Category Archives: News

Our Latest Graduation

The GARD Center’s project entitled, ”Improving Opportunities for At- Risk, Probationary and Incarcerated Youth in Antigua and Barbuda,” sponsored by the European Commission under the theme “Civil Society Organizations: Enhancing CSO’s contribution to government processes in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, celebrated its final graduation ceremony on February 19, 2019 at the Methodist Church Hall, at 4:00 p.m. with a total of 98 graduates. This project facilitated access to positive youth development and employability through training over a period from March 2017 – February 2019.

Graduates were trained in Office Administration, Customer Service, Professional Hospitality Service, Basic Baking and Decorating, Professional Bar and Beverage Service, Information Communication Technology, Solar Panel Assistant Technician and Carpentry. Each Course had a component of remedial Math and English, Life Skills and Information Technology.
Our partnership with key agencies included Ministry of Social Transformation Community Development Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Second Chance, Legal Affairs, and Her Majesty’s Prison. During the two years of the project, seven inmates successfully completed and graduated under the prison programme.

At the end of the two year project, 243 trainees completed training. Six are awaiting internship placements and 130 have gained employment. In addition, graduating from another project sponsored by our Australia Embassy and Mill Reef Fund partners, fifteen (15) Beginner Beekeepers received certificates.

With these youth ready to explore various avenues of work and entrepreneurship, the prospects of this Nation of Antigua and Barbuda are in good hands. We congratulate the graduates and wish them every success in their future endeavors.

View Printable Version of Press Release: Press Release GARD Center EU Project PDF File Feb 2019

Mrs. Roberta Williams, our unsung hero, we salute you from the GARD Center Staff

In June 2018 Mrs. Roberta Williams retired from what she referred to as her mission, the GARD Center after 28 years. She described it all as an amazing journey…….. 

(presented at the Retirement Celebration Church Service on June 21, 2018 Mrs. Williams’ 70th birthday)

Framed in your office is a quote that says, “Success is largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” We think it is safe to say, that you, dear, have a commitment that is unmatched. Where others would have long thrown in the towel, you broke through barriers, where others saw obstacles, you saw opportunities, where others were frustrated and ready to give up, you were gracious and ready to try one more time, and one more time after that.

Even though she really is the gift that keeps on giving, we know that it gets hard sometimes, and that things get heavy. But in those trying and testing times, she does what we all should do when we don’t know what to do, “Be still and know that He is God.”

Over the past 3 decades God has used you to strengthen feeble hands and to encourage those with weak knees to keep moving forward. Your compassion and devotion to the youth of our nation has made a positive impact not only in our society, but in the hearts and minds of each trainee that would have passed under your wing. It has also kept you young. As you stand tall and beautiful, a refreshing embodiment of poise and grace, you make us, your GARDC family, want to be better and do better. You have set a standard, and an example, that we can only hope to one day meet. You have left behind more than fond memories, but a legacy that must be continued. You’d have it no other way, or you’d probably try to do it yourself.

Did we mention she’s a stickler for deadlines? More than getting things done right, she strives to get them done on time. Her work ethic is one to be admired. And after the course is complete, after the event has ended, before the dust can settle, the thank you’s MUST be sent out. Our superwoman never fails to give credit where credit is due and she certainly never forgets to say thank you. From the very important person to the behind the scene helpers, her gratitude is always heartily expressed.  

Even though she really is the gift that keeps on giving, we know that it gets hard sometimes, and that things get heavy. But in those trying and testing times, she does what we all should do when we don’t know what to do, “Be still and know that He is God.”

Finally, our love, we’d like you to know that when we count our blessings, we count you twice. We want you to know that we have no intentions of leaving you alone and that there is nowhere that you can go that our love won’t reach you. We want you to know that we will always be praying for you, and to remind you to:

Lift your eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh your help. Your help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Mrs. Roberta Williams, our unsung hero, we salute you. 


The Lord is my keeper, the Lord is the shade upon my right hand. Psalm 121:5

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.

In Need of Your Prayers

A member of the GARD Center’s ‘extended family’ was involved in an accident on 3 June 2016, and has been hospitalised in an induced coma.
Mr. Stephen Samuel, is one of the Center’s main Yacht Maintenance training course Facilitators.  Please pray for the full recovery and overall health of Mr. Samuel.  Pray also for the strength of his family during this very difficult time.
Thank you for your continued support and best wishes.


The GARD Center wishes to thank the many persons – Board members, family members, volunteers, tutors, graduates, Friends of GARD Center, who have rallied around our staff member, Mr. Jay Peters, our Operational Foreman.  Thank you for your prayers and overwhelming support, during this difficult time.

We know that we have an awesome and powerful God, who will ensure that justice prevails.
The GARD Center continues its important work with providing vulnerable youth with a second chance and stands by its staff, who continue to show passion, commitment and love for this important work.

The Lighter Side of GARD Center

GARD Center had a ‘rest and recreation’ day at Pigeon Point beach, on Tuesday, 5 May 2015.
Lighter side of GARD Center-5May2015The Center’s staff outing was sponsored by the Executive Director, who treated the employees to a day out after they worked tirelessly to prepare for the recently held Farm-to-Table event.

GARD Center – Japanese Human Security Project

GUARD CENTREThe Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center celebrates the Japanese Government Funds Project for Extension of a Skill Training Center in Antigua and Barbuda.  This is the second project awarded by the People of Japan to the GARD Center.
The signing ceremony for the Grant Assistance for the Grass-roots Human Security Project (GGP) entitled “The Project for Extension of a Skill Training Center for Gilbert Agricultural & Rural Development Center” took place at 10:00 a.m. on March 6, 2015, at Gilbert Agricultural & Rural Development Center (GARD Center), Nature Park, Mercers Creek, Antigua and Barbuda.
Head Table GroupMs. Jacqueline Yearwood, a GARD Center Board Member, was the Master of Ceremonies and extended a warm welcome to those present. The Ceremony was opened with a word of prayer by Rev. Patmore Henry, Secretary, to the Methodist Church.  Mrs. Roberta Williams, Executive Director of the Center, spoke about the Background of the Project and remarks were offered by, Rev. Otto Wade, President, Methodist Conference; His Excellency, Anthony Liverpool, Non-Resident Ambassador of Antigua & Barbuda to Japan and Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Hon. Melford Nicholas, and the Minister of Information, Telecommunications, Science and Technology; along with Mr. Takafumi Ura, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan.
Turning the soilAfter these speeches, there was a Ground Breaking Ceremony, during which Mr. Ura, Rev. Wade and Mr. Nicholas turned the sod where the new building would be erected.
Signing of AgreementThe Gilbert Agricultural & Rural Development Center received a grant of up to US$100,525 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.
Japanese Second Secretary @ podiumIn his speech, Mr. Ura highlighted that “through the compliance and execution of the project initiatives, the programme will have a wider effect through the community and by extension the society. This expansion will allow for overall improvement of the current facilities which can yield better output services provided to these vulnerable students.”
Mr. Ura also stated that the Government of Japan welcomes further opportunities to work with the Government and the people of Antigua and Barbuda, all with a view to strengthening the bonds of friendship and mutual understanding which exist between the two countries.