The Caribbean region made its mark during the concluded IDB XIII Civil Society Meeting held in Colombia in November 2013. Members of Civil Society voiced that this was an “extra-ordinary framework for collaboration among civil society actors” and congratulated the IDB for its continued support to this type of engagement.
The Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women from Trinidad and Tobago received an award from the IDB for its submission to the Call for Proposals for Civil Society Projects financed by the Japanese Fund. This winning proposal, entitled “Becoming a Woman” aims to empower young women and girls, aged 10-25, to manage their sexuality, social and economic well-being.
A total of 1683 proposals were received by the Japanese Fund from which 5 were successful – one from each of the following countries: Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and T&T.
Two of the Caribbean’s very prominent Civil Society Representatives, Mr. Gordon Bispham from the Caribbean
Policy Development Centre in Barbados (1st person on the left) and Ms. Rosalea Hamilton, Scotiabank Chair, Entrepreneurship and Development in Jamaica (3rd person from the left) participated on a Panel that discussed “Civil Society’s Role in the Process of Development and Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges and Opportunities”. One of the key messages conveyed was the need for CSOs to be productive and initiate activities that could generate surplus income through the leveraging of their expertise.
The meeting ended on a high note with Salsa Dancers, local musicians and costumed stilt walkers. However the crowd showed their appreciation and sang along with members from the Caribbean countries and IDB’s Vice President for Countries, Mr. Roberto Vellutini, who took the stage to sing a favourite Bob Marley tune … No Woman Nuh Cry. A good time was had by all!
In addition to participating in this meeting, the Civil Society Representatives from the Caribbean also united in preparing a Press Release to voice their despair at the ruling made by the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic on September 23, 2013 and make a public appeal to the Governments of the Caribbean, the UN, and other international organizations to intervene on behalf of the Haitian migrants.