BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, December 8, 2022 (MMS-SKN) — Among the seven countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region where the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) launched the Women Empowerment Project, St. Kitts and Nevis has been very successful and it is hoped that the success could be replicated in the other countries and also extended to countries that are not allies of Taiwan.
“It has been over a year since the Women Empowerment Project was launched in St. Kitts and Nevis in September 2021, among seven other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the results are fruitful,” said Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Michael Chau-Horng Lin. “The Project provided seven vocational skills training courses, trained over 200 women, and 60 of them were awarded start-up grants in St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Ambassador Lin made the remarks on Wednesday evening, December 7, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, where he hosted a reception for the ‘Towards a New Frontier’ Forum which opens at the same venue on Thursday, December 8. The Forum will be held under the theme ‘Promoting Sustainable Development in the Eastern Caribbean through Women’s Economic Empowerment.’
According to His Excellency Lin, the project also provided entrepreneurial development counselling to 120 micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to optimise operational performance and increase their income, noting that those are the efforts of Taiwan to help the women who were heavily impacted by the pandemic to better their lives in the post-pandemic era.
While thanking the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis for the support it has given to the project, he praised and recognised the tireless hard work of the Technical Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Saint Kitts and Nevis that is funded by the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF). Present was the Technical Mission leader Mr Roy Yuan Hung Lo, and the Project Coordinator, Ms Claudia Walwyn, among other staff members.
“Drawing on the successful experience here in St. Kitts and Nevis, we hope that by hosting the Forum tomorrow, we could provide an arena for idea-exchanging and experience-sharing,” said Ambassador Lin.
He added: “Caribbean countries share some common concerns and challenges, and we believe that our practice here could serve as an example as to how we move forward with advancing women empowerment not only in our ally countries but in the whole region, as a joint effort to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
The colourful reception was chaired by Mr Mario Phillip, Gender Officer in the Nevis Island Administration, and present were Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Dr Geoffrey Hanley, and Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs et al, Rt. Hon Dr Denzil Douglas, both of who gave remarks.
Others present were Minister of Tourism et al, the Hon Marsha Henderson, Minister of Public Infrastructure et al, the Hon Konris Maynard, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, the Hon Garth Wilkin, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Action, the Hon Dr Joyelle Clarke, and Junior Minister for Social Services et al, Senator the Hon Isalean Phillip.
Also present at the function were the Minister of Commerce, Manufacturing, Business Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs in the Government of St. Lucia, the Hon Emma Hippolyte, and representatives from the US Embassy in Barbados, and the USAID.
Permanent Secretaries present included Ms Sharon Rattan (Cooperatives), Ms Delrine Taylor (Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship), Ms Azila Clarke (Social Development), Ms Tiwana Wharton (Tourism), and Mr Miguel Flemming (Agriculture). Others present included Ambassador Her Excellency Rosalyn Hazelle, Ambassador His Excellency Leon Natta-Nelson, and Ambassador His Excellency Kenny Douglas.
The event was sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and organised by the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Nevis Island Administration, and Taiwan ICDF. Co-organisers of the event were the Advanced Vocational Educational Centre (AVEC), Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) St. Kitts, Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) Nevis Island Administration, and the Eastern Caribbean Partial Credit Guarantee Corporation (PCGC).
“For the Forum, we have invited experts and officials specialising in regional issues in the Caribbean and put together an extensive agenda,” said Ambassador Lin, who in closing said: “But I will leave the long lectures to the speakers and panellists tomorrow.”
Two beneficiaries of the Women Employment, Entrepreneurship and Financial Inclusion Project, Ms Michema Duggins, owner of Vivante Media, and Mrs Violet Clarke, Co-owner and Manager of Llewellyn’s Manufacturing Company, were invited to give testimonies. Both of them thanked the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) and the Taiwan Technical Mission in St. Kitts and Nevis for the financial and technical support they have received to move the businesses forward and into successful ventures.