March 10, 2006
ASDA Funds Project for Youth

The National Fair Trade Committee (NFTC), ASDA Supermarket-Britain and WIBDECO are partnering to change the face of the Liberty Lodge Boys’ Training Centre. {{more}}

On Wednesday March 8, 2006, representatives from the NFTC, ASDA and WIBDECO participated in a groundbreaking ceremony at the Liberty Lodge Boys’ Training Centre, for the construction of a green house.

The project, valued EC$34, 000, also includes the production of vegetable seedlings, improving the training centre’s small poultry farm and an educational component that will use agriculture as a vehicle to improve the students’ literacy and numeracy skills.

The delegation made the visit on the invitation of the Government in recognition of the attainment of a milestone reached in the build up of the Social Premium Fund. This fund is a component of the trade organized to facilitate development in the rural communities and has now attained a US$1 million mark.

Michael Akers, Director of the Liberty Lodge Boys’ Training Centre, said, “Liberty Lodge Boys’ Training Centre is not going to be the same after today”.

He expressed with great optimism his intention to make the project a success.

“We have to make it a success,” said Akers.

Akers said the plan is to use agriculture to facilitate rehabilitation at the institution.

Witnessing the ceremony was ASDA’s CEO and Director of Produce, Nick Burr. He said his company is interested in making a difference and if that can be done in one person’s life, it will be a success.

He promised that ASDA will continue to support St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

Miriam Roach, Director of the Ministry of Social Development, said the assistance for the project is a strategic innovation that is welcomed. She said it would help to address food security not only at the training centre but the neighbourhood as well.

Roach disclosed that five acres of land will be used to produce vegetables under the project.

“I believe the project can assist with changing the lives of the boys,” said Roach who explained that she is sure the students there will build self-esteem from the rewards that can be derived from farming.

In his remarks, Ashley Caine, Director of the Agricultural Diversification and Production Unit, said he hopes the project would establish a link between the farmers of the wider community and the training centre.

He said the challenge is to help the youths understand what is modern agriculture so when they leave the institution they can see it as a viable, alternative, life-long profession

The ASDA’s delegation at the ceremony also included Produce Team Leader, David Hunter accompanied by the UK-based WIBDECO representative, Roy Hugh.

The team arrived here on Monday afternoon. Prior to the visit at the training centre the team on Tuesday attended a brief meeting with the members of WINFA, the SVG Fair-trade Organization and the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. They then proceeded on a series of field tours for the rest of their stay here, visiting a number of the sites where several projects funded through the Social Premium Fund are being executed.