Four students from the Harvest 2030 initiative, a project funded by GEF Small Grants Programme Grenada, with participants from the St Joseph’s Convent, Grenville and the St Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School, took part in a student exchange to Barbados to share experiences related to Rainwater Harvesting (RWH).
The project targeted groups thought to have minimal exposure to practical applications of RWH within the educational system in Grenada. 35 participants (26 females and 9 males) from 2 secondary schools in the parish of St Andrew were exposed to a combination of in-class and outdoor/practical exercises in various disciplines related to RWH such as plumbing and carpentry. The initiative is implemented by the St Andrew’s Development Organisation (SADO).
The visiting students, Reanna Mason, Darcel Courtney, Kisha Scott and Donola Noel also participated in a live television interview on the Morning Barbados show on Monday 26 February. During the interview the students were presented and given an opportunity to describe the lessons learned during Harvest 2030. GEF SGP Grenada National Coordinator Simone Lewis and Project Lead Akarda Ventour, were interviewed during this segment of the show.
“These are the types of initiatives that we wish to highlight, and it was remarkable to see students from Grenada willing to visit Barbados and remind us of how serious we should treat to the issue of water harvesting and conservation. I would gladly welcome them back, and I hope that they come again,” said John Drayton, Producer of Morning Barbados Show.
After the interview, the students were invited to conduct a field assessment at the Nature Fun Ranch (NFR) in Bruce Vale, St Andrew. The NFR is an NGO which focuses on the utilisation of farming and environmental conservation as a method of rehabilitating ‘at-risk’ youth in Barbados. During the field assessment, the group toured the NFR and applied their knowledge to provide guidance and suggestions on how the establishment could better utilise RWH in its ongoing operations.
“At NFR we have always endorsed approaches aimed at empowering the youth and helping them to build that confidence which would enable them to take on various activities in the life and different parts of the world. It was a truly exciting exercise having them at the ranch, and we look forward to the receiving the recommendations,” said Corey Lane, Founder of Nature Fun Ranch.
The students were hosted at UN House in the main conference room where they made a presentation on Rainwater Harvesting. The audience consisted of students from the Barbados Youth Service, UN staff and media outlets. During the presentation, the students outlined the various uses of rainwater in residential, commercial and agricultural applications.
“I think the visit was a great initiative…it created an opportunity for young people to network from different countries. The project generally was timely and should be replicated in schools across Barbados largely due to the water issues in Barbados that will worsen. The youth should be equipped to deal with the challenges 10-15 years from now. Empowering today for tomorrow,” said Fabian Sargeant, Youth Development Officer in the Ministry of Education.
“It is remarkable to see the students, SADO and GEF SGP Grenada collectively involved in a practical exercise that can be truly considered South-South Cooperation; not another theory-driven initiative exposing the youth to concepts in a verbal manner alone, but an actual hands-on experience with the youth in Grenada being shared with the youth here in Barbados. They have set the bar higher on how sustainability ought to be embedded in projects, and I look forward to seeing Harvest 2030 speedily replicated elsewhere,” Lorenzo Harewood, UNDP Staff.