U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State tours USAID-funded Junior Achievement Program
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (DAS) Liliana Ayalde, Ambassador Larry L. Palmer and the USAID Mission Director Dan Smolka visited the Gordon Walters Primary School on Thursday June 27, 2013 where visited with the 25 students who are participants under the USAID funded Junior Achievement Program (JA Program).
The visiting team was met by Principal Tyrone Marshall and Chief of Party for the Junior Achievement Program Marsha-Ann Clarke. Ms. Clarke described the how the “Garden Project” was established two years ago in partnership with the 4H movement and with support from the government of Barbados’ Youth Development Program as well as from the Ministry of Agriculture. These students received business development skills under the JA Program.
There was a display of work done by the students as well as a tour of student initiatives including a greenhouse having an organic garden, a hydroponic system as well as a renewable energy system to provide power using the sunlight. DAS Ayalde commended the students for their work and urged them to make use of their training which would serve them well as they grew older and as they decided on career paths.
The Garden Project is heralded as a successful, sustainable model since students continue to earn over US$150/annually by packaging, marketing and selling their agricultural produce at the annual national agricultural festival called “Agrofest.” The school also won first prize in the school kitchen garden competition this year. The JA Program is currently being implemented in 20 schools across the island and is funded by a USAID grant of $2.4 million under a Cooperative Agreement spanning a three-year period that ends April 2015.