GARD Center Celebrates 24 Years of Existence

The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) celebrates its 24th anniversary as a non-profit NGO in November 2013.
The Center wishes to sincerely thank all of its Friends and Well-wishers, Colleagues, Volunteers and Dedicated Staff who have worked tirelessly throughout the years to ensure that the Center is the premium training institution for youth and women in Antigua and Barbuda, that it is today.
During its 24 years of existence, the GARD Center has trained over 3000 persons in many diverse fields of interest, including  enterprise training, skills training in soap crafting, solar drying, tanning, backyard gardening, handicraft, tractor driving, yacht maintenance, plumbing, computer literacy, farming, farm tourism, agro-forestry, beekeeping, weaving of textiles, and many more.  The Center has also maintained outreach programs to meet the needs of special groups such as persons living with HIV/AIDS, unemployed women, youth at risk, persons living with disabilities, NGOs and community based groups (CBOs).   These programs have traditionally been for both young males and females.
Celebrate with us all throughout November and make a special donation to the UMC Giving Tuesday, 3 December 2013.
Click here to find out more. Donate

Additional Training for GARD Center Trainees

Six trainees from the GARD Center had an opportunity for further training when they were accepted into Sandals Cooperation University Hospitality Training Programme.
Aldina Whyte, Merlisa Harris, Shauna Spencer, Kimmeisha Tonge, Kerricia Parker and Lorina Evans unleashed their potential to build themselves when they successfully completed six (6) weeks of training. Following the training, four gained employment within the Grand Pineapple Beach Resort.

FAO Regional Meeting on Public Policies for Rural Women, Santo Domingo, October 2013

The GARD Center was invited by the FAO to present a summary of the situation of women in Antigua and Barbuda at the recently concluded Regional Meeting on Public Policies for Rural Women: Economic Independence, rights and fight against hunger.
The one day meeting focused on women in Latin America and the Caribbean and the need to set policies which affect rural women in the agriculture sector.  Much discussion was had on what a rural woman is, who should be considered a rural woman and the perimeters of rural zones.
Discussions were also held on the use of technology to improve agriculture and agricultural practices and the role governments need to play to assist rural women in agriculture.  Access to water, seeds and markets were all areas that were highlighted as being relevant to a rural woman’s success in agriculture.  These were considered areas in which the government could assist greatly.
The meeting ended with a cultural event showcasing the food, dance, music and culture of the Santo Dominican people.  It was a wonderful way to end the talks.
All in all, strides were made to ensure that measures are being taken to ensure the women’s place in Agriculture is improved throughout the region.
The Center was represented by Ms. Kareem Francis, Project Manager.

GARD Center represented at Denbigh Agricultural Trade Show

On August 2nd 2013 Jermaine Paul was selected by the Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) to represent them at the prestigious annual Denbigh Agricultural Trade show in Jamaica.  The Denbigh Show is the oldest, largest and most dynamic Agricultural Industrial and Food Show in the English Speaking Caribbean which has become a benchmark for showcasing agriculture at its finest. Denbigh 2013 provided an opportunity for patrons and participants to be exposed to modern trends in agriculture and its related industries.  This event celebrated its 61st anniversary, from 4 – 6 August, under the theme, “Grow What We Eat…Eat What We Grow.”
Denbigh showed different facets in relation to agriculture, to include a number of Financing Institutions providing general information to famers and the general public that was in attendance, Hardware stores displaying their tools and equipment. There were also Tech Companies, some showing their latest development in regards to multifunctioning software to assist farmers.
Mr. Paul travelled with produce of 10 lbs of butternut squash, 5 lbs of green bell peppers, 10 lbs of Zucchini and 10 lbs of cucumbers and was able to sell all of his produce. A surprising thought was that of the 200 plus persons who visited the booth, only a handful knew what the butternut squash was. Of that handful only one (1) actually lived in Jamaica. Below is the a picture of  the young lady from Jamaica who guessed correctly only because she was up the night before doing some research and came across it.

 GARD

Also during the Jamaica trip, Mr. Paul had the opportunity to meet with young Agriprenuers like himself, Mr. Martin Clarke from Barbados; Mr. Gooden, Ms. Stacey-Ann Brown and Mr. St. Claire all of Jamaica and are beneficiaries of the Jamaica Youth Business Trust.
Mr. Paul made several new business contacts not only from Jamaica but with persons who live in the region and attended the show.  A lot of information was exchanged and business prospects look promising.  This trip was made possible by sponsorship from the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Youth Entrepreneurship.  A very special thank you is extended to this organization for continuing to support and promote the youth of our region.

External Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant Required

Request for Proposals

Consultant with the International Youth Foundation to carry out a follow-up study of graduates of the Caribbean Youth Empowerment Program in Phase II, which was implemented by the Gilbert Agricultural & Rural Development Center in Antigua & Barbuda to train and place youth at risk in jobs.

Background

The Caribbean Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP) was launched in 2008 by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve the job prospects of under-served youth in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia. The regional program offers market-driven training in areas such as life skills, information technology, remedial education, and vocational and entrepreneurship skills, along with internship opportunities and job placement services. The program also supports youth serving as positive agents of change in their communities through its service learning component. During Phase I, CYEP benefited 1,100 young people across the region through job training, job placement, and other services. During Phase II the program is focused on expanding the menu of services offered to include entrepreneurship and career guidance, reaching an additional 1,100 youth, and strengthening alliances with public and private stakeholders.
The program uses an information system developed by IYF to collect baseline data from all of the registered youth and exit data when youth leave the program or finish the training cycle.

Purpose of the Consultancy

A consultant or firm is sought to carry out a follow-up study of 59 youth graduating from the CYEP training offered by the GARD Center in November 2012-March 2013 to measure the changes in employment and educational status. The candidate must have demonstrated capacity and experience in: 1) designing and carrying out follow-up evaluations and studies and 2) knowledge of youth employability issues. Expected products include the complete dataset of follow-up data collected by the consultant and a report of the follow-up study written according to IYF guidelines. The consultancy is estimated to begin mid August and end no later than October.

Proposal Information

For proposal requirements and further information, please contact Rachel Bernstein, Program Coordinator, at Email: r.bernstein@iyfnet.org.

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 www.gardc.org/courses/gardening-technician.
Email us at youth@gardc.org 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!