The Department of Commerce, International Trade, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs has been host to a contingent of twenty (20) students and two professors from the University of Vermont (UVM) in the United States of America.
The contingent which arrived on island on January 4th is in keeping with a 14 year long mutual developmental exchange programme between the Department of Commerce and the University of Vermont. During their visit the students will carry out various developmental projects with a number of schools and project partners. Specific projects include a School Kitchen Garden, HIV-AIDS (demystifying the stigma that HIV-AIDS can be contracted through physical contact) in the form of soccer and also undertake a Consumer Cable and Internet Services Survey in collaboration with the Consumer Affairs Department.
Work towards these projects commenced from Monday January 9th and ended Thursday January 12th, 2017. The School Kitchen Garden Projects were being undertaken at the River Doree Anglican Combined School and the Lady Gordon Opportunity Center. The HIV AIDS Soccer Project was being undertaken at the Dennery Primary School. Members of the public had the opportunity to interact with UVM students carrying out a Consumer survey conducted in Rodney Bay, Castries, Vieux Fort and Soufriere areas.
Augustine Dominique of the PMA Office was extremely excited that his 3-year quest to partner with UVM had finally borne fruit. According to him, “This year’s collaboration will provide an opportunity for measuring the success of awareness and conservation activities over the last two years and also establish a framework for more in-depth research into areas like carrying capacity, economic benefits and livelihoods within the PMA”.
“What really makes this course unique is the relationship UVM has formed with the St. Lucian government and community partners. For more than a decade we have worked side by side to create meaningful experiences for our students that provide benefit to the people of Saint Lucia as well” says Kevin Stapleton UVM lecturer and project instructor.
Presentations on the projects are expected be held on Friday January 13th 2017 at 10.00 am at the Bay Gardens Resort.