Women Capacity Development Workshop
The Capacity Development Workshop for women, held at KIDO Environmental Learning Centre, trained 15 women in the design and production of grocery and fashion bags, manufactured by hand and with sewing machines, using discarded clothes materials and sail cloth.
The purpose of the training was to find smart ways to reduce the ever growing consumer waste that clogs-up the natural environment of the island, including surrounding sea.
With this initiative, solid waste pollution begins to be locally reduced by transforming discarded items into useful carrier bags, sized to suit people's needs, effectively replacing thousands of single-use plastic bags.
The quality and the style of the different types of bags created during the training sessions encouraged the participants to stick together to take steps to form the first Carriacou Women Co-operative (CWC), aiming at producing, marketing and selling a number of useful items made out of up-cycled waste.
A sustainably organized enterprise, inclusive of the utilization of the latest IT tools and programs, can generate income for the women involved, cleaning the environment and training new generations of apprentices to carry on in the future. It is the basis for a new circular economy for the island.
The 20 women, who are now part of this group, envisage the co-operative not only as a productive working place to financially sustain the members, but also as a social centre where creative design and new forms of production are brought to life; young girls could join the Carriacou Women Co-operative after school, to learn new skills and get encouragement to think critically about their future, in a safe environment where the conservation of nature and appreciation of wildlife remains a central theme. The CWC centre can become an example of connecting the social and economic needs of women to the protection of the environment.