A St Lucian non-profit organisation focused on empowering women in rural areas is impacting their lives in the agriculture sector.
Since 2016, Helen’s Daughters has been making a case for the economic development of rural women through improved market access, adaptive agricultural techniques and capacity-building.
The latest initiative undertaken by the organisation is a rural women’s academy. “We started out with advocacy which led to capacity development with training programs like the six-month rural women’s academy we just launched with the Alliance Francaise,” said Keithlin Caroo, President of Helen’s Daughters.
“Now, we’ve created a social enterprise that facilitates the sale of these women’s produce to the hotel sector.”
Ms Caroo said that while it does take some time to get to rural women, partner organisations have made the process a lot easier. “There are definitely some helpful partners like the Saint Lucia Network of Rural Women who have been instrumental in highlighting some of our programs. With women, I think that the mindset is that a woman can’t be a farmer; although they go to the market and see women, they think of them as simply the vendor and not the producer.”
Helen’s Daughters was developed out of a winning proposal for UN Women’s Empower Women Champions for Change Program.