Fifteen representatives from civil society organization sand three journalists have lauded a capacity building programme which ran in St. Vincent and the Grenadines from February 16 – 18, 2015. Among primary objectives of the training was knowledge building on CARICOM as an institution; on the CARICOM Single Market (CSM) and the arrangements and regimes which form the pillars of democracy within the space, and what they mean for the CARICOM national.The initiative was mounted by the CARICOM Secretariat in partnership with the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with funding from the Canadian Government.
The intensive three-day programme launched with a plenary at the Grenadine House led by the CARICOM Secretariat Deputy Programme Manager – Free Movement Ms. Olivia Smith. Two foundational sessions – AccessCSME and Game Changers provided insights on the milestones of the CSME and significant Community decisions, judgments and their implications, the most recent being the Shanique Myrie versus Barbados judgment. Day two focused on building the capacity and confidence of frontline civil society gatekeepers to tell and mediate the CSME story at the national level. Participants were given a primer on the contemporary media landscape and what it implies for effective public communication, the media interview, building the relationship building, and public speaking.
Under the theme The 5W pathway to Single Market Scoops, day two employed a media clinic format, the module Navigating the way to groundbreaking news content on the CARICOM Single Market as a highlight. St. Vincent having issued 568 Skills National certificates to date, the module treated with approaches to maximize newsworthy content through people stories, tracked from the region’s hospitals and clinics, schools, manufacturing,services and entertainment sectors.
The two workshops attracted participation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit, Invest SVG, the National Youth Council, Youth Business SVG, St Vincent and the Grenadines Coalition of Service Industries (SVG CSI), National Council of Women (NCW SVG), St. Vincent Nurses Association, Windward Islands Farmers Association (WINFA), St. Vincent Human Rights Association (Marion House), Vincentian Publishing Company and We FM.
Beverly Johnson, representing NCW SVG described the learning experience as “very enlightening and was made for excellence”. D’Andre Jackson, SVG CSI Project Associate expressed the hope that the organization will be able to access similar future growth opportunities from the CARICOM Secretariat.
“The Spokesperson CSME training workshop proved to be a much needed opportunity for the CSI SVG. It enlightened me on the many aspects of CARICOM clarified the misconceptions about the processing Vincentians seeking work further afield, especially for the services sector.” She elaborated.
This activity concludes a programme of capacity building in St. Vincentwhich also focused on Teachers, and personnel within public agencies who administer processes related to the CSME regimes – Free Movement of Skills, Services, Goods, capital and the Right of Establishment. An output under the CARICOM project to increase information flows on the CSME, it is funded under Component 300 of the CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project (CTCP), which seeks to widen the scope of participation by stakeholders and beneficiaries in the process of decision-making, implementation and operation of the CARICOM Single Market.