DSC signs a sub-project agreement with WUSC Caribbean to launch the Mentorship/ National Volunteer Program

by: - June 21, 2022
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President of the Dominica State College, Dr. Donald Peters, and Country Coordinator for WUSC Dominica Inc., Dr. Nadia Pacquette- Anselm signing the MOU. Mr. Leslie Rawle, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Arts and Technology, and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Blue & Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security, Dr. Kira Paul

This morning, the Dominica State College and the WUSC Caribbean (Dominica) Inc., signed a sub-project agreement to launch the Mentorship/ National Volunteer Program. Under the Sustainable Agriculture in the Caribbean (SAC) project which funded by Global Affairs Canada, are working in partnership with the Ministry of the Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security.

As part of the six-week Mentorship/ National Volunteer Program, which commences on the 27th of June, 2022, twenty-three (23), DSC Agriculture students will be assigned to a placement organization/ group, which includes producer organizations and agricultural-related organizations. The participants will also benefit from scheduled interactive sessions, study tours and field trips where they will be exposed to sustainable agricultural practices, traditional farmers knowledge as well as new and emerging technologies used in agricultural production. Country Coordinator of WUSC Dominica Inc., Dr. Nadia Pacquette- Anselm explained the aim of the program.

“The aim of this mentorship program is primarily to facilitate the introduction of increased production, in terms of the students being able to gain real time, practical and hands-on experience from the farmers who are toiling the soil, the farmers who are implementing resilience within their agricultural practices. I think its a critical time for us, because the students are actually going to be there working alongside different types of farmers and other placement organizations, gaining real time experience in terms of agricultural production.”

This program is the second of its kind implemented by WUSC Dominica Inc. in collaboration with its partners. Placement organizations include the Ministry of Agriculture, the Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA), North East Women’s Farmers Group, Morne Prosper Women Farmers in Action, Central Universal Women Farmers’ Cooperative and the Bellevue Farmers Group. Dr. Pacquette- Anselm expressed that this program facilitates a “win-win” situation for both the students and placement organizations.

“The program is implemented by WUSC Caribbean, and its in collaboration with our key partners. The mentorship program facilitates what we refer to as a “win-win” situation for both students and placement organizations. We are trusting that this time around, that based on lessons learnt from last time, that we will do this bigger and better. We have listened closely to the students of last year and the placement organizations as well, to ensure that the knowledge shared will increase capacity, not only of the students, but also the partner organizations.”

The WUSC Caribbean Dominica program team and the Ministry of Agriculture representative will conduct site visits to monitor and evaluate the program to ensure it meets it objectives. Students will be required to visit the fields three times a week for no more than 5 hours, will work one day from home to complete reports and administrative tasks, and they will be paid a stipend for meals and transportation.

Meanwhile, the President of the Dominica State College, Dr. Donald Peters stated that he was pleased with this initiative and stated the importance of having work experience as a college graduate.

“I am so pleased with this initiative being taken by WUSC Caribbean, because I believe it is so critical in the Caribbean, that we begin to look at how we are going to prepare for nation building. We in the Caribbean, we believe historically, that all we have to do is get a ton of the degrees and we present ourselves to employers for jobs and they have to just give us the job because we have degrees. At the college, we do the same thing, we give them degrees and tell them go out to work. But that doesn’t always happen, in the workplace today, career technical education particularly, all throughout the globe requires people to have some form of experience when they come to the workforce.”