A three-member team from CARICOM is expected in Saint Lucia this weekend to assist with the final planning for the CARICOM Reparations Baton Relay, Youth Rally and Youth Forum in Castries on October 28 and 29.
CARICOM Regional Reparations Coordinator Sydney Bartley and CARICOM Regional Youth Coordinator Richard Berwick are expected here soon to work alongside the National Reparations Committee (NRC), the Government of Saint Lucia and the local stakeholders, to assist with the final planning for the hosting of the series of regional events.
CARICOM’s Program Director for Culture and Reparations-related activities, Dr. Hilary Brown is also expected to be in attendance. The Reparations relays, rallies and foray are being held in each CARICOM member-state, with similar events already having taken place in Barbados, Guyana and Suriname. The next will take place in Antigua and Barbuda on Wednesday October 26, the twin-island state’s National Heroes Day.
The NRC with cooperation from government and non-government stakeholder national and community groups, organizations and individuals, has organized the events, which are on the official calendar for Saint Lucia’s Kweyol Heritage Month (KHN). The government-appointed Saint Lucia NRC represents the island on the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC), which is charged with sensitizing citizens across respective member-states about the nature of the regional governments’ quest for Reparations from Britain, France and other European Union member-states for Slavery and Native Genocide.
The October 28th Youth Reparations Forum and the October 29th Relay and Rally are commissioned by the CARICOM Secretariat and planning involves several government departments here, including: Office of the Prime Minister, Ministries and Departments of Education and Innovation, Youth And Sports, Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism, as well as the Castries City Council (CCC), the Saint Lucia CARICOM Youth Ambassadors, the National Youth Council, the National Students Council, the Folk Research Centre and the Iyanola Council for Advancement of Rastafari (ICAR), among others.
The CARICOM Team, while here, will work alongside the NRC and the various government departments involved, as well as other stakeholders, to ensure the events achieve set objectives, most important being to introduce the Reparations message to the youth and students of Saint Lucia, through the three events. Secondary schools reparation Lecture Series is also under way here starting Tuesday October 18, leading to the October 29 events and the Youth Forum on October 31.
On Friday, October 28 the Youth Reparations Forum will observe International Creole Day here, with a relay and rally scheduled for October 29. The theme for the rally is: “No Development Without Justice – Reparations are for us all!”