Author Archives: cslacey

Farm-to-Table Thank You

The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) wishes to sincerely thank all of our Sponsors, Chefs, Producers, Patrons, Extension Officers, Partners and Volunteers for assisting in making our Benefit Luncheon a success.
The James & Maginley Charity and Care Foundation, was once again our Premier Sponsor, and we are truly grateful for their continued commitment to the work at the Center.  Our Farm-to-Table benefit luncheon is currently in its 4th year and continues to grow.  Of these, three years, the James & Maginley Charity and Care Foundation, has been the major sponsor.
Our chefs, who this year were organised and managed by Mr. Mario Colindres, General Manager of Goddard Catering Group, and his team, we are ever thankful for their assistance.
Many thanks to the management of these fine establishments: Jumby Bay Resort, Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, Curtain Bluff Hotel, Carlisle Bay Resort, Trade Winds Hotel, Flavas Restaurant and Goddard Catering Group (Antigua) Ltd, for all of their support.  We look forward to our continued partnerships in the years to come.

Speech by GARD Center’s Executive Director at Seconds Chance’s Techical Support Centre "SPARKS" Launch, 14 March 2018

It is my sincere pleasure to be here today at this launch of the Tech Support Centre “SPARKS.”  The GARD Center in its 28th year as a development  NGO under the auspices of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas.  A partnership was forged with the European Commission last year through their Civil Society Organizations (CSO) Programme: Enhancing CSOs’ contribution to governance and development processes in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
The GARD Center partnered in a project entitled “Improving opportunities for at-risk, probationary and Incarcerated Youth in Antigua and Barbuda and was given an opportunity in a component of this project to provide support for another NGO as a third party. Fate had it that the GARD Center discovered this newly formed NGO Second Chance which fit the criteria perfectly.
We chose Second Chance because of their serious commitment to Positive Youth Development and Justice, its core of professional volunteers and its willingness to work with other agencies on the challenges of youth offenders. Second Chance’s mission and objectives were very much aligned with the GARD Center’s and there were areas we could complement each other, as well as, to share expertise.
We were pleased to provide $EC17, 370 to purchase furniture and computer equipment to build the capacity of this unit.  We pray for all of God’s richest blessings on this facility and to offer the GARD Center’s continued support where possible.

GARD Center NEW Courses for 2018 !!!

GARD Center announces its Upcoming Training Courses for Unemployed Youth in Antigua and Barbuda.

The GARD Center is offering Sponsored courses to Youth who qualify and are between the ages of 16 – 35 years, in Customer Service and Business Enterprise, which began in February 2018.

Additionally, 12 week courses will be held in Professional Hospitality Service,  Automotive Repair; Craft – Glass Jewelry Design, starting in April 2018. 

Each Technical course includes Life skills; Math and English and Information Technology.  Sessions are usually quite interactive.
Register now at 463-4121 or 562-0084.  There is a non-refundable Registration fee of EC$50.00.”

Thank you for your continued support as we continue to educate and empower the nation’s Youth.

EUAll courses are sponsored by a grant from the European Union.

Save the Date for Farm-to-Table 2018!!!

The much anticipated GARD Center Farm-to-Table is scheduled for Saturday, 14 April 2018.
The 4th annual fundraiser Luncheon will be worth the wait.
Once again, it will be held under the auspices of the Governor General of Antigua and IMG_1637Barbuda, 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 4 Course meal.  Each patron will be greeted with a ‘Signature Welcome Drink.’  Seafood Tastings will also be available.  From Soups to Mouth watering Desserts, your palate will be pleased with your selection.

GARD Center Farm-to-Table 2018 Launched

The fourth Annual Farm-to-Table benefit luncheon for the GARD Center was launched on Friday, 9 March 2018, on site at the Gilbert Agro-Heritage Center.
The occasion was opened in prayer by Rev. Patmore Henry, Secretary to the Methodist Conference and Board member of the Center.  The event was chaired by Dame Eusalyn Lewis, Board Member, who also welcomed those present.
Introductory and Background Remarks were given by Mrs. Roberta Williams, Executive Director, GARD Center.
Mr. Casroy James and Mr. Kirthley Maginley, Principals of the James and Maginley Charity Launch of 2018 Farm-to-Table event-9March& Care Foundation Inc. both offered encouraging remarks and affirmed their support to this GARD Center Fundraiser for the next two (2) years, prior to officially handing over the Sponsorship Cheque of EC$13,700.00, for 2018, to the Executive Director, Mrs. Roberta Williams.
Mr. Mario Colindres, General Manager of the Goddard Catering Group, was not able to be at the Launch, but sent remarks on behalf of the participating Chefs, and their commitment to this major Fundraising event.
Farm-to-Table 2018, will be held on Saturday, 14 April, 2018, at the Gilbert Agro-Heritage Center.  Lunch will be served from 1:00pm – 4:00pm.
Tickets are now on Sale for $100.00.  Children under 12 years will pay $40.00.
We look forward to seeing you all there, as you continue to support the GARD Center as we train and empower the youth of Antigua and Barbuda.

GARD Center – CAREER DAY !!!

The Center is offering an Excellent opportunity for youth (17 – 35 years) to find the right CAREER.  An opportunity to meet employers and entrepreneurs, to learn more about organisations and businesses and a career you may be interested in pursuing.
Are you tired of being UNEMPLOYED?  Then here is an opportunity for you.
GARD Center is offering UPCOMING COURSES in:
Automotive Repair
Business Enterprise
Customer Service in the 21st Century
Glass Jewelry Making
See you on Friday, 26th January 2018, upstairs the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda on Long Street, St. John’s.
We will be there from 9:00am – 2:00pm.
Phone us at 463.4121 or 562.0084, for further information.
Registration is ongoing for courses mentioned.

GARD Center – ICT Professional Day

The 2nd ICT training course began in September 2017, and will continue until January 2018, with a two-week break for Christmas 2017.  Eighteen youth between the ages of 16 and 35 are currently enrolled in this course.
On Monday, 27 November, the ICT course visited the Government Printery on a Familiarisation tour, to learn hands-on about the various types of equipment in use.
On Tuesday, 28th November, the current ICT students celebrated a Professional Dress Day, and took time out of their training sessions for this photo shoot.EU-GARD Center ICT professional day-28Nov2017

EU – GARD Center Meeting

The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center continues to engage its partners as the Center met to EU-GARD Center CDD Re-entry Meeting-23Nov2017discuss the re-entry of inmates and community involvement in its “Improving Opportunities for At-risk, Probationary and Incarcerated Youth in Antigua and Barbuda” programme, sponsored by the EU.
A meeting was held on Thursday, 23 November 2017, with the Director of Community Development Division and members of her staff; LEAD Consortium Consultant; Legal Aid and Advice Centre; and GARD Center.

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.