Members of the Credit Unionette Attend Conference in St. Luica

Last Updated: Sunday, 30 September 2012 Published: Wednesday, 16 April 2008 Written by Marisa Sabaroche (President, CHS Credit Unionette)

From the 26th to 29th March 2008, a delegation of six students and two teachers from the Convent High School Credit Unionette attended the Forth Annual Caribbean Cooperative Conference at the Bay Gardens Hotel in Rodney’s Bay, Gros Islet, St. Lucia. The Conference was hosted by the St. Lucia Cooperative League.

The group arrived in St. Lucia on the 26th of March at 4:30p.m. and checked in and registered at the Bay Gardens Hotel. The students were given packages which included shirts and stationery for use throughout the conference. The opening ceremony, which was a semi-formal event marking the opening of the convention, was held at 6:30 p.m.

The workshops began on Thursday 27th at 9:00am. The first workshop was presented by Dr. Kentri Jean Pierre on the History of Cooperative Movement. He shared information on aspects which formed the Cooperative movement and the foundation of various Cooperative principles. The next session was based on Cooperative Principles and Values and was presented by Mr. Ulric Alphonse followed by a session on Volunteerism which was tied in with Cooperative Principles and Values. This session was presented by Mr. Albert James. A lunch break at 12:30 concluded the morning workshops.

The workshops resumed after lunch at 2:00pm with a very interesting and interactive session on the topic Marketing on a Shoe String Budget facilitated by Ms. Marcia Johnson. In this session, students from the different islands were placed into groups and were given a chance to formulate or create their own businesses. Students were expected to make an investment of amounts between $10. and $30. Groups were made to choose their President, Financial Manager and other important positions within the business and were also expected to create or make their goods to sell. This session concluded at 5:00 pm making it the only one for the afternoon.

On Friday the Dominican group went shopping for the entire day. After shopping, they went to the cinema with the other members of the conference. There were no sessions on Friday.

A symposium was held at Gratis on Saturday 29th which was the final day of the conference. It began with a welcome address by Mr. Alexander Joseph, Chief Executive Officer of the St. Lucia Cooperative League followed by a feature address by Mr. Daniel Richardson, a past participant and later a session on Anger Management by Mr. Nicholas Klinger, a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Immediately after, there was a sale of items by the various groups during a short break. Then, there was a session for young persons on career choices which were attractive and provided a reliable source of income within the cooperative movement. There was then a small panel discussion among past participants and current participants during which the closing ceremony was organized. The symposium ended at 3:00 p.m.

The closing ceremony began at 7:00 pm and was a formal event. At that ceremony, certificates were given to the persons who attended the conference. The Convent High School participants made a small presentation of memorabilia to the various presenters. The ceremony ended with a dinner.

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The Dominican participants left St. Lucia for Dominica at 4:25p.m on Sunday 30th March, 2008.

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