Almost A Decade of CAD/UVM Bilateral Exchange Programmes

When the Director of Consumer Affairs (CAD), Philip Mc Clauren, met with Professor Jane Kolodinsky of the University of Vermont (UVM) at a consumer caucus in Washington DC, almost a decade ago, their discussions did not fall on deaf ears.

Rather, these discussions germinated and blossomed into fruitful and beneficial bilateral exchanges for both parties.

Students from UVM visit Saint Lucia on an annual basis to conduct research on their various course of studies; and CAD's staff have been exposed to training in the areas of consumer protection laws and techniques, ranging from the Lemon Law (a law that protects consumers from automobiles that are defective and places consumers' lives at risk etc.) to Research Techniques, Verbal and Written Communication Techniques and Redress Mechanisms.

From 2003 to 2012, UVM's students have carried out research work in the following areas:

  • Water Hydro Energy
  • Mangrove Project
  • Energy Saver Light Bulb
  • Schools Kitchen Garden
  • Mini Bus Drivers Survey
  • Mini Bus Commuters Survey
  • Layaway Plan Survey
  • Financial Sector Survey
  • Women Self-defense

Donations of School Books were made to the Banse La Grace School, the Gros Islet Primary School and the Ministry of Education. A donation of Computers was made to the Dugard Combined School, where the first Kitchen Garden Project was undertaken. 

This year (2012) was no exception, as a contingent of two Professors and eighteen students from UVM paid a courtesy call on the Hon. Minister Emma Hippolyte, who is responsible for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs and Hon. Dr. Ubaldus Raymond - Parliamentary Secretary in the same Ministry. They were briefed about UVM's two weeks stint on the island from December 31, 2011 - January 14, 2012.


The group was engaged in the following:

Ø  Layaway Plan Survey (in Castries, Gros Islet, Vieux Fort and Soufriere)

Ø  School Kitchen Garden (at Desruisseaux Combined School)

Ø  HIV/AIDS Soccer for life programme (with the Bexon Primary and Odsan Combined Schools - at Odsan)

Ø  Women Self-defense

Ø  Mangrove Project

Ø  Analysis of UVM's Projects on the island over the past nine (9) years

The final projects presentation was held at the Coconut Bay Hotel in Vieux Fort on Friday January 13, 2012. This event was attended by the Hon. Minister Emma Hippolyte, the Parliamentary Secretary Hon. Dr. Ubaldus Raymond, and staff of the Ministries of Commerce, Agriculture, Sustainable Development, Gender Relation, Health, Education and other stakeholders who have worked closely with UVM over the years. Both Hon. Hippolyte and Hon. Raymond stated that they would like to see additional projects extended to communities around the island.

The two professors who accompanied the students this year; Thomas Desisto and Kevin Stapleton, said that UVM has always looked forward to these yearly visits ever since this collaborative relationship was conceptualized. The professors promised that whatever assistance and support, CAD needs from UVM will be considered as this accord develops and grows from strength to strength.

The group left the island on Saturday January 14, 2012, promising to sustain the relations that has exist between UVM and CAD for almost ten (10) years.







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