HELEN’S DAUGHTERS’ FOUNDER WILL REPRESENT ST. LUCIA AT THE ‘ONE YOUNG WORLD’ SUMMIT
Keithlin Caroo, Founder and President of Helen’s Daughters, has been selected to represent Saint Lucia at the One Young World Summit in The Hague, Netherlands from October 1720, 2018.
One Young World (OYW) is an annual summit where world leaders join the most valuable young talent from global and national companies, nongovernmental organisations, universities and other forwardthinking organisations, acting as the One Young World Counsellors. At this summit, delegates debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues the world faces. Previous summits have featured Counsellors such as Kofi Annan, Meghan Markle, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Amal Clooney.
Ms. Caroo was selected for her work in rural women’s economic empowerment through the organisation Helen’s Daughters which is a Saint Lucian non-profit with a special focus on rural women’s economic development through improved market access, adaptive agricultural techniques and capacity-building. Guiding this organisation’s work is a labour of love she does unpaid on top of juggling her full-time job as a desk officer in the Department of Political Affairs at the United Nations.
“While the UN has always been a dream for me,” says Ms. Caroo, “that dream is slowly changing. I have found a way to directly impact my own country and give back to my ancestors who laid out a foundation for my achievements. As a grandchild of farmers on both sides, Helen’s Daughters, to me, is a tribute to their sacrifices and I hope that in the near future I can return to work on this social enterprise full-time.”
Ms. Caroo started Helen’s Daughters in 2016 when she was selected as a UN Women Empower Women Champion for Change Program. Her organisation hosted a rural women’s workshop catering to rural women engaged in agriculture, fisheries, trades and crafts, food processing and market vending. The workshop addressed several issues for women business owners such as leadership development, workers’ rights, financial management and grants, and interest-free loan opportunities. Since then, Helen’s Daughters has linked up members with additional training and consultation opportunities.
The next large project was with the University of British Columbia in its firsttime offering of a Humanitarian Engineering course which sought real-life problems for engineering student teams to address with technical solutions. Helen’s Daughters was selected as one of three cases and a food-security team organised around it. Five chemical, biological and geological engineering students were partnered with four Saint Lucian rural women farmers to find sustainable agricultural practices, develop skills such as data management and the use of Google Earth, and to come up with technical recommendations for the sustainable design of a farm.
Currently, Ms. Caroo is developing a social enterprise model that will use information and communication technologies to improve knowledge, facilitate market connections and improve incomes for rural women farmers on the island. In addition to capacitydevelopment, she has mounted a communications strategy both on and offline.
Ms. Caroo writes a monthly #HerStory series on St. Lucia News Online which profiles rural women entrepreneurs and also contributes to this newspaper in her weekly series “The Rural Unknown” which examines climate resilience, agri-tourism linkages and gender equality in the agricultural sector. (See Land and Conflict on page 18.)
To learn more about the initiative and how to support it, visit the Helen’s Daughters website: helensdaughters.org. Facebook page: helensdaughters.slu, Instagram page: @helensdaughters.slu or email: email@example.com
Keithlin Caroo, a grandchild of farmers, promotes economic empowerment of rural women.