Meet the finalist for the Junior Chef Cook Off Competition 2023. To be held Monday, 4th December, 3:00-7:00 pm at the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Institute.
For more details, contact the ABHTA office at 462.0374/4928.
Youth Hydroponic Programme to Strengthen Community Food Production and Livelihood Opportunities
The GARD Center (Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center) is a grassroot non-profit, non-government organization which operates under the auspices of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA). The Center is very pleased to announce its continuous partnership with the Sandals Foundation through its funding of the “Climate Smart Agriculture For Youth- Hydroponic” Project.
For the past thirty-two (32) years, the Center has been working arduously with at-risk youth, men and women in the community to engage them in various forms of sustainable agriculture for the 21st century.
With a primary focus of raising climate smart agriculture practices amongst young people towards long term food security, the Climate Smart Agriculture for Youth – Hydroponic programme seeks to:
- Create awareness of the present and future threats related to climate change and agriculture.
- Make youth aware of the contributions they can make in the agriculture sector for a better future, especially through the application of climate-smart practices in agriculture, during this COVID-19 period.
- Train a total of 20 youth in hydroponics systems.
- Build the capacity of participants to construct a hydroponic unit and provide a starter kit to include seeds, rockwool and a water pump.
The programme support forms part of the Sandals Foundation’s 40 sustainable community projects being executed across the Caribbean to commemorate its parent company’s 40th anniversary. Through its broad scale investment in a number of farming and agriculture educational programmes, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts seeks to strengthen the Caribbean’s food security and livelihood opportunities.
About the Sandals Foundation
The Sandals Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), the Caribbean’s leading family-owned resort company. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization was created to continue and expand upon the charitable work that Sandals Resorts International has undertaken since its founding in 1981 to play a meaningful role in the lives of the communities where SRI operates throughout the Caribbean. The Sandals Foundation funds projects in three core areas: education, community and the environment. One hundred percent of the monies contributed by the general public to the Sandals Foundation go directly to programs benefiting the Caribbean community. To learn more about the Sandals Foundation, visit online at www.sandalsfoundation.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
This partnership is in collaboration with the Agricultural Extension Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). The GARD Center will expand its Climate Smart Agriculture programme that focuses on Hydroponics systems.
“Climate Smart Agriculture for Youth – Hydroponics: The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) has been awarded the above-mentioned project, and the contract was signed on 3 December 2021, in the amount of US$15,000.00. The Center is truly grateful for this timely donation and the opportunity to partner with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The major aim of this project is to ensure the integration of sustainable livelihoods in the face of climate change. This Course is geared to train 10 persons between the ages of 17 – 35 years with CSA techniques in mulching; composting; no-dig beds, etc. In addition these participants will have the opportunity to go on Field visits to see how established gardeners operate. The participants will also get to construct mini-hydroponic units which can be used as either a Deep Water Culture (DWC) or Kratky unit. A Business component will also be taught, with the anticipation that the soon-to-be Backyard Farmers would be in a position to provide quality food for not only their families but also to the community.
Once again, the GARD Center would like to thank the UNDP for investing in the improvement of Livelihoods of the Vulnerable Youth in Antigua and Barbuda.”
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.
Download or Open Pdf: Press Release Document in PDF format
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.