The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Nine vol­un­teers from Saint Lucia will be tak­ing part in the in­au­gu­ral Caribbean Vol­un­teer Ex­change (CVX) this com­ing week­end. The Saint Lu­cian vol­un­teers will be join­ing their coun­ter­parts from Ja­maica in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. There, they will be en­gaged in a num­ber of ed­u­ca­tional, cul­tural and other ac­tiv­i­ties over the course of four days.

Cyril Saltibus, the co­or­di­na­tor of Vol­un­teer Saint Lucia, says that the idea of a Caribbean fo­rum for vol­un­teerism emerged out of a meet­ing of re­gional vol­un­teer co­or­di­na­tors in Roseau, Do­minica in Fe­bru­ary of this year.

Mr. Saltibus ex­plains, “It was felt that an ex­change pro­gramme would bet­ter ad­dress our train­ing needs, and foster a bet­ter re­la­tion­ship amongst our Caribbean Vol­un­teers. The Vol­un­teer Cen­tre of Trinidad and Tobago (VCTT) took the lead, and Saint Lucia will be the next hosts in Au­gust 2016. Through CVX, VCTT in­tends to es­tab­lish a two-way ex­change of vol­un­teers be­tween Caribbean ter­ri­to­ries. We be­lieve that it en­gages two de­vel­op­men­tal the­o­ries to help build the con­cept of re­gion­al­iza­tion through Ting Toomey’s ‘Face Ne­go­ti­a­tion’ and helps to achieve co­or­di­na­tion.

“One of the ques­tions of­ten asked by young peo­ple is, ‘How can we, as Caribbean na­tion­als, be­gin to think as re­gional cit­i­zens if we can’t bring this idea of Caribbean cit­i­zen­ship to life, and fully understand each other’s needs and chal­lenges?’ CVX has been con­cep­tu­alised to bring it to life be­yond is­sues we may read about or understand through our ca­reers or reg­u­lar life ex­pe­ri­ences.”

Through CVX, the Trinidad and Tobago vol­un­teer or­gan­i­sa­tion in­tends to es­tab­lish an on­go­ing ex­change of vol­un­teers be­tween Caribbean ter­ri­to­ries. Among the fo­rum’s ma­jor goals are en­gage­ment, ed­u­ca­tion and ex­po­sure. Specif­i­cally, the lo­cal vol­un­teers will par­tic­i­pate in a re­for­esta­tion ex­er­cise, ses­sions on com­mu­nity en­gage­ment, and a cul­tural night.

The es­ti­mated mem­ber­ship of Vol­un­teer Saint Lucia is 350, with chap­ters hav­ing been es­tab­lished in re­cent months in the com­mu­ni­ties of La­borie and Vieux Fort South, as well as school chap­ters at Mi­coud Sec­ondary and Vieux Fort Com­pre­hen­sive. The group left for Trinidad and Tobago on Fri­day Novem­ber 20th and re­turns on Tues­day Novem­ber 24th.

Mem­bers of Vol­un­teer Saint Lucia who are at­tend­ing the in­au­gu­ral CVX,

Trinidad and Tobago 2015.

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