IN THE PRESS
As part of the Island Innovation series, today I interview Keithlin Caroo, the founder of Saint Lucian non-profit Helen's Daughters. This NGO has a special focus on rural women’s economic development through improved market access, adaptive agricultural techniques, and capacity-building. Helen’s Daughters was formed in 2016 in a winning proposal for UN Women’s Empower Women Champions for Change Program.
The Sustainable Change Program of local non-profit, Helen’s Daughters, has been selected out of hundreds of proposals as an experimental case study by the University of British Columbia (UBC) for one of its major courses in Humanitarian Engineering, which kicked off in the beginning of February and will last for twelve weeks
https://stluciastar.com/climate-resilience-fact-or-fiction/What does climate resiliency mean- and how does it affect the most vulnerable in society? We have seen time and time again, that storms have gravely affected the most under-developed areas, and in St. Lucia’s case, most of these areas lie in the south of the island. It makes me wonder what plans have been presented to build resiliency in these areas and if our people understand what it means to be climate-resilient. Are they aware of the reasons behind the changes in climate, the cause and frequency of these mega-storms and the methods to combat them?
One of the greatest hurdles of agricultural advocacy is convincing people to see the importance of farmers. It’s not as thrilling as the stories of helping refugees crossing the Mediterranean for a better life or stopping female genital mutilation in sub-Saharan Africa but in many ways, it is just as important because it impacts us on a daily basis. To some, farming may not even be considered a profession, and to many it may just be a trade passed down from generation to generation for survival. Today, most farmers discourage their own children from following suit because it has become less and less economically rewarding.
Roundup was an essential part of our farmers practices. At the height of the agricultural industry, thousands of farmers were exposed to this chemical on a regular basis and oftentimes without the appropriate protective gear. It begs me to wonder how many farmers’ health was impacted by this chemical or how many lives have been lost as a result of the constant use of these harsh chemicals.
phrase “men are farmers” from some of the most unlikely places, even the NGOs that are supposed to support gender equality do not consider women to be involved in agriculture.
The Sustainable Change Program of local non-profit, Helen’s Daughters, has been selected out of hundreds of proposals as an experimental case study by the University of British Columbia (UBC) for one of its major courses in Humanitarian Engineering, which kicked off in the beginning of February and will last for twelve weeks.
the market represents so much more- I view it as the meeting place of the largest number of agro-entrepreneurs on island. And for many including myself, it was the place of business for many of our relatives.
Banana farming brought in so much money that it was equated to trading gold hence the name ‘Green Gold’- to be precise it provided employment for about 10,000 St. Lucian farmers and at one point earned up to $87.6M for our local economy. This industry transformed rural, low income families into thriving middle-income households and played a huge role in the development of political parties, trade unions and our eventual independence.
In countries, such as St. Lucia, where tourism is the main driving agent of the economy, governments, civil society and NGOs are now turning to ways to promote their countries as a destination of choice while trying to maintain an environment for sustainable development. However, this is not always the case, particularly in the agricultural context where the challenges of food-sourcing from local farmers is considerable but not at all impossible.