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|David Clay at the new Tunubuku Library in Carib Territory.|
Assistant Professor David Clay, of the Computer Science Department at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, traveled to Dominica from July 16 to 28 to conduct a series of instructional workshops on web site design, maintenance and computer repair for WAIKADA, the Carib Tribe's cultural organization, and the Carib computer club. He also met with tribal leaders and assisted local Peace Corps volunteers.
While in the Carib Territory, Clay also set up and repaired equipment for a computer lab at Tunubuku Library, the new community resource center in Sineku hamlet, consulted with Carib library staff, repaired the only working computer in the Carib schools, and applied for donated internet use for the tribe's schools and non?profits. Carib Chief Garnette Joseph hosted the workshops.
"The workshop for the computer club was important because the students were able to learn about other indigenous people and see what their web sites focused on," Clay said. "If you do a search for Carib culture, there are very few sites. The new web site will be an important addition to the indigenous web presence."
Clay conducted an additional mission the following week in Roseau, the capitol of Dominica, to share his expertise during follow?up instructional seminars in the development, design and management of another web site. Geralda Richards and Julius Green, of the Special Projects Assistance Team (SPAT), sponsored the workshops on further development of SPAT's web site.
"Four people were trained, and staff is now able to update the website on a regular basis. We are also to focus on how we can offer consultancies and augment our income," Green said.
"SPAT staff is now ready to take an active role in building and maintaining a more informative web site in hopes of attracting more donor organizations," Clay added. "The SPAT workshop is important because the donor NGO money is becoming scarcer, and by being able to communicate the goals and accomplishments of SPAT via an effective web site, they will increase the chances of getting the all-important external funding that SPAT survives on."
Clay also recommended that SPAT consider obtaining a wireless network and that Carib leaders explore grant opportunities.
|Workshop participant creates adorable doll.|
Under the framework of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) agreement with the State of Florida, Collin Bully, with the Export Development and Agricultural Diversification Unit (EDADU) based in Dominica, requested FAVA/CA's assistance in finding an expert doll maker for the women's group "Women on the Move" in Montserrat.
The making of cloth dolls for sale to tourists and overseas residents has become a tradition in the Caribbean craft industry. The women in Montserrat were experiencing problems with the design of the facial features of the doll, which has harmed the quality of the finished product.
Volunteer Elizabeth Wandrei of Panama City, Florida, traveled to Montserrat from April 28 to May 6 and worked with 18 members of the group. Wandrei is owner of "Dolls by Elizabeth" and has more than 30 years experience making dolls and puppets.
"I really felt at home with them," Wandrei said. "They were all so nice. They all finished their dolls and were so excited about them."
Wandrei reported that the workshop was visited by the chief surgeon and other heads of the country, as well as by radio station personnel. At the end of the workshop, the participants were discussing the idea of starting a co-op to make the dolls to sell.
"This will facilitate the start of a new industry in Montserrat," said Angela Greenaway of "Women on the Move."
"I think that's a great idea, and I encouraged them to do so," Wandrei concluded.
In June, FAVA/CA teamed with the U.S. Embassy Panama and Panamanian financial watch dogs to deliver anti-money laundering training in two cities. Veteran Corps consultant and Area Financial Manager for the Division of Banking in the Florida Department of Banking and Finance, Antonio Fernandez of Miami, conducted the training for more than 400 participants.
The first event was held June 23 and 24 in the city of Santiago, and hosted by the director of the Unidad de Analysis Financiera (Financial Analysis Unit). The sessions were aimed at cooperatives and non-bank financial entities in the provinces of Herrera, Los Santos, Veraguas, Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro.
The second seminar took place June 26 to 28 in Panama City and was hosted by the Banking Superintendency of Panama. These sessions were aimed at supervisors and compliance officers from banking and non-banking financial institutions. This included savings and loans, credit unions, casinos, exchange houses, institutions selling travelers checks and the lotteries from the Panama City/Colon Area.
In both cities, Fernandez covered money laundering related topics such as identifying suspicious transactions, training for front line staff, and evaluating risk factors relating to individual depositors. The U.S. Embassy Panama, Narcotics Affairs Section, provided support for this project.
"Tony Fernandez is the most outstanding trainer with whom I have ever worked. He is well organized, knowledgeable and flexible. He is also extremely pleasant and diplomatic," said Laura Livingston, Director of the Narcotics Affairs Section, of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the U.S. Embassy in Panama.
|Joseph Jean Beaudouin|
Professor Joseph Jean Beaudouin, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, visited Grenada to conduct training May 13 to 20. Dr. Beaudouin worked with Dr. Bowen Louison, chief veterinarian, Ministry of Agriculture, and his staff to review the swine production system, sheep and goat production plans, and plans for artificial insemination in cattle, sheep, goats and swine.
The consultant visited several farms and met with the Secretary of Agriculture, agriculture officers, veterinarians, the Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Carriacou, and a number of livestock unit workers. He also helped develop a plan for integrated farming systems, to include aqua?culture, and reviewed the waste utilization and disposal systems.
"When I arrived, Grenada was suffering the worst drought ever," Beaudouin reported. "The main concern was to store water for the animals. I have contacted the University of Florida for a list of drought-resistant tropical grasses that can be successfully grown in Grenada."
Beaudouin recommended planting more pastures for cattle, goats and sheep to lower the cost of animal production, more planting of protein trees and a wider use of sugar cane tops in animal feeding.
Beryl Isaac, permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries in Grenada, requested the assistance to review plans for the new livestock development and genetic center and the role it is expected to play in the overall development of the livestock sector.
|Razia Pullen and Carol Parker|
Program Specialists for Instructional Technology Carol Parker and Razia Pullen, of the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS) of Pensacola and Fort Lauderdale, respectively, consulted with five of their counterparts from May 17 to 22 in San Jose, Costa Rica.
The Costa Rica Department of Special Education had prepared a national plan to create 22 regional resource centers for special education training. Because FDLRS has a statewide network that parallels the ideas evolving in Costa Rica, they offered to provide consultant assistance.
"This was an excellent opportunity for exchange of information. We were able to provide suggestions on the set up of their new resource center. Their approach is similar to that of the FDLRS centers in Florida and we were able to validate their efforts," Pullen reported.
In addition to helping analyze and assess the plan for implementation of the centers, Pullen and Parker studied how to best coordinate and interact with the National Special Education Resource Center that is now under development. The pair of consultants also visited some of the schools that will be served by the new system.
Gerardo Monge, director, and his colleague Maribel Masis, of the Department of Special Education, hosted the visit, and FAVA/CA partner Yvette Marrin, president of the National Cristina Foundation, helped to organize the consultation.
FAVA/CA's first ever project in Venezuela took place when Veteran FAVA/CA volunteer Gabriel Parra, executive director of New Directions Employment and Training Service in Miami, led a workshop from May 14 to 18 in Venezuela on developing and implementing a fundraising plan.
The Venezuelan American Chamber of Commerce has created Alianza Social (Social Alliance), a program to promote social investment and philanthropy by member corporations working in Venezuela. Executive Director Margarita Mendez de Montero works with executives to educate them in social responsibility. As the next step, Mendez identified the need for strengthening the skills of nonprofit leaders, particularly in fundraising.
"A lot of their government funding has been diminished, and they needed help in developing fund-raising programs, especially for programs dealing with children and young adults because of the rise in unemployment," Parra said.
Parra worked with 15 individuals from a variety of non?profits in the city of Valencia on developing and implementing a fundraising plan. Parra also took time to consult with each group individually.
During the three-day conference in Valencia, the agency staff members were shown how to create fast, innovative fundraisers, how to initiate a search on the internet with regard to foundations in the U.S. and Europe, and all the steps necessary to write grants and create budgets for international grants. On the third day, Parra conducted a review of different projects for the agencies.
"I learned a lot," Parra said. "And I also developed new friendships with the heads of the various non-profit agencies. I'm still assisting them by sending out foundation information, reviewing their grants and passing on ideas to them whenever I can."
The University of South Florida's Center for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CDMHA) partnered with FAVA/CA to conduct disaster management training for the St. Lucia National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) June 22-29. Of specific concern was the aging population of St. Lucia.
Before a disaster strikes, NEMO must assure a state of readiness for the island that takes all sectors of society into consideration. Dawn French, acting director of NEMO, requested assistance in several areas of disaster management.
Robert Tabler, Jr. and Dr. Betty Gulitz, both with the USF College of Public Health and CDMHA, conducted a two-day workshop in disaster planning for the aging society in June. Much of the workshop focused on opening up special needs shelters, including transportation, staffing, medical supplies, and so forth.
"It was a great experience. They are wonderful people. We hope to conduct an assessment for further training," Tabler concluded.
Another area of training was in Exercise Design/Simulation. In order to work effectively toward disaster readiness, assistance was needed to design disaster simulations to better prepare local response in the face of a real disaster. George Buck, Jr., with CDMHA and the USF College of Public Health, conducted the two-day training in early July. Buck trained NEMO's staff in the skills needed to design a realistic exercise for the testing of plans, equipment, and personnel.
In addition to the training conducted by USF faculty, David Crisp, chief of the Information and Planning Section, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Tallahassee, conducted damage assessment and mass casualty and incident command systems training June 17 to 24. NEMO's staff also received training in the readiness to respond to a mass casualty event and to augment their skills in incident command.
Crisp said the training he conducted provided two benefits for St. Lucia disaster management professionals. "The general discussion gave the local disaster management officials a better understanding of how the national plan works," he said. "And now there is a trained cadre of individuals on St. Lucia who have the skills to develop an incident action plan, dealing with the first 12 to 24 hours of a disaster."
FAVA/CA consultants recently provided training in the areas of alternative tourism, water systems and ice manufacturing in three separate aspects of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Regional Initiatives Program in Haiti.
Bed & Breakfasts in Jacmel. Veteran volunteer Emmanuel Millien of Miami traveled to Jacmel, Haiti, from April 8 to April 13 at the request of the Association des Microentreprises du Sud-est (AMETS), an association of bed and breakfast providers in Jacmel. He gave a seminar on hospitality and tourism principles, suggested ideas on improving customer satisfaction and helped to create and modify new application forms in English.
In addition to the seminar, Millien visited several hotels and restaurants and also met with Jacmel's mayor, the director of tourism and members of Civil Protection of Jacmel.
"During my visit to the family rooms, I analyzed every aspect of sanitation, security, safety, maintenance and comfort," Millien said. In addition to making suggestions for replacement of electrical systems and the addition of caution signs and security systems, Millien helped draft a letter of request for a fire truck to Dade county mayor Alex Penellas.
Water for Cap-Haitien.In another project, John Stamm, USAID Project Coordinator in Cap-Haitien, requested assistance in local water system planning and management. The Comite d' Approvisionnement de l'Eau Potable (CAEP) has been experiencing a reduction in their normal water capacity due to recent drought. Therefore, they cannot provide sufficient water to their communities.
In late April, volunteer consultant Dan Johnson, a retired engineer from Kissimmee, conducted an assessment of damaged pipes and drained water supplies. He then trained six of the technical staff in operation, management, and maintenance of the water system.
Johnson met with CAEP Committee members and climbed a mountain to inspect the springs and measure spring flows. He also inspected the water district and its fountains and investigated a possible new source of water. In addition, he observed the water release from the reservoir, evaluated results and made recommendations for improvement to their system.
Business Plan for Ice Factory in Jacmel.In June, Clarence Good, a business man from Millsboro, Delaware, traveled to Jacmel to conduct training at the request of Amil Roland Zenny, the owner/operator of the Zipop Popsicle and Ice Factory. Good offered technical assistance for expanding the business in order to respond to the high demand for ice products, such as bagged ice cubes and bottled water. He also provided assistance in preparing a business plan for potential financing.