Photo Caption: Exchange Alumni from the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, (Far Left: Akila Henry, Center: Tito Chapman, Far Right: Necola Charles)
By: Tito Chapman
SKN PULSE – Exchange Alumni in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico participated in the Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar dubbed “Alumni in Action for Resilient Communities: Emergency Response and Disaster Preparedness” held in Trinidad from February 19th – 23rd and facilitated by World Learning and the U.S. Department of State in collaboration with regional U.S. embassies.
Photo Caption: Exchange Alumni from the Caribbean and Puerto Rico
Necola Charles, Akila Henry and Tito Chapman, alumni of the Young Leaders of the Americas Program represented the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
YLAI, IVLP and Fulbright Alumni from Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, Bahamas, Barbados, Tobago, Trinidad, Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Dominica Republic, Guyana, Haiti and St. Maarten discussed emergency management with emphasis on economic impact, agriculture impact, communication, technology, ecosystems, water and waste management among other topics to foster resiliency in Caribbean countries.
Photo Caption: Exchange Alumni from the OECS
Participants of the seminar were greeted at a warm opening reception hosted by the organisers, Jessica Mead and Ben Gauley (World Learning), Blakeney A. Vasquez, (Regional Cultural Coordinator, (Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs) and Carmen W. Arakelian, (Regional Alumni Coordinator, Office of Alumni Affairs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. Later in the week, they were hosted at the Charges d’ Affaires, U.S. Embassy Port of Spain, John W. McIntyre.
The seminar came at a time when parts of the Caribbean like Dominica, St. Maarten, Barbuda and to a lesser extent the rest of the region are working towards regaining stability after the impact of super hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Photo Caption: Panel discussing Crisis Communication; (Moderator – Lindsay Thompson, far left – Agostinho Pinnock; center – Hector Huyke Villeneuve; far right – Akila Henry)
Exchange Alumni participants gained knowledge through a variety of panel discussions, small group discussions, networking, and site visits.
With the watch words, Collaborate, Coordinate and Mobilize, the alumni networked and shared initiatives that would promote resilient communities in the region. Moreover, they have strategized on how to engage communities through Alumni TIES-funded small grants.”
The SKN Exchange Alumni participants have already initiated project ideas that they would like to implement and have committed to partnering and engaging with the relevant agencies in the Federation to share their experiences.