I am deeply appreciative of all the advice, guidance & support expressed over the last number of weeks. Your prays, & words have provided inspiration, energy & a sense of family as we collectively seek to meet the challenge of saving our country. We have not won the fraudulent & illegal elections & we now have an illegitimate government so now unity, commitment & patriotism is even more important.
Supporters and Friends I say Thank You for all your hard work and support. I am deeply appreciative of all the advice, guidance and support expressed over the last number of weeks for the campaign of the United Workers Party for which I lead. Your prays, and your words have provided inspiration, energy and a sense of family as we collectively seek ...to meet the challenge of saving our country. We have not won the fraudulent and illegal elections and we now have an illegitimate government so now unity, commitment and patriotism is even more important. The massive bribery, the illegal payment and inducement of overseas persons to come home and vote and the blockage of the state media were the most critical illegalities and abuses. We have decided as a party to boycott the Parliament and seek the unity of all patriotic opposition to save Dominica- be part of it. The struggle continues. United for Dominica.
WELL TODAY IS THE DAY WHEN WE ALL HAVE TO GO OUT AND VOTE .TO REGAIN OUR BEUTIFUL COUNTRY FROM THIS GOVERNMENT WHICH IS NOT DOING ANYTHING GOOD WITH IT AND TO PROTECT IT FOR OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS,SO PLEASE ADVISE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO VOTE THE SAW.FOR A CLEAN AND GREEN DOMINICA.
WE THE UNITED WORKERS PARTY NEED OUR SUPPORTERS, TO TALK TO THERE FRIENDS AND THERE FRIENDS TO TALK TO THERE FRIENDS, IN WAY GAINING THE MANDATE OF RUNNING THIS COUNTRY AND MOVING IT FORWARD AND KEEPING TO OUR PLEDGES FOR A CLEAN AND GREEN DOMINICA. VOTE FOR THE UWP.
In the wake of the devastating Hurricane David of 1979, a number of persons involved in the community development and political processes of the 1970’s collaborated to form a Development agency, formally registered in 1981 whose goals included building a society around the participation and involvement of civil society. The organization sought to b...uild a just, equitable and self-reliant society. It envisaged communities where there is hope, where people have self-confidence and self-worth. The Agency called SPAT acronym for Small Projects Assistance Team worked to build a society where people are politically conscious, sharing, working together, caring for each other and for their social, economic, political and natural environment. The agency became one of the leading NGO’s in Dominica as it strived consciously to build a culture of participatory democracy. Ron Green was a founding member and initially was Programme/ Projects Officer from 1981 and then coordinator in 1993-1995.
Those goals are just as important today. SPAT was able to cut across the political divide and social divide throughout Dominica, connecting people to their past in order to facilitate an understanding of their present reality and ultimately to help them embrace their future. Ron throughout followed an action approach that created many opportunities to empower people in communities to participate effectively, to have more control and to enhance their economic and social well-being.
As a small NGO in Dominica, SPAT has positively influenced various aspects of life in Dominica over the years, in agricultural production and diversification, community media, infrastructure, education, research, community organization and mobilization, networking and collaboration with others, participation and empowerment. Its 25 years of work placed people and consequently their living environment as the central focus for development activities. Ron Green always promoted a vision and practice of people-centred development as opposed to what obtains now where people are mere bystanders in their country’s development.
As Programme Officer at SPAT, Ron has stimulated the growth of several organizations in Dominica, e.g. National Pig Producers Cooperation (NPPC), Farm-To-Market Project (FTM), The Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities (DAPD), Dominica Conservation Association (DCA), and supported food-processing enterprises like Blow’s Agro Products and Nature Island Foods. Ron Green’s organization development foresights have stimulated the formation of such organizations as the Dominica National Council of Women (DNCW), Movement For Cultural Awareness (MCA), and the NGO- Agricultural Diversification Project.
In the early period 1981-91, SPAT provided financial, technical and management support for cooperatives and self-help groups. A Micro Projects Discretionary Fund was established to provide seed money to groups and individuals for small income generating projects. It encouraged self-sufficiency and beneficiaries included women, youth and small farmers. The programme boosted the Agricultural Diversification efforts and aided human resource development. About three hundred (300) projects received support for a total over $800000. Major projects included: Caye-En-Bouc Cooperative of Marigot and Castle Bruce Cooperative in Farm Development, Hope farmers of Petite Savanne in piggery and farm development, Family Food Cooperative in La Plaine bakery project, Farm- To-Market Ltd. In Agricultural Marketing, Southern Women Org. Sword in Grand Bay- sewing and pre- school project, St. Peter’s Fisheries Multi-purpose complex, Community Centre and Fisheries Complex, Dublanc/Bioche, L’Echelle of Grand Bay charcoal and poultry projects, NGO-ADP in Agri, Div, and Agro processing Marigot Banana Bunch. SPAT played a significant role in national development. In its twenty-five years of work SPAT invested about $20 million. into the Dominican economy through funding received for its projects and programmes.
The Farm to Market Project (FTM) addressed the major obstacles of small farmers – that of marketing the surplus produce overseas. It was a joint SPAT/Dominica Farmers’ Union (DFU) operation. FTM located markets for Dominican produce throughout the Caribbean and increased the income of about 300 participating farmers by 50% at a time when securing reliable shipping services for large volumes was difficulty. FTM shipped 90- 100 tons of produce to Trinidad and twenty tons to Antigua on average per month during its peak period of operation. The U.S. Virgin Islands, Tortola and Barbados also received very significant amounts of produce. The farmers of Grand Bay sold more dasheen than any other time due to the FTM operation. Dasheen from Belles, Water- melon from Salisbury, sweet potato from Warner, dry coconuts, tannias, bananas from the North, plantains from La Plaine, in fact, farmers from all over Dominica benefited tremendously and praised the operation highly.
FTM received assistance from Hivos, a Dutch funding agency, to purchase a refrigerated vessel to do the shipping. Many Dominicans, especially in the U,S. Virgin Islands expressed high praise for FTM, since they could send their boxes and barrels of goods to families back home as well as receive boxes of food almost every week or two from family and friends. The ship, Oscar Floa, ran aground in Portsmouth during a hurricane.
Ron as Programme and Projects’ Officer was deeply involved in providing support for appropriate technology. Ron promoted the building of Biogas digesters as part of a collaborative effort with the German Appropriate Technology Exchange (GATE), CARDI and the Ministry of Agriculture of Dominica. Fifteen (15) Biogas digesters were built between 1986 and 1991 in such villages as Giraudel, Warner, Marigot, and Castle Bruce. Biogas produces a cleaner non-toxic cooking gas, as well as high quality organic fertilizer. The gas also produces electricity. Deceased Mr. Royer of Giraudel was one of the first persons to obtain gas and electricity for his home as a result of that vision and project, using waste from pigs.
Ron Green again while at SPAT promoted the building of Ferro cement tanks among its various projects for water storage. Several individuals and cooperatives were assisted financially for the construction of those tanks. Significantly, the residents of Petite Savanne, with SPAT’s support, built a 6000 gall. Ferro cement tank that has served a large section of the community for many years.
The Ron Green whom we know helped to set up the NGO-Agricultural Diversification Project (NGO-ADP) in 1989 together with six other NGO’s, while he was Projects Officer at SPAT. He was the brain behind SPAT’s Community Animation Programme (CAP), which mobilized the communities of Petite Savanne, Dublanc/Bioche, Grand Fond and Grand Bay to participate in their own development. The people in those communities can attest to significant achievements from the programme. Ron Green has been involved in heightening the awareness of women regarding child abuse, domestic violence, women in agriculture, and structural adjustment among several others. Ron Green was an integral part of SPAT’s T.V. Programme called Development Focus. All Dominicans loved that local programme.
Ron has special expertise in organizing and facilitating training workshops. Ron Green is a true patriot and strongly believes that people’s participation is key to the development of our beautiful country. In subsequent articles I will expound on some of the programmes, for example, NGO-ADP, CAP, Women in Development, Development Education, Research and Documentation, Summer Environment Appreciation Camps and Networking (local, regional and international) and numerous training workshops as further testimony of the exemplary leadership qualities, vision, commitment, dedication to hard work and deep love for country that this humble, respectable family man, Ron Green, continues to show to the Dominican masses. The development model of “A clean and Green Dominica” articulated by Ron, but sadly laughed at in some circles, is the continuation of that vision of SPAT which stimulated, supported, and facilitated the efforts of women and men working for social transformation and equality. Striving for a Clean and Green Dominica is what Nature Isle should be all about and is in sync with 21st. century thinking.