Sheena Williams – A dedicated US Peace  Corps volunteer
September 21, 2010
Sheena Williams – A dedicated US Peace Corps volunteer

Sheena Williams is grateful to have found a kindred spirit which has made her work in St. Vincent all the more interesting.{{more}} Williams, a Peace Corps volunteer, and Vincentian Amoy Woodley, spoke to SEARCHLIGHT recently about Williams’ work as a volunteer in the community of Biabou.

“She’s very dedicated,” said Woodley smiling, explaining that Williams had established a school library at the Biabou Methodist Primary School practically on her own.

“She got it up and working all on her own,” said Woodley.

Williams explained that the establishment of the library was just one of the activities she was involved in during her first year in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Williams arrived in St. Vincent in August 2009. Upon completing college education, Williams volunteered with several other organizations for at risk youth before making the decision to come to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

She chose the Peace Corps as her next venture, to grab the opportunity to work in a foreign location while continuing in a field that she is passionate about.

“I had always been interested in volunteering; it has always been a passion of mine. The Peace Corps was a good opportunity to do that (volunteering).” Williams said.

Her initial assignment was in youth development and literacy. On arriving at the Biabou Methodist School in October 2009, Williams set about her work, establishing a library at the school. She explained that she did a course at the Kingstown Public Library to familiarize herself with the operations of a library. She also worked along with a Youth Empowerment Service (YES) worker in setting up the library.

“Also we have been sent several collections of books from persons’ personal collections overseas, so we just had to do the sorting and get the shelves together and figure out how we were going to do our system…but we’re still in the process of getting it together. We are actually looking forward to the furniture from the public library still,” said Williams, as she spoke of the library’s progress.

She has also created a student of the month award through the library project, a spelling bee competition and an essay competition where the children describe how beneficial the library is to them. In the community, Williams has also been involved in the 4H club, setting up camps for the local Biabou Education and Sports Club, as well as teaching computer classes at the Biabou Resource Center.

Williams described her experience here as “good” even though she is still coping with the heat of the island. Although she has several challenges dealing with the assumptions of others or the lack of cooperation of some community members, she said that the day to day interactions with Vincentians has been one of the highlights of her time here.

Her motivating force, she explained, is knowing the difference she can make in a child’s life. “It’s just the joy in knowing that I did something that could potentially have a really good impact on a child’s life,” Williams said.

She also values the friendship of Woodley which made working in St. Vincent a bit more fun. She related that often times she would go over her ideas with Woodley to get her approval or advice.

Williams plans to leave in October 2011, but until then she hopes to continue with the development of the library at the school and also hopes to develop more after school programmes in the community. She also has plans to develop an HIV/AIDS awareness programme soon.