February 19, 2013

Forum for sustainable development of vulnerable women today

A Think-Tank Forum to develop ideas for the sustainable development of vulnerable women will be held in St Vincent today.{{more}}

The Pinelands Creative Workshop (PCW) is partnering with the Canadian High Commission and local partner The Lazaras Foundation to examine how vulnerable female heads of households in Barbados and the OECS can mitigate the present economic conditions through taking advantage of the emerging economic sectors.

As part of the phase one or immediate strategy, the Think-Tank Forum will allow approximately 50 vulnerable women [single female heads of households and other vulnerable women (working poor, unemployed] to develop ideas for their sustainable development. A proposal supporting innovative and sustainable ideas to empower vulnerable women in St Vincent will be derived from the data collected.

A pilot project – “Building Blocks for Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Caribbean” will also be implemented here. The pilot project seeks to address the concern of economic empowerment in a three-phase approach at the sub-regional level and engages the key target group with key sector experts in a Think Tank as a Phase One Preparatory Stage of this intervention.

Those targeted will have small enterprises started within any of the sectors or any other sector of interest. The sectors which the Think Tank will direct its focus on are: Cultural Industries; Food Security; Eco-Tourism; Energy and the Environment; IT and the Services Sector.

During today’s Forum, there will be five Chat Rooms, representing each of the sectors identified above. Participants will then be allowed to decide which Chat Room they want to enter based on their interest when they register. Where possible, a representation of 10 participants per sector is preferred. Within each Chat Room, experts in the sectors identified will listen and provide suggestions or alternate strategies.
The sessions will have the added support of a rapporteur (one for each sector), who will capture the discussions of participants. Out of these sessions action-oriented information will be gathered from the participants that will be used to build on a larger proposal which will seek to address the gaps, ideas and concerns identified.

To ensure a sustained model has been developed, this initiative will build partnerships with the private and public sector, NGOs and international development agencies.

The opening ceremony for the Think Tank Session will be held at the Methodist Church Hall,, beginning at 9 a.m.

As a follow-up it is hoped that Phase Two will engage selected participants in several Incubator Training Sessions to fill skills and knowledge gaps identified in Phase One. Phase Three will seek to move selected participants to implement sustainable business ideas with support from a number of experts to ensure some measure of success.