Rural Tourism Course Participants Take Lessons To The Streets

Rina Yaffe (right) and a section of participants attending the course
A member of the public purchases tea leaves from course participants
Vieda Mills and Jamie Phillip detail their experiences
Members of team “Lemonaid” congratulate each other having completed their task. The group creatively spelt “Lemonaid” with aid to symbolize that their proceeds will aid the Children’s Home

Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 07, 2012 (SKNIS): Participants from the Rural Tourism Business Lab workshop hit the streets of Basseterre during the lunch hour on Wednesday to get a sense of selling products and what it is like to interface with customers.

Five groups offered raffle tickets; balloons and greeting cards; jam and honey; and lemonade; as well as carrot juice and tea leaves for sale, to test what they have learnt in the classroom while benefitting a worthy cause.

Course participants Vieda Mills, a Youth Development Officer in Nevis and Jamie Phillip of the Ministry of International Trade in St. Kitts, told SKNIS that while recruiting registrants to undergo the training they became intrigued with the project.

“In the future I would like to open my own business so I thought why not give it a shot and [attend] the training,” Ms. Mills stated.

Phillip had a similar story. “I think I was the first person to sign up because on the first day when the registration forms arrived I said I want to get on this course.” He got the blessing of his supervisors and is now fully engaged in the June 04 to 08 workshop being facilitated by Rina Yaffe and David Slyper of MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.

The trainers are presenting on issues such as how to plan and start a business, marketing, sales, product development, time management and creativity. Very useful information for Mr. Phillip.

“Presently, I have a pastry and bread making part-time business,” he revealed. “So this is just a step in the direction of actually having a full-time business.”

Dion Browne and Edecia Richards are both unemployed. Browne is working to launch a catering service in the near future while Richards is seeking employment. The young persons praised the facilitators and organizers and were grateful for the new experiences.

“It’s wonderful and amazing,” Browne expressed, as he proudly boasted of the sales his group had.

Richards stated that the lessons learnt will help her to be a better employee. “The skills I have attained at this workshop, I can take them and practice … in the workplace which means I will be more productive and valuable to the company,” she disclosed, referring to the sessions on time management and efficiency.

All proceeds from Wednesday’s activity will be donated to local charitable causes.

The workshop is coordinated by the local Organization of American States (OAS) office in collaboration with the Young Americas Business Trust, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Israel and the Departments of Youth in St. Kitts and Nevis. Other partners include the St. Kitts-Nevis Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Chamber of Industry and Commerce, University of the West Indies Open Campus, Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College, the Ripple Institute and the Ministry of International Trade.

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