The Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) hosted two successful soap-making workshops in Dennery South aimed at building capacity among residents.
The two-day workshop was held on Wednesday and Thursday, October 25 and 26, 2023, at Chateau Heritage in Dennery Village, where a combined thirty participants learned how to make artisan soaps.
Artisan soaps are old-fashioned “lye” soap bars which have been handcrafted using a cold-pressed soap-making method.
The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Kishma Louis, founder and owner of Elegante Claire Cosmetics, who specializes in producing a wide variety of homemade soaps.
On each day, fifteen participants were divided into three groups to create their own soaps using ingredients and equipment provided.
“The training went splendidly and the participants were fully involved in the training,” said Louis. “They were able to design, formulate and create their own soaps that they can use as gifts for their friends or to sell for Christmas. I also taught them how to cost the soaps they make.”
The soap-making workshop was held in response to a request to the Taiwan Technical Mission from the community’s Youth and Sports Council.
Hon. Alfred Prospere, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Rural Development, paid a brief visit to the workshop on the first day, where he encouraged the participants to continue to apply themselves as they seek to develop themselves professionally.
“I am very happy to see that our young men and women in Dennery are demonstrating their interest in gaining a skill,” said Hon. Prospere, who is also the Parliamentary Representative for Dennery South. “Skills are lacking not only in Dennery, but on the entire island of Saint Lucia. When you do not have a skill, you have to wait until you get a job. But if you have a skill, it gives you that opportunity to open your own small business.”
Hon. Prospere also thanked the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for continuing to provide training opportunities for youth and women in Saint Lucia.
One of the workshop participants, Diana Williams, described the workshop as a learning experience for which participants are thankful.
“I think it was an amazing initiative,” Williams said. “We saw young people coming together in somewhat a scientific atmosphere. It’s something that we’re very much appreciative for. The football club we represent allows us to bring different demographics of the community together in this experience.”
Another participant, Elaine Clercent, who owns her own hair and nail salon, said she took the workshop so as to expand her entrepreneurial talents. She believes that people need to gain the knowledge they need to become empowered and employed.
“I think people should be open-minded to any opportunity that comes their way,” she stated.
At the close of the workshop, each participant received a certificate of participation and a manual on how to make soaps using the cold-pressed method.
SOURCE: Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Saint Lucia. PHOTO: Facilitator Kishma Louis (far left )demonstrating to participants how to mix ingredients in the soap-making process.