Dominica to host CARYFED this year for the first time

For the first time ever Dominica will be the proud host of the Caribbean Youth Forum on Environment and Development (CARYFED) activities this year. CARYFED is an activity under the Project Discovery Dominica (PDDOM) initiative, and is a study abroad programme where students visit a Caribbean territory to investigate and conduct a comparative study on a theme of regional developmental significance while conducting and participating in seminars and symposia.

The activities will run from Wednesday, August 7 to Saturday, August 17, under the theme: “Sustainable Eco-Tourism in the Caribbean.”

Dominica participated in CARYFED for the very first time last year during the activities held in Trinidad and Tobago.

“That is a big thing for us because we only participated last year and now, we are hosting this year,” CARYFED Administrator Beverly Leblanc said during an exclusive interview with Dominica News Online (DNO). “Everybody that will be coming to Dominica will be coming for the first time, so that is basically a very good thing for our tourism product.”

She also pointed out that Project Discovery Dominica and CARYFED Dominica will soon be officially registered in Dominica, “so we are hoping to have a two-in-one launching.”

Furthermore, Leblanc is calling on business owners and individuals to lend a hand to provide sponsorship for a student as some students may not be able to pay for the week-long activity, which costs EC$1540.

“In terms of sponsorship, we have written requests. I must say that for CARYFED every participant has to pay a fee…,” she indicated. “We are asking for sponsors and we hope that someone can at least sponsor a young person to attend and also sponsor some of our activities for that event.”

Leblanc said Dominica is hoping to host about 60 participants across the region.

Communication Officer of PDDOM, Geyoudena Desir pointed out that one of the highlights of CARYFED is the participants’ engagement in Community service projects which are scheduled to take place from August 8 to 9, 2024.

“Project Discovery is all about community service and engaging the youth. So, within CARYFED we will have two community service opportunities, one which is the Community Service Engagement,” she said. “We will be focusing mainly on our hosting community which is Portsmouth and we will like to find projects within the school as well as in the community that need to be done and we will have our contingents from different Caribbean islands as well as Dominica, undergo these projects.”

Additionally, she said, it would be very helpful if different organizations in that community present a list of areas in Portsmouth that need special attention.

“We are hosting an event there and we do not know much about what’s going on in Portsmouth, but for example, if different organizations come up to us and say, this bus stop needs to be painted, this road needs to be revamped, that would be very helpful for us,” Desir explained.

The other community service opportunity she mentioned was a ‘Community Service Presentation’.

“Participants have to present the various service activities that they did in their home country from the period of September 1 2023 to July 31, 2024,” he noted. “The reason we cut it off in July is because CARYFED is being hosted in August and we cannot count any community service hours that were done within the CARYFED period…”

Participants will also take part in six different tours which include the north and north-east tour, the valley tour, the Kalinago tour, the southern and city tour, horseback riding and farm tour, and a hike of segment five on the Waitikubuli Trail.

They are also expected to attend five lecture sessions to focus on the theme: Sustainable Eco-Tourism in the Caribbean. The topics for the sessions include: Ecotourism and Technology, Indigenous Ecotourism and Cultural Preservations, Eco-Tourism and Climate Change, Case Studies and Sustainable Ecotourism, and Basic Research Methods. Interested Persons willing to give a lecture or discussion on any of these two topics – (Ecotourism and Technology and Basic Research Methods), are asked to please contact us via email: [email protected] – to be vetted and added to the agenda.

Desir advises students, especially those enrolled in the Dominica State College (DSC) to please join, “because most of us need 100 to 200 service hours to graduate and being part of Project Discovery Dominica, you can get that by attending [a] couple meetings, engaging in some activities, even sharing a post.”

She added, “If you join Project Discovery you don’t need to necessarily engage in any other organizations. I believe you will be able to get your 100 service hours in 2 years.”

Communications Director of PDDOM Richie Ferrol said participants will benefit in the areas of training and skills used in the working world.

“There will be training in protocol, there will be culinary arts training, there will be training in public speaking, in administration. So, a lot of real-world skills that we use as adults, the young ones will actually get through this program,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Treasurer of Project Discovery Dominica, Racquel Leblanc said there will be a CARYFED challenge carded for August 16, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. This in-forum competition will be open to all youth of CARYFED, except youth who were winners. Teams are randomly selected on the first day of the forum and the challenge is presented to each team in writing at the time of selection. According to her, the challenge is usually to create the concept for a product, company, or project, that forms a solution for an issue of regional significance.

Project Discovery Inc is a Non-profit Company registered with the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office of the Government of Barbados, under the Companies Act of Barbados. The date of registration is December 22, 2008. This company has designed a community service learning programme for students of Caribbean schools. Project Discovery exists to facilitate the total development of students at the pre-university stage of their development; to build clearly defined bridges linking academic development to community service and to make students more globally aware, culturally literate, civically engaged, and responsive to the needs of others.

There are five main countries registered with Project Discovery Dominica, so participation is expected from five countries this year. Namely; Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Grenada, and the host country for this year, Dominica.

Interested persons can pre-register. The link is available on Project Discovery Dominica’s official Facebook Page, telephone number (767) 615-0200, or by sending an email to [email protected]


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