Author Archives: cslacey

Registrations now open for Gardening Technician

Check out our new TV advert about this exciting new course to be run at GARDC in June.

This course is available for unemployed or underemployed youths (you’d need to be at least 17 by October, and at most 25 at the time of application) with four CXCs or fewer.  More information at
Email us at or call on 463-4121 or 562-0084 to register.

GARD entrepreneurs scoop regional Best Economic Entrepreneur prize

Entrepreneurs Winston Laville, Dominic Chastinet and Jermaine Paul (of LCP Industries), who were assisted by GARD Center within the East Caribbean Youth Microenterprise Program last year, have been selected as one of six winners of this year’s Caribbean Innovation Challenge.
In preparation for the final stage of evaluations during the CIC Finals in Barbados, the finalists participated in one-on-one business training and received tailored feedback from international experts. The winners’ selection was conducted by a panel of 15 international experts and includes two teams in each award category: Social, Economic and Environmental.
Winston, Dominic and Jermaine will now have the opportunity to compete on the Hemispheric level in the TIC Americas and Eco-Challenge Caribbean 2013. Wish them luck!

GARD teams up with Project Hope for new Computer Repair course

GARD Center has joined forces with Project Hope creating the building blocks for both institutions to develop stronger ties in delivering much needed educational, vocational and social programmes for underserved youth in Antigua and Barbuda.
The partnership between the two institutions was formed to deliver an ICT course in Computer Repair to vulnerable unemployed and underemployed young people between the ages of 17 and 25, with an emphasis on males. Trainees are studying operating systems, software applications, networking, hardware, trouble shooting, repair and maintenance, as well as remedial maths and English, and life skills.

GARD Center Registration Fair – April 2013

Potential Entrepreneur at Registration Fair-18 April 2013
Potential Entrepreneur at Registration Fair-18 April 2013

The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) held a Registration Fair for its upcoming training courses under the European Union sponsored ‘The Empowerment of Vulnerable Young Women in Antigua and Barbuda in Their Income Generation’ (YWEP).  The Fair was held at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda on 17 & 18 April 2013, between the hours of 10:00 am – 2:00 pm daily.  During this period  our target group of young women (between the ages of 16 – 35 years) showed up in large numbers.
The Registration Fair was deemed a success, in that over the two day period the Center received over two hundred applications for courses advertised in Agriculture; Basic Cookery; Entrepreneurship; Exceptional Hospitality Executive Provisioner; Food and Beverage Services; ICT; Weaving and Textiles; and Yacht Maintenance.

Agriculture trainee Whitfield Joshua attends Agrifest in Barbados

GARD Center’s representative, Whitfield Joshua, attended Agrifest 2013 in Barbados. Joshua’s trip was financed by CIBC First Caribbean Bank and received his invitation through the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Youth Entrepreneurship. Joshua is currently undergoing agriculture training under the Caribbean Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP) sponsored by USAID and the International Youth Foundation (IYF) who are also administrators.

GARD Center Launches Business Development Unit

The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) in partnership with the European Union on 7th March, 2013 launched its Business Development Unit, a critical component of its latest project – The Empowerment of Vulnerable Young Women in Antigua and Barbuda in Their Income Generation (YWEP).
The Business Development Unit will  be a one-stop venue providing  a number of support services to GARD Center graduates of the Entrepreneurial stream of the YWEP programme as well as to other vulnerable young women seeking to start or develop their own enterprises.  It will offer training, advisory services and access to funding.  The services will initially be offered from the GARD Center’s head office at Mercer’s Creek and will then be transferred to a convenient location in St.  John’s later in the year.
The Business Development Unit was launched as part of a recently held forum called ‘Going Against the Grain’ which featured a panel of women who have either successfully started their own businesses or engaged in fulfilling vocations, many in the traditional male dominated areas.  The presenters which included an egg farmer, plumber, disc jockey, graphic artist, architect, caterer and construction engineer all rendered captivating and poignant life stories about their passion for their chosen careers and their grit and determination in overcoming various obstacles in order to be successful.  Some key issues that were brought to the fore included the challenges of operating a small business, overcoming gender stereo-typing and the importance of training and education.
A number of young women who attended the event spoke of it as being an encouraging and inspiring experience and are looking forward to further pursuing courses at GARD Center to prepare them for their own endeavours. Also in attendance at the event were the president of the Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Errol Samuel; president of the Employers Federation, Mr. Acres Stowe and representatives from the Directorate of Gender Affairs. The event was co-sponsored by CIBC First Caribbean International Bank and Community First Cooperative Credit Union.
According to the Executive Director of GARD Center, Roberta Williams: “We thought it important to formally launch the BDU as part of a forum such as this to highlight to our young women that they too can defy the odds and be anything they want to be.”  She further stated: “It is critical that our young women start believing in themselves and thinking outside of the box in order to grasp the myriad opportunities for income generation.”
This project is funded by the European Union

GARD Center and the European Commission in a $EC 1.6 million Partnership to Empower Women

The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center), is pleased to announce its latest partnership with the European Commission.  The two year project entitled “Empowerment of Young Women of Antigua and Barbuda in their Income Generation” is one of the largest grants ever awarded to an NGO in Antigua and Barbuda. This European Union grant is in the amount of 1.3 million EC$ (380,002.54 EUR).
The project will target over 200 young women up to the age of 35 years, increasing their ability to source jobs and or establish their own enterprises.  Working with vulnerable women who are unemployed and underemployed poses many challenges. The GARD Center hopes to address these challenges through the combination of training, work placement and other support services.
The women wanting to start their own business will have access to business development services provided by the GARD Center’s upcoming expanded Business Development Unit.  Other project objectives will bring attention to gender stereotyping in vocational choices of women and carrying out activities to encourage women to enter into the more male dominated employment and entrepreneurial areas. The public and strategic agencies will also be engaged to discuss and examine the issues confronting vulnerable women, and the strategies to overcome them.
This project commenced in January 2013. The GARD Center for 23 years has been working with young people with a special focus on women in offering entrepreneurial, technical and vocational training with job placement services.
The Board and staff of the GARD Center are truly grateful to the European Commission for this invaluable partnership as it continues to equip the young women of Antigua and Barbuda with skills to make them more competitive in the global marketplace.