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Renwick Rose wins International award

Renwick Rose wins International award

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Vincentian Renwick Rose is the winner of the Guardian International Development Achievement award.{{more}}

The award, which was announced on November 17, is designed to recognize some of the unsung heroes of international development, who have made a profound contribution to the alleviation of poverty, working above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference to the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.

“The award makes an important statement. In my case it is a validation of the long years of work with, and on behalf of, our embattled farmers in the Eastern Caribbean islands,” Rose said in an article dated November 17, 2011, posted on The Guardian’s UK website.

Rose, also a columnist for the SEARCHLIGHT, has contributed greatly to the development of agriculture, being at the forefront of the organization of farmers of the Windward Islands.

In the 1990s, Rose spotted the value and necessity of organization and cooperation at a time when the banana trade was entering a downwards spiral. He earned the trust of small-scale farmers who were struggling to make it onto the supermarket shelves and guided them through the process of Fair Trade Certification. The establishment of the Windward Island National Farmers’ Network Association (WINFA) has generated security and progress which radiates out into the wider community. Rose worked as the Programme Officer of WINFA, taking on the senior position of Coordinator in 1996.

In 2010, as Rose was about to retire, Hurricane Tomas struck and Rose returned to assist the farming community towards recovery. With his support, Windward Island bananas were back on the supermarket shelves within eight months.

Speaking of the success of farmers within the region, Rose stated that he has great admiration for them as they have “grasped the Fairtrade concept with fervor.”

“The International Development Achievement Award 2011 is therefore as much theirs as it is a vindication of my own humble contribution. At the same time, it must be used as a clarion call to awaken those who have since consigned the Caribbean to the footnotes of international development efforts,” Rose said.

Rose won the award ahead of Mechai Viravaidya of Thailand; Sameena Nazir of Pakistan; Kelvin Mwikya of Kenya and Molly Melching of Senegal.

Nominees for the Award were evaluated based on the following criteria: The extent to which their activities and achievements have had a demonstrable and positive impact on poverty alleviation – either directly or indirectly; the sustainability of their achievements in terms of longevity, legacy and impact; the extent to which the nominee’s activities and achievements have changed social situations, public attitudes, structures or policies that may be behind the poverty, exclusion or disempowerment of the people affected; the ways in which the nominee has demonstrated inspirational leadership.

In his response to the news of the award, Rose said, “To have been considered for nomination for this award, much more becoming a finalist, could not have been further from my thoughts five or six months ago. What an honour for a simple man from a small-island chain with a population more than 100 times smaller than that of the London metropolis. To go on to win such a prestigious award is nothing short of miraculous.”

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