The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) three-day workshop on communication, networking and building partnerships was recently held at our rainforest retreat, Asa Wright Nature Centre. On the first day, workshop leader Ms. Celeste Chariandy, introduced the session by telling us the best ways to “sell” our groups. The community groups present hailed from Aripo, Blanchisseuse and Brasso Seco, three villages in which CANARI is carrying out ongoing work.
We discussed the elements and types of communication and networking. Several entertaining and educational activities were used to help us understand the material being taught. Attempting to get someone standing in a specific corner using only signs, speaking or writing is harder than you think.
On day two we were privileged to listen to Mr. Dennis Sammy, president of Nature Seekers, as he chronicled the group’s development. He provided refreshing insight on leadership and networking. The advice that truly stood out was that to improve one’s group, one must start by improving oneself. This talk was followed by more interactive activities while Asa Wright’s culinary delights provided the energy for us to remain alert.
The final day was one of re-examination of communication methods that have been successful and continue to be challenging for the community groups. Participants used a video presentation, Power Point presentation and a skit to get these messages across. Among the group presenters was Asa Wright’s Mr. Kenneth Fournillier, president of the Blanchisseuse Environmental Art Trust (BEAT). Representatives from organisations such as IICA, UNDP, CDF and the CCIB, who witnessed these presentations, were able to address questions from the community groups.
Many persons left the workshop with a renewed sense of communication and its benefits thanks to CANARI facilitators Ms. Chariandy and Ms. Sandy.