GARD Center celebrates 28 years during Global Entrepreneurship Week

GARD Center staff celebrate 28 yearsAn amazing 28 years have past for a non-profit NGO, The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center, which operates under the auspices of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas. Amazing, because many NGOs do not have this survival rate, mainly due to lack of financial support, which has become ever more difficult over the years with increasing demands from more impoverished nations with greater needs.

However, the GARD Center has managed to hold its own through what the Executive Director, Mrs. Roberta Williams calls, the Hands of God, which have led this organization along with an extremely passionate and dedicated staff, and volunteers who believe that at-risk youth in this Nation require another chance to become productive citizens. This is being carried out through technical skills training, entrepreneurship, counseling, life skills and other holistic training to make a well rounded young adult.

During the week of November 13-19 which is Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), GARD Center will take this time to celebrate its anniversary and to commemorate and recognize some of the persons who have graduated from the Center’s training programs and who have become successful entrepreneurs establishing a variety of small businesses in farming, agro-processing, ICT, clothing and design, handicraft and others.

Over 160 countries around the world will be carrying out activities to mark the occasion of GEW 2017.

Small business development can open doors for many young persons to create sustainable livelihoods for themselves, as well as generate employment for others.  In Antigua and Barbuda there is a youth unemployment rate of 35% (Min of Labour Survey 2016).

The GARD Center’s activities include: appearances on the Observer Marketplace show, ABS Good Morning Antigua & Barbuda show, a pictorial display of some of GARD Center’s entrepreneurs at ACB, St. Mary’s Street Branch, as well as Presentations at 4 schools on the topic of Entrepreneurship throughout the month.

The Board and staff of the GARD Center wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the trainers who continue to share their skills and knowledge with our trainees, the employers who provide the needed experience through internships and in many cases permanent employment for young GARD Center graduates.

Also to the volunteers, collaborative and donor partners who make it possible for the Center to continue its pace setting and impacting programs that positively change the lives of young at-risk men and women who otherwise could have selected negative and destructive activities out of frustration and despair. It is what the GARD Center is all about “Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees.” Isaiah 35:3.

Giving Tuesday, 28 November 2017


The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) welcomes donations at anytime during the year.

On November 28, 2017, United Methodists will once again come together to support the work of Advance missionaries and projects on UMC #GivingTuesday.

However, ‘GIVING TUESDAY‘  is not only about collecting money. It is about awareness of the opportunity and need for organisations which work with individuals, families, and communities to unite in mission in this season.

This year in particular, the GARD Center is obligated to reach out to the youth of our sister territories, Barbuda and Dominica, to assist those who have been displaced after their countries were ravaged by two (2) category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria in September 2017.

The Center is therefore making a special appeal for donations to potential GIVING TUESDAY partners and supporters.

Thank you for your passion and support, as we live out God’s mission together.


The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) held its 2017 Graduation Ceremony on Tuesday, 3 October 2017, at the Ebenezer Methodist Church Hall, St. Mary’s Street.

This Ceremony was to celebrate the European Union sponsored training programme, under the name, “Improving Opportunities for At-Risk, Probationary and Incarcerated Youth in Antigua and Barbuda” (YAR).

The ages of the youth trained range from 16 – 35 years.  Fifty six (56) students graduated from this programme.  Eight from Agricultural Enterprise; fifteen from Information Communication Technology and thirty-three from Office Administration.

Fifty-three (53)% of these young people have been awarded Internships and fifteen (15) have gained Joyce and Sherma at Graduation-3October2017employment.  The GARD Center wishes to sincerely thank all of our Business Partners who assisted us with Internships and Job Placement during Cohort 1, and we look forward to your continued support.

Special thanks to everyone who participated in our Graduation Ceremony and contributed to its success.

European Union (EU) sponsored – ICT Course

Want to advance your knowledge in ICT?  The GARD Center caters to your needs.

Take our course in Information Communication Technology (ICT) and cover:Female computer tech

  • Parts of a computer
  • Microsoft Office
  • Basic Web design
  • Basic computer repair
  • Manipulating & maneuvering the web
  • Life Skills
  • Remedial Math
  • Remedial English

This course caters to youth between the ages of 17 – 35 years and runs for fourteen (14) weeks at the GARD Center in Mercers Creek, east of Pares Village.

These exciting sessions will run from 12 September – 15 December 2017, Tuesdays through Fridays from 9:00am to 3:30pm.

There is a non-refundable registration fee of $50.


Call 463-4121 / 562-0084

Apply Now and get a jump-start on your career goals.

Giving Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) welcomes donations at anytime during the year.  Let us all Prepare to give a Special contribution to the Center this November, 2017.

However, ‘GIVING TUESDAY‘  is not only about collecting money. It is about awareness of the opportunity and need for organisations which work with individuals, families, and communities to unite in mission in this season.

Giving Tuesday is a response, started in 2012, to the commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a time to rally families and communities to assist worthy causes that meet human needs around the world. For United Methodists, it has become a time of designated mission giving through The Advance for Christ and His Church, which assures that every dollar goes to the ministries indicated by the donor.

Over the past three years, the General Board of Global Ministries and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) have matched designated Giving Tuesday gifts up to set levels.

The motivation for mission giving is mission itself.

We at the GARD Center wish to sincerely thank all of you who have contributed to the work carried out by the Center for the last 27 years.  We feel truly blessed to be able to serve our clientele throughout these years and as we celebrate under the theme:  27 Years: Positively Changing the Face of Youth At Risk, we ask that everyone continues to support the Center and encourage you to invite others to share in our success by reaching these Youth, who for whatever reason, may have fallen through the cracks.

GARD Center, empowering and giving our vulnerable youth a 2nd chance to strive for excellence for the betterment of Antigua and Barbuda.

Farm-to-Table 2017

The GARD Center is extremely pleased to have received sponsorship for this year’s Farm-to-Table fundraiser event.

Our principal sponsor for the 3rd annual Luncheon was the James and Maginley Charity & Care Foundation.  We welcomed their extended contribution to the Center this year, by donating cutlery and crockery to assist us with the up-scaling of this event.

Once again, this event was held under the auspices of the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams and Lady Williams, at the GARD Center’s Agro-Nature Park, Mercer’s Creek.

This year we had more Chefs, and Producers involved.  These people were responsible for the expanded and wider mouth-watering menu.

Sincere thanks and appreciation are given to the James and Maginley Charity & Care Foundation and to all of those who patronised this event.

We look forward to welcoming you to our 4th annual Farm-to-Table luncheon and invite you to bring a Friend.

GARD Center 3rd Annual Farm-to-Table Luncheon, Thank You

The 3rd Annual Farm-to-Table, was recently held under the auspices of the Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams and Lady Williams.

Farm-to-Table Group photo-20May2017

Roasted sizzling pork, cassava crusted layered Mahi Mahi, corn and coconut soup with croutons, Roots and scallop gratin and watermelon and cream cheese frosting cake with balsamic reduction…. Sounds intriguing to you? Well sorry you missed the 3rd Annual Farm to Table Benefit Luncheon on Saturday, 20 May, 2017 where over 200 exuberant guests supported this event under the sunny skies and the stately Casuarina and Neem trees.

The Chinese auction brought much excitement and laughs as the guests jumped to win the weekend for two at the Tamarind Hill Villas and the architectural drawings worth over $4000 from Mr. Curlson James (one the Center’s former graduates), of Rensol Construction and Associates Services Ltd.  As a result of this support, the programs and services of the GARD Center for vulnerable youth will get some of the needed funds to continue the technical vocational training opportunities for the many youth who have dropped out of school or who have done poorly academically. The staff and Board members of the GARD Center wish to sincerely say thank you to all the farmers, chefs, management of hotels and businesses who contributed to this event.

If you missed 2017 Farm-to-Table, start planning for 2018 it will be even better!

Save the Date for Farm-to-Table 2017!!!

The much anticipated GARD Center Farm-to-Table has been rescheduled until Saturday, 20 May 2017.

The 3rd annual fundraiser Luncheon will be worth the wait.

Once again, it will be held under the auspices of the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams and Lady Williams, at the GARD Center’s Agro-Nature Park, Mercer’s Creek.

On offer this year are more Chefs, Producers and a much wider mouth-watering menu.

GARD Center says Thank You

The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) wishes to thank everyone who has supported the Center over the past 26 years of its existence.

The Center wishes to extend a sincere Thank You, to those who have gone beyond the ‘call-of-duty’ to ensure that we are still able to train and assist the Youth of our twin-island state.

As we continue to strive throughout this year with our upcoming programmes which will focus on the training of Youth-at-Risk and Incarcerated Youth, that you will continue to assist whenever possible.

Have a truly blessed, healthy and productive 2017.