployment and producing more self-reliant and productive individuals.”
He continued, the “Government of Japan is very pleased that we can assist the Gilbert Agricultural & Rural Development Center in this endeavour.”