GARD Center tells the journey of the Beginners Sewing course that came into existence during COVID-19 season. The Center is very excited to have seventeen (17) of twenty (20) participants completing the training experience.
Once again, we genuinely express our gratitude to the Mill Reef Fund for its invaluable donation for the success of this course. This afforded the participants an opportunity to be able to venture into a sewing for sustainable provision for their families.
Our sincerest thanks to our other partners NSA for its contribution of materials for sewing masks and surgical gowns that is of great necessity in this Corona Virus season where there is mandatory mask wearing. Additionally, Amiya Designs and Andra’s Designs for imparting the sewing skills necessary to produce the items that were on display on Friday, September 18th, 2020 (pictures attached). We were truly blessed by an anonymous donor of six (6) sewing machines which was greatly a need and appreciated. This made an indelible mark on the course.
To our supporters including the National Garment Manufacturing Initiative and the Ministry of Trade for their continued assistance in our new venture.
GARD Center through its partnership and generous donation of the Mill Reef Fund continues distribution of its Single Mother’s Care Package initiative. On August 6th, 2020 fifty (50) mothers received their monthly packages as volunteers of the Center worked the day before to ensure the packages are ready for collection. These packages included the basic food items and necessities to provide for themselves and their children after becoming unemployed by the COVID -19 pandemic.
The expression of sentiments and the appreciative look on the faces of these mothers was heartwarming. Through the words of one of the mothers who wishes Mill Reef Fund to know how grateful they are said, “You made a huge impact on my life and that of my family in this very difficult time. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Once again GARD Center Staff and Board of Directors express thanks to the Mill Reef Fund for their continued support, donation, and empowerment as we assist our Youth, men and Women in Antigua and Barbuda.
Two teachers of Grades 4 and 5 along with over
30 students from the Kids Unlimited School visited the GARD Center and its
Hydroponics Unit on Wednesday, 4 March, 2020.
Mr. Ika Fergus, Extension Officer in the
Ministry of Agriculture delivered a presentation on Hydroponics, which was very
well received by the children. During this tour they were able to see
firsthand how lettuce is grown using this medium. They were also able to
receive a head of lettuce.
Thanks to Kids Unlimited School for being a
part of our campaign to spearhead the ‘Hydroponics movement’ under the
Sandals Foundation ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture Project Combating Effects of
Climate Change’ on the local Agricultural Sector.
Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) receives grant
funding from its partner the Government of Japan, through its Embassy in
Trinidad and Tobago, at a Signing Ceremony on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at the
Gilbert Agro-Heritage Nature Center, Mercers Creek.
are pleased to announce that the amount of this funding is USD$89,629 through
Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) under the
2019 financial year.
Once again “Thank You” to the Embassy of Japan, for its mandate to help in building the hospitality industry through training for the vulnerable youth in Antigua and Barbuda.
“GARD Center , Guardians of the Environment, Guardians for our Youth” This is the theme of GARD Center’s Grid-interactive Solar PV Systems for Schools and Clinics project. The overall goal of this project “is to ensure that during a drought or a hurricane, schools in the country will still be fully functional, better known as climate resilient. Using clean technology will contribute to our national commitment of reducing our CO2 emissions” (Dept. of the Environment). Reducing our electricity usage, while increasing the trainees and trainers awareness of environmental management and renewable energy both at the Center and in the surrounding communities will be a vital outcome.
The Center just launched its project on September 18, 2018 with the Executive Director Ag. Mrs. June Jackson speaking about the project and its benefits, along with Ms. Shema Roberts, Environment Officer, with the Department of the Environment. Ms. Roberts congratulated the Center on being the first to launch and to have an exciting program lined up for the youth. One of the highlights for the Center’s project is conducting a new course for Solar Panel Installation Assistant Technicians. Eighteen (18) young men and two (2) daring young women who are “thinking outside of the traditional women roles”, have registered for the course which is being conducted by Antigua Computer Technology (ACT), a strategic partner in this project.
Ms. Lucia Mings of Environmental Tourism Consulting who will be advising the Center in the development our Environment Management Plan also addressed the gathering of trainees , staff, trainers and other guests. Remarks were presented by Mrs. Karen Massiah , Customer Service Coordinator/Executive Assistant of ACT stated that the company is pleased to partner with an organization like the GARD Center and to be a part of the Solar project.
The European Union in partnership with the GARD Center in a two year project entitled “Improving Opportunities for At-risk, Probationary and Incarcerated Youth in Antigua and Barbuda” has empowered 89 young men and women with skills in the areas of Agricultural Enterprise, Professional Hospitality Services, Customer Service, Information Communication Technology and Business Enterprise. Many of these youth were graduating for the first time after dropping out of school for various reasons. It is always a touching moment for staff and parents to watch these young people come up with pride and self confidence to receive their certificates and awards.
Congratulatory remarks were given by Dame Eusalyn Lewis, Vice Chairperson of the GARD Center Board of Directors along with graduates who proudly presented a poem by Ms. Salome Hinds of the Professional Hospitality Service course and Graduate remarks praising their time at the Center, Ms. Latoya Wade from Business Enterprise and Ms. Adisha Browne from Customer Service.
Ms. Elicia Phillips, Managing Director of Phillips Consulting gave a very uplifting and encouraging speech for the Charge to the Graduates. The GARD Center wishes to thanks all the trainers who gave of their time and talents to work with the young trainees.
Anika Aska—Crop Production / Propagation
Sereno Benjamin / Tamesh Sookdal—Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
Kathleen Forde—Post Harvest
Brent Georges—Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Joel Matthew—Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Customer Service and Professional Hospitality Service
Information Communication Technology
Lorne Matthew—English and Mathematics
Judy Dease-Richards—Life Skills
Joycelyn Humphreys—Life Skills