The Grenada Education and Development Programme, GRENED, has concluded another year of service towards Grenada’s sustainable development in the form of support for the secondary and tertiary schooling of rural girls and boys, as well as their personal and leadership development.
Schooling and broader education, gender equality, and rural development all constitute core commitments of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, 2015-2030. We help to overcome the gaps between formal education and job opportunities, stark gender inequalities and the ever-widening divides between rural and urban sustainability, Grenada is particularly in need of achieving these goals, and Goal No. 4 on education in particular. Once again, since 1996, GRENED set itself on this part in 2022.
GRENED is pleased to be one of the many public and private institutions that is leading the way in youth empowerment and providing access to education.
The ultimate vision of the Grenada Education and Development Programme, GRENED, is to work with youth in rural communities, using education as a catalyst for individual and communal empowerment, leadership and transformation and a vision to provide Grenada with educational opportunities and resources to achieve economic self-determination, social equality and poverty reduction, providing students with tuition fees, transportation allowance, meals and other necessary school supplies; training young person’s to take leadership roles in their schools, community and churches and avoiding drop outs from school because of lack of finances, uniforms, food and other school supplies
GRENED strives to continuously regenerate the hope and development of youth within the rural areas of Grenada, educationally and socially.
Having been in existence for the last 26 years, GRENED’s presence has been felt in the communities, in the hosting of community cleanups, projects and leadership development training seminars. To date, throughout the tri-island state, GRENED has supported hundreds of students at the secondary level, who have gone on to become doctors, nurses, veterinarian, mechanics, teachers, coaches and more. Many of GRENED’s donors have contributed generously towards ensuring the successful implementation of activities initiated. To these donors, we say “thank you” and may you continue to support the education and development of Grenada’s youth, through your sustained monetary contributions to GRENED. You support on-going programmes providing mentorship, development of leadership skills, and financial support.
Our board has experienced changes in 2021 and 2022. The sudden passing of our chair, Cosmos Joseph is still a source of grief and sadness for all of us. Mr. Joseph was a significant advocate of meeting our student’s needs. May his many legacies continue to live on in GRENED and beyond. Our new chair is Dr.John Telesford and alum Martha Bowen is vice chair. Shayanne Date has also joined the board.
The GRENED Parents Committee has been a source of inspiration to the Board and staff of GRENED. Parents have been volunteering their time and skills to help organize and execute events. Without their constant feedback, it would have been difficult for GRENED to meaningfully assess the impact of its efforts in molding young persons into becoming academic achievers and future community leaders. A board governs the organization under bylaws.
The GRENED scholarship and support programmes continue to constitute valuable partnerships with families as they work toward having their children be in the line of professionals and leaders in Grenada. We offer GRENED as value for rural households. We are grateful for its partnership with all the GRENED bodies/communities.
This is a report on our efforts in 2022.
We have been steadily identifying alum and will report on them at the end of the year.
A board of directors has overall governing responsibility for GRENED. The board started the year with seven members and due to various events, ended with five. In April, the Chair of the Board, Cosmos Joseph, passed away very suddenly while receiving medical attention in the Caribbean. We continue to mourn his loss. Interim Chair and the Dean of the T A Marryshow Community College, Dr. John Telesford, has been appointed. In late June a Grenada national election was held. Two of our board members who participated in the election, went into Government service with the new administration. Lennox Andrews became an MP and Minister of Economic Development; Gloria Thomas-Samuel became a senator and Minister for Social Development. Congratulations again to them both!
These three departures have left five members: in addition to Dr. Telesford, serving are Ms. Francine Foster, (attorney and magistrate), Ms. Martha Bowen, (alum and School principal); Mrs. Shirley-Ann Blache (Parent and Interim Chair, Parent Committee); and Mr. Ali Carmichael, (alum and banker).
The Bylaws make provision for officers to be chosen from among the board members, and these are to be elected at the Annual General Meeting. Provision is also made for Parents Committee. The Alum Committee, which is yet to be fully substituted.
Scholarship Award 2022
The Grenada Education and Development Programme continued its mission to work with youth in rural communities, using education as a catalyst for individual and community empowerment, leadership and sustainable development
In 2022, during the midst of a post-pandemic economic and inflationary cost of living spike, GRENED assisted thirty-six (36) students with their Secondary and Tertiary level education. While support for secondary schooling started in the 1990’s, support for tertiary educational level was implemented only in 2015 as the need and ambition of students evolved. Tertiary-level students receive full tuition and part transportation allowance; whereas university receive tuition and living arrangements when needed. Secondary school students the standard package twice per year.
Each student was given a minimum of EC$1,500.00 / US$555.00 for the academic year towards the purchase of uniforms, transportation, meals, tuition towards their degree and other necessary school supplies. On rare occasions, special supplemental awards are given in exceptionally needy circumstances. University students are awarded more: $4,000.00 and $4,210.55 respectively. During 2022, approximately $59,210.00 was awarded to students.
Our students originate from St. David’s, St. Patrick’s, St. Andrew’s, St. George’s, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Testimonial: GRENED is the place where love is found, where I met new faces, developed my mind-set, learnt to speak up, engage in educational seminars, and the list can go on. My name is Marisol Joseph. My years in Grened allowed me to develop into the person I am today. Grened has taught me so many things I now use in my everyday life. My fears, my shyness. GRENED engaged in public speaking, taking up leadership roles, engaging with people, and encouraging others. These are some of the things to I learnt to do; I am much more comfortable. I became the captain of the Volleyball team at School, I am currently a floor member of the St. Andrew North East Constituency Youth Arm, these are two areas where I got to perform leadership roles, and am still doing. Reading in church, speaking to large or small crowds and engaging in small conversation with new people I have gained with all this with the help of GRENED the help of Grened.They motivated me, encouraged me, and helped me fight through my fears. I am very grateful for their role in my life’s development thus far.
Carriacou & Petit Martinique
Box No. 1: Breakdown of students awarded scholarships in 2022.
Students’ in TAMCC are pursuing associate degrees in Psychology, Physical Education, Natural Sciences, Office Administration, Electrical technology, Information Technology and Building and Technology.
The two SGU students are: Shamara Smith, candidate for Bachelors in Psychology in her first year, and Charmaine Joseph, second-year medical student.
Four students graduated in 2022 from Secondary School and three immediately began attending the TAMCC in August 2022. They are:
Jaycille Henry – Passed 8 out of 9 subjects and is pursuing an associate degree in Electrical Technology
Dellisha Francois – attained 8 out of 9 subjects and is pursing an associate degree in Information Technology
Gabrielle Rennie – attained 8 out of 10 subjects and is pursuing an associate in Building and Technology
Eldon Morris – attained 8 out of 9 subjects, and is re-taking two subjects and sitting out the year to get into the police force when he turns 18 in 2023.
One student graduated from T A Marryshow Community College and attained associate degree in Natural Science Engineering (honor student).Jalil Stephens is presently attending the Borough of Manhattan community college (BMCC) in New York pursuing a career in engineering.
Class of 2022
Testimonial:GRENED is a wonderful organization that has been providing support to me for seven years. I am Jalil Stephen and would like to say thank you to Grened, and organization that encourages and supports individuals without expecting anything in return. Over these unforgettable seven years I have made some friends and mentors I am able to look towards in time of need. I would just like to express my gratitude towards the entirety of GRENED for assistance with school, the informative sessions we had on Saturdays and also the fun activities we were engaged in, which all aided in my holistic development. Even throughout the pandemic you all continued to provide support and for that I thank you. As I pursue a career in electrical engineering, I am surely grateful for their generosity. Please continue doing your good works to uplift the students of Grenada. Thank you.
Leadership Development Seminars:
The real objective of the programme is to develop community-emerging national leaders, special sessions are held to help students hone inter-personal qualities and skills for leadership and to better understand and practice being of service by leading others .
An orientation session was held at the Deluxe Cinema in September 2022 where the Interim Chair Dr. John Telesford addressed the students. Since then, students have been meeting twice monthly for their Youth Motivation and Leadership Development Seminars. Seven (7) sessions were held bringing our total to ten (10) sessions for the year. Two sessions were held with the Executive Director on personal development and commencing the discussion on public speaking. The do’s and don’ts, speaking with confidence, and impact. A video was shown with the current Prime Minister, Honorable Dickon Mitchell and a conversation on his presentation followed.
On the 22nd October 2022, we conducted our 3rd leadership session facilitated by Ms. Vall Gordon. A total of 20 students were in attendance, who taught them how to take leadership roles in a group without hesitation, and being a role model for others. They were exposed to social skills such as public speaking and presenting ideas and plans with confidence.
Students were divided into two (2) groups and were tasked with forming a nation of their own. Each student was a minister/leader of a particular ministry/department, depending on the type of nation created. As leaders, they are responsible for identifying the various issues faced within the nation and developing sustainable solutions. These could be in various forms such as projects to resolve issues found. After discussing and developing their individual portfolio with responsibilities as leaders, both groups presented the structure of their nation and the leadership arrangement that governed the nation. Students were called upon to sit at tables similar to a post-cabinet briefing and instructed to stand when making their presentation which added formality, and professionalism and assist in vocal projection when delivering a speech or addressing the public.
Group one (1) nation is called Grenedia and has a relatively normal governing body with a Prime minister, and other ministers of education, sports, health, works as such, that will oversee their particular department and to identify the problems and find possible sustainable solutions.
Group two (2) was a bit more creative with their nation. It was called Planet Avatar, which consisted of various life forms such extra-terrestrial beings, robots and humans which is aimed at inclusivity and diversity. Each student has a responsibility as elected leaders of their nation, and are task with identifying the problems and creating possible solutions to the problems present, whether it b social, environmental or economical.
At the end of the session, the students were given permission to create a group chat for their specific nation to further continue discussions for presentation at the next session.
They stated the problems they have identified. Instructions were to find out root problems that are more complex to resolve which will involve their critical thinking and enhance their problem-solving skills. The last youth motivation and leadership development sessions, students engaged in activities that thought them how to take up leadership roles. They were exposed to social skills such as public speaking, presentation of ideas and planning. This activity was presented on December 10th 2022.
Three (3) swimming programme were held this year with Deb Eastwood and the Grenada Youth Adventurers at Telescope, St. Andrew. Over 30 persons participated in the programme. GRENED was responsible for mobilization 20 to 30 school aged children and adults to participate and we were successful.
The Grenada Youth Adventurers along with Deb Eastwood made this opportunity possible for our nation’s youth and GRENED was a part of that success
Community Projects: Telescope
GRENED led the work in the targeted community of Telescope, to conduct assessments to identify key problems and community priorities for action that could feed into the design of a pilot project focused on using community and ecosystem-based approaches for building community resilience. This included ecosystem restoration activities conducted in collaboration with community stakeholders. From December 13, 2021-July 21, 2022, the Grenada Education and Development Programme (GRENED) implemented the project ‘Enhancing coastal community resilience through education and vegetation restoration in Telescope, Grenada’. The project was supported by a small grant and coaching from CANARI under the Inter-American Foundation-funded project ‘CSOs for Disaster Resilience’ (2019-2022).
The focus was on enhancing coastal community resilience through the reforestation of vulnerable areas along the Telescope/Grenville coastline to help reduce exposure to and impacts from coastal erosion. The main activity involved planting of suitable trees in select areas along the Telescope/Grenville coastline to help buffer the effects of coastal erosion and provide shade for residents and recreational or other users of these areas. This was complemented by community awareness and training sessions to enhance local people’s knowledge on climate change related-coastal hazards and disaster risk reduction strategies and to support the planting activities.
The project achieved the following:
Replanting drives completed – approximately 275 meters of coastline in the Small Bay, Telescope area were planted with seventy trees including coconut, almond, sea maho and sea grapes. In addition, twenty trees were planted near the Grenville bus terminus, covering approximately 100m of the coastal area, including coconut trees on the shoreline and a few ornamental trees in a nearby green space being developed at the bus terminus.
A practical training session was completed on appropriate planting/coastal reforestation techniques, as well as on maintenance. This was supported by a local technical expert. Twelve members of the community benefited directly from the training.
Two community awareness sessions were completed, focused on educating the community on ecosystem restoration and the link to community resilience. Approximately 20 persons from the community participated in each session. The project also served to facilitate the establishment of a small core group of 11 community members (Telescope Community Group) interested in furthering community development initiatives. The training and the awareness sessions served to build knowledge and practical skills of participants on planting techniques and nature-based solutions for building resilience and strengthened their understanding of environmental issues facing their community. It raised the importance of engaging youth in understanding how and why restoration actions for building resilience is important and building their capacity to participate in same.
Under the NICaR project, GRENED worked with the Telescope community group proposals to maintain the areas previously targeted for coastal restoration, and to expand both education/environmental stewardship and practical action around coastal resilience, specifically targeting schools in the Telescope area. The main activities for which NICaR funding was applied to included:
The launch of a school’s coastal stewardship programme including:
a. The conduct of a school education drive. This sought to target multiple (4) schools in the area with interactive lectures to raise awareness on climate change and building coastal resilience with the ultimate aim of enhancing environmental stewardship. Information was shared on coastal restoration activities in the area, why these are important for building resilience, and the role that youth can play in supporting this. b. Practical restoration engaging youth – linked to the previous activity- engaged target schools’ example through the environmental clubs to directly participate in practical coastal restoration activities. The project aimed to promote coastal stewardship by engaging students in practical actions to build knowledge and ownership – it established small nurseries at schools, provide training and support to students to tend to plants, and undertake supervised restoration planting field trips with students at the previously targeted sites, or nearby areas based on advice of the local technical expert.
Continuation of monitoring and maintenance activities. The target schools were engaged in these activities for continued awareness and practical learning.
It is expected that engagement of target schools in the area in restoration activities and in particular, will promote their role as environmental stewards, and will also enhance both understanding and ownership, given the previous challenges of school children defacing restoration sites. In addition, time invested to engage youth and create environmental/coastal stewards is seen as more beneficial in the long term. GRENED and the Leo Club of St. Andrew participated as the local partner civil society organizations (CSOs) in Grenada under the project “CSOs for Disaster Resilience: Empowering civil society and local communities to build resilience to Hurricanes and climate extremes in the Eastern Caribbean”, which was implemented from 2019-2022 with funding from the Inter-American Foundation.
Community Projects: Balthazar
From November 29, 2021-July 21, 2022, they implemented the project ‘Building flood resilience in Balthazar, Grenada, through riverbank restoration and community awareness.” This project was also supported by a small grant and coaching from CANARI under the Inter-American Foundation funded project ‘CSOs for Disaster Resilience’ (2019-2022).
The focus was on building community flood resilience in Balthazar, Grenada, through riverbank restoration and enhancing community awareness/knowledge on the use and benefits of nature-based solutions such as planting trees and other vegetation to mitigate future impacts. The main activity was the restoration of eroded riverbank areas within the community. Other complementary activities were conducted to support and inform the planned restoration activities and community training sessions on ecosystem restoration and planting techniques, a survey intended to gather community inputs and local knowledge on suitable plants/trees, and awareness sessions on community preparedness and disaster risk reduction.
The project achieved the following
Replanting drives completed – re-planted approximately 100m of vulnerable, eroded riverbank in the Balthazar community with 110 trees (including Coconut, Almond, Mango based on technical advice), as well as conduct of monitoring and maintenance on replanted area post-planting. This activity was prefaced by the completion of a survey of approximately 20 key community informants, for inputs (local knowledge) on economically viable fruit trees to inform restoration activities and support future community livelihoods.
Two practical training sessions were completed to increase knowledge of planting/reforestation techniques and an understanding of the requirements for the target ecosystem in the community of Balthazar. Twelve members of the community benefited directly from the training.
Two community awareness sessions were completed, focused on the use of nature-based solutions (Including applications to address flooding and other natural hazards) and other aspects of community preparedness, and related health and life skills. Twenty (20) Balthazar residents/stakeholders participated in the awareness sessions supported by a local technical expert and the Grenada Red Cross. The replanting initiative has been well received in the community in terms of enhancing practical understanding of restoration and the link to reducing vulnerability to flooding. The project served to facilitate the development of the Balthazar River View community group.
The training and awareness sessions served to build practical skills of the members, useful for continuing the work started, and strengthened their understanding of environmental issues and the use of nature-based solutions as one element of a multi-pronged strategy needed to build resilience to flooding.
Under the NICaR project, GRENED working with the Balthazar River View community group proposes to scale up efforts at riverbank restoration in Balthazar. The main activities for which NICaR funding was applied to included:
Completion of an additional planting drive to reinforce 100m of degraded riverbank originally targeted under the IAF project. This will involve planting of additional trees to reinforce the area where replanting occurred, as advised by a local technical expert in Grenada. Fifty (50) trees are already available, having been previously potted while the community awaited a suitable time to plant given the high risk of river flooding during the rainy season.
Continuation of monitoring and maintenance activities. This included the erection of barriers to prevent grazing animals from destroying plants, related signage to advise on ‘No grazing’ areas, procurement of additional fertilizers, and equipment such as bins, rakes, trash grabbers, and a grass cutter, to assist in clean-up and maintenance of the area and waste disposal.
Conduct of a practical community session on ecosystem restoration and how this can contribute to economic resilience in the community through potential livelihood opportunities and small business development occured. In addition, part of the session focused on discussing long-term relationships to maintain the sites under restoration. It is expected that the additional planting, monitoring, and maintenance activities will strengthen previous activities conducted over the past few months, including ensuring additional coverage of exposed areas and the successful establishment of plants at the target site. The 6tcommunity session is intended to be complementary and help the Balthazar community to identify and solidify the next steps and arrangements for the maintenance of the area to ensure benefits in the longer term.
Testimonial: “My name is Charmaine Joseph. In 2010, I attended the Grenville Secondary School. As time went by finances became tough for my mom as she was my main source of income and she did not have a permanent job. There were times when my mom was actually working more than one job at the same time, just to make sure that my brothers and I had what we needed to go to school everyday. Then we heard about the Grenada Education Development Programme (GRENED). We were told that it was a programme for intelligent students who needed financial assistance. Both my big brother and I became members of GRENED, we were not only supported financially, but also emotionally and intellectually. Each member of GRENED is assigned to a mentor in which we can have one on one conversations and additional assistance. My brother and I are not the only ones who have benefited, and continue to benefit, from GRENED. There are many other students who benefit from GRENED over the past few years. I am exceedingly grateful for all the help I have acquired and continue to acquire from GRENED. It is my pleasure to be a part of GRENED. I am very thankful to Dr. Dessima Williams and everyone who aids GRENED for the continuous financial, emotional and intellectual assistance and the motivation. “