UNESCO Commission Announces Approved Participation Programmes for 2014

natcom meeting 6NATCOM (SKN) – Basseterre: August 12, 2014: Three projects submitted to UNESCO for consideration under its Participation Programmes were approved for the 2014- 2016 period.

Secretary General of the National Commission For UNESCO Antonio Maynard reported that the projects: “Empowering Single Fathers through Educational Programmes; Youth for Human Rights Awareness; as well as Educating the Population of St. Kitts and Nevis on Afro-Caribbean Ancestry and Cultural were all successful and should start later this year.

Referring specifically to the programme for single fathers, Mr. Maynard revealed that UNESCO is very enthused about it. “We really did not realize that we had so many single fathers in St. Kitts,” stated Mr. Maynard referring to unmarried fathers who are taking care of their children on a daily basis.

The Programme hopes to provide training for the fathers in order to build their capacity to care for their children and provide basic educational support for them.

Members of the National Commission for UNESCO, who attended an extra-ordinary meeting last week, were also updated on the Man and the Biosphere Project, one of the National Commission’s Flagship Programmes.

He said the MAB Committee is about to launch a massive promotional campaign which includes: organizing the creation of a website; erecting billboards; producing radio and television infomercials and a television documentary as well as conducting field trips to the site to raise awareness about the benefits of the St Mary’s Biosphere Reserve (SMBR).

Coordinator of the SMBR Project Telca Wallace revealed further that the project is now focusing on full community and stakeholder “buy-in”. She explained that while the community seems very much in favour of the MAB project, the coordination team has to begin encouraging the community to consider their short, medium and long term goals.

Ms. Wallace also stated that the coordination team is going to evolve as they become more aware of the different skill sets necessary to make it an effectively functioning team.

The Ministry of Tourism representative Dianille Taylor said her ministry is quite excited about the Man and the Biosphere Project as it complements the Ministry’s thrust which involves focusing on livelihoods, environment and cultural heritage. Ms. Taylor said the Ministry would be willing to work along with the MAB Project by embracing relevant individuals in a workforce development project soon to be undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism. The project hopes to give participants the skills to balance natural resources around with socio-cultural issues. She revealed further that Sustainable Travel International had contacted the Ministry for information about the St. Mary’s Biosphere.

Finally at the NATCOM meeting, member of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Committee Victoria Borg O’flaherty disclosed plans to launch a Local Memory of the World Coordination Committee. Ms. O’flaherty said that becoming successful on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Listing requires that the proper foundation be put in place including a local committee to decide on qualifying submissions.

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