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OAS/FEMCIDI funds local projects

OAS/FEMCIDI funds local projects

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Following in its long tradition of supporting rural development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Organisation of American States (OAS) has recently funded two projects put forward by the Centre for Enterprise Development (CED) and the Roving Caregivers Programme (RCP).{{more}}

At a signing ceremony held at the Chamber of Commerce conference room on Wednesday, May 6th, SVG’s OAS Representative Melene Glynn pointed out that the funding had been provided through the organisation’s Special Multilateral Fund of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (FEMCIDI). Glynn related that the OAS “encourages social and economic development of the countries of the Americas.”

Pleased with the partnership between the OAS, the government of SVG, the CED and the RCP, Glynn announced that the organisation’s 2009 – 2010 project cycle would provide funding for 70 national and multinational projects throughout the hemisphere at a cost of US$4,380,000. This significant sum demonstrates one of the OAS’s primary objectives in improving the lives of those living in rural areas. “We’re bringing real benefits to real people,” Glynn remarked.

The CED’s project, ‘Reducing rural poverty through Entrepreneurship Development’, began in 2008 with a grant of US$82,145, and is scheduled to be complete in 2010 after receiving additional sums totaling just over US$50,000. The project seeks to promote the increased involvement of rural people in their own development.

Jacinta James, Training and Education Manager in the CED, pointed out that Community Economic Development has been identified as one of the “major strategies for the reduction of poverty in rural areas.” James elaborated that the funding received will aid in strengthening the CED’s community outreach to rural districts, and “helped us to broaden the scope of our programme.”

Thus far, the CED had conducted project work in Barrouallie, Mesopotamia and Chateaubelair, and intends to extend to two other communities, including Union Island. “We want to assure the OAS that we would maintain integrity and the highest level of accountability in the execution of this project,” James professed.

The RCP, which begins its project this year, will receive US$45,880 for its first year and US$59,000 more over its subsequent three years. According to Glynn, the programme “targets at-risk and vulnerable children from birth to 3 months old.”

RCP Project Coordinator Judith Hull-Ballah noted that the organisation started in Jamaica some 25 years ago, and was replicated in the four Windward Islands – starting in St. Vincent in 2004. Currently the RCP operates in Barrouallie, Sandy Bay, Chester Cottage and Colonarie, and focuses on children who do not receive or are denied access to early stimulation.

Hull-Ballah emphasized: “We want to empower… parents in these communities… With the funds that we receive from the OAS… we hope that we can at least take on more children in that programme, to reach more parents…”

In brief remarks, Laura Anthony-Browne, Director of Planning in the Central Planning Division, thanked the OAS/FEMCIDI for its “continued collaboration” which has positively impacted on the lives of many Vincentians. She pointed out that the projects fit neatly into the overall developmental agenda, which has been fleshed out by her department’s soon to be launched social and economic development plan.

Moreover, Anthony-Browne was pleased that both projects “come with specific time lines.” She explained that, too often, projects don’t have stringent time lines; therefore, they run for much too long before the benefits can be seen. (JSV)

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