Participant of US-sponsored leadership program to promote volunteerism

Deputy Chief of Mission, Joaquin Monserrate (right) and Loftus Durand at the U.S. Embassy in Barbados

Participant in the recently-held International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Loftus Durand, has described the program as a successful one and plans to implement what he learnt in terms of promoting the idea of volunteerism in Dominica.

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. The program brings together emerging leaders to engage with U.S. subject-matter experts and to share best practices with their global contemporaries.

The IVLP began in Washington DC and ran from January 13 to 31, 2020. It addressed several areas including the impact of volunteerism in U.S. communities and how volunteers are inspired to foster a culture of service, civic involvement, and responsibility.

The 23-member group received an overview of the ecosystem for volunteerism in the United States. They also explored the federal government’s role in promoting volunteerism and civic action.

“The training program was a successful one for me in that I learned a lot and for sure, I will be trying my best to implement some of what I learnt in terms of pushing the idea of volunteerism, each one help one, or we helping each in the country,” he told Dominica News Online (DNO) in an interview on Monday. “Getting persons to volunteer for a worthy cause, just to make Dominica a better place.”

Durand, who is the former President of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) said also, that it was a very good experience for all the participants to be engaged in that kind of hands-on experience.

“We did a lot of work with volunteers and voluntary organizations. They told us how they got started, their challenges, their weaknesses, the things they go through on a day-to-day basis,” he stated.

The second part of the program, Durand explained, was the civic action part which asserted that every citizen of every country is important and whatever citizens do in terms of civic activity, should be welcomed by the country.

“There are certain persons in Dominica, for example, that don’t know their rights as it pertains to their civic actions, so that and more I learnt over there in terms of trying to get persons, especially the younger persons in Dominica, to exercise some of their rights,” Durand indicated. “That for sure; once that is done, they will know that they will reap the benefits…,”

He further revealed that participants were encouraged to start an Alumni Association when they return to their country.

He said there are a number of Dominicans who have already been part of the program, so it’s up to him to get the information, “through the US Embassy to dialogue with them”.

Other participants who were recognized as Caribbean emerging leaders in civil society and for their work in the field of volunteerism were Ekiema Yarde of St Lucia, and P’Della’P Stanley of St. Kitts and Nevis.

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7 Comments

  1. Just asking
    February 11, 2020

    Isn’t the next election 5yrs away? Wo you started a bit early. Boring.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6
  2. UNITED STATES of America
    February 11, 2020

    Is either Loftus Durand doesn’t want to reveal the whole truth or the US did not spell it out to him. But as a person very familiar with the thinking of the US, I am convinced that the US picked up Loftus Durand, so that they could give him the necessary training to become the interim Prime Minister, when the US gives Skerrit a trip to the US, so that he could help them with the allegations Al Jazeera made just before the last election how Diezani Madueke bought a mansion in NY. Here is a clue of the allegation in the quote below:
    “The Dominican prime minister reportedly gave Madueke the diplomatic passport in exchange for a secret deal which is linked to the sale of an apartment in New York where Skerrit’s family stayed in New York, United States.The New York building was reportedly bought by a shell company for $2.2 million with no mortgage. While property records reported showed that Skerrit’s wife resided in the apartment.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10
    • LifeandDeath
      February 11, 2020

      When are Caribbean citizens going to stop waiting for a savior from outside? Nobody is coming to “help” us.. If we want change, we must do it ourselves.

      Venezuelans have left their country in droves, hunger, misery..Venezuela has oil as a major enticement for the USA, and where is Maduro?..Still sitting in his chair.

      What Skerrit that and a Population of 50,000 people..more people commute the Long Island-New York ferry daily.

      Sad News..No one is coming.

    • Just asking
      February 11, 2020

      @U.S of A. Isn’t the next election 5yrs away? Wo you started a bit early. Very boring.

      • Lin clown
        February 11, 2020

        UNITED STATES,ALLEGATION,REPORTEDLY,we want facts.You and your bunch of JACK A,said Skerrit could not VISIT the USA.TRAITOR.Your party(UWP)should make Durand a senator,……

      • UNITED STATES of America
        February 11, 2020

        @ just asking what did I say about politics in my comment? I made reference to allegations Al Jazeera made involving our Prime Minister re the sale of a Diplomatic passport to Diezani Madueke and in return Diezani bought him a $2.2 million dollar building in NY. Can you confirm or deny this allegation? In reference to this allegation I said I know the US has completed their investigation and soon they will be bringing up PM Skerrit to help them with the investigation since his wife Melissa resided in that house shortly after the house was purchased and then later she was joined by her husband Roosevelt Skerrit. You see any politics there nou? I suggest you Google Diezani Madueke Diplomatic passport and you will see the high amount of articles about our PM you will read and the sources they coming from from

        • Barbara Saunders
          February 12, 2020

          Do a similar investigation on the MOU signed by the opposition leader in connection with campaign financing as reported by the same Al Jazeera, then I will take you seriously.

          The secret service was supposed to be picking up Mr. Skerrit years ago because he was in a picture with Lap Seng along with whom he was supposed to go to jail; He couldn’t enter the US because the authorities there had a warrant out on him etc. etc. etc.

          You mean you people have started that again?

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