GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- CARICOM Youth Ambassador Sonia Boddie has praised the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat for its hosting of a two-day CARICOM Youth Ambassadors (CYA) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) advocacy workshop, funded by the European Union and held in Georgetown, Guyana from May 29 - 30, in which she participated.
CARICOM Youth Ambassador Sonia Boddie
She noted that the workshop was certainly educational, as it increased her knowledge and understanding of CARICOM, its regional institutions, the CSME, and also by extension the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Economic Union. This exposure has allowed her to be better prepared to defend the regime, and enabled her to be a much better advocate, while championing the causes of CARICOM.
She added that the workshop was timely, as it came at a time when across the region we are seeing increasing levels of unemployment in some countries and, in others, major challenges at ports of entry, when brothers and sisters of other CARICOM countries visit.
Boddie remarked, “I was particularly pleased to learn that within the Revised Treaty Establishing the Caribbean Community, CARICOM nationals are afforded the right of definite entry for six months in another CARICOM country, irrespective of the purpose of visit. If this or any other right is infringed upon, a CARICOM national has the recourse of following the CARICOM Complaints procedure by requesting and completing a complaints form, where they can express the nature of complaint, so that it can be investigated.
“Also, I think within the public domain there is little known of the CARICOM Skills Certificate, the criteria for obtaining one and why it is even important to acquire one, and the right to seek employment or set up a business in another member country. I think these are certainly areas that a lot of nationals lack a comprehensive understanding of, and certainly areas I must create more awareness about.”
Additionally, Boddie noted that the youth ambassadors were also taken on a field trip to Liana Cane Interiors Ltd, a company that exports to other CARICOM countries, where they were able to observe the various stages of manufacturing and discuss the challenges faced by this company.
Boddie said that the highlight of the workshop for her were the training sessions that were held on the art of public speaking and the media interview.
She declared, “It is good when we can be provided with information about CSME, but it is even greater when we can be armed with the necessary skills and tools to be even more effective advocates, as we punch above our weight as youth ambassadors, and continue to work for the elevation of our region. I know those sessions have certainly helped to enhance my skill set, and would not only benefit me in my work as a CYA, but also as a young professional.”
Boddie concluded by stating, “Again, I must say kudos to CARICOM for putting on a workshop of this magnitude, and I look forward to engaging and working with stakeholders, especially the media to ensure that the positive vibrations of the CSME, are heard and felt by those near and far, as we strive to promote and create a stronger Caribbean Community for all.”