GEF SGP Applauds Partners as they Celebrate World Environment Day 2015 in BarbadosJun 12, 2015
The Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP), implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) commemorated World Environment Day through engaging with selective participating schools of the Junior Achievement Charity of Barbados (JACOB) project “Barbados – Regional Entrepreneurship and Agriculture Program (REAP)”. They were joined by Marsha-Ann Clarke, Project Director for the REAP and key project stakeholders, Andrea Titus of the Youth Development Programme of the Division of Youth, Osmond Harewood, Chairman of the 4-H Foundation and Stefan Knights of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network.
The Youth Development Programme conceptualised The Garden Project in 2010 and has supported its evolution to REAP. This is in keeping with the National Youth Policy, which has identified the environment as one of the key strategic areas for youth intervention and seeks “to get young people involved in educational projects to demonstrate the importance of environmental protection in Barbados.”
GEF SGP funded the project with US$ 150,000 (BBD$ 300,000) in order to develop organic gardens, merge the science and business of agriculture towards facilitating sustainable livelihoods through agri-businesses at thirty schools across Barbados. To match GEF SGP investment, cash and in-kind support from the private sector was necessary for the successful implementation of the project.
The Division of Youth has invested in this project and is supporting the initiative to install rainwater catchment tanks at each school. Similarly, the Caribbean Youth Environment Network has pledged their support in sharing knowledge on environmental preservation with youth and Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre (SBRC) has vowed contributions of mulch to the project.
Other investors include the Eastern Caribbean Fertilizer Company Ltd. (ECFCO) who has contributed pre-planting soil-testing to the project and will conduct an additional soil testing to educate youth on the positive impact that organic agriculture has on the environment. St. Philip Businessman, Allan Simmons of Simmons Electrical has committed to approximately USD$7,500 (BBD$15,000) worth of work to “green” the Hilda Skeene Primary School by installing a rain water capture tank for irrigation and non-consumable purposes.
The team also visited the Ellerton Primary School where the Ashantio Sealy Green House was lush with produce grown by the children. A highlight of the Ellerton Primary tour was the demonstration of the “no fuss” bars, a healthy snack bar which accompanied the mauby, coconut punch, sorrel and other natural juices produced in the REAP “agripreneurship” programme. Youth are also members of the 4-H Foundation which is very vibrant at Ellerton Primary.
The 4-H Foundation pledges to ensure sustainability as the REAP project comes to a close by launching a strong 4-H club at schools involved in the project. This way, the partners ensure that youth continue to grow in knowledge of “agripreneurship”.
Youth Equipped to Achieve! (YEA!) has also supported the project and has been approved for a SGP planning grant to initiate REAP at Secondary Schools beginning in the next school term.
David Bynoe, National Coordinator, GEF SGP Barbados
Tel: +1 246-467-6011
Katherine Blackman, Programme Assistant, GEF SGP Barbados
Tel: +1 246-467-6037