ChildFund’s work in the Caribbean takes place in Dominica and St. Vincent, two small island nations between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, north of Venezuela. While the lush beauty of these tourist destinations is stunning, life is frequently tested not only by natural disasters such as hurricanes, tropical storms and volcanic activity, but also by social and economic challenges that are constant threats.
Inadequate income, minimal job opportunities, domestic violence and violence among youth are some of the challenges. Others include educational underachievement and lack of sufficient child- and youth-centered activities.
ChildFund has served children in Dominica and St. Vincent since 1985.
Children’s Early Years
ChildFund Caribbean’s Roving Caregivers Program on Dominica includes activities geared toward early child stimulation and development, provided through child/parent bonding sessions during home visits from trained facilitators or volunteers. The program also includes parenting education, income generation information, youth development programming and health and nutrition activities.
Our Early Childhood Development Quality Enhancement program on both islands focuses on center-based services for young children, incorporating training of teachers in child-friendly practices, provision of child-appropriate learning materials and resources and access to learning centers.
The School Years
For 6- to 14-year-old children, a key component is a focus on child-friendly schools for both elementary and secondary levels. These schools enhance learning capacity and development of life skills through relevant and appropriate learning methodologies. Children are encouraged to actively participate. They are provided opportunities in the arts and use of technology.
Child-Community Engagement services support children’s safe spaces, children’s associations, youth groups and activities in multi-media, photography, story writing and telling and radio programs.
Designed for young people ages 15-24, the All We Need Is Love project focuses on love of self and love of others, leadership, mentoring, personal development, goal setting and advocacy to promote change, as well as reproductive health through teen parenting, HIV and AIDS prevention and relationship building. The Gateway to Positive Living project provides training in income generation, livelihood skills development and entrepreneurship. Teen mothers also benefit from psycho-social support and skills training through the Teen Parents project on St. Vincent.