An Appeal for Support for Youth in Dominica

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Sharing here in support of Schuyler Esprit’s efforts to get Create Caribbean Institute for Research at Dominica State College back on its feet again.

You can read more about the appeal at

https://www.gofundme.com/create-caribbean-postmaria-funds

For the last three years, Create Caribbean Research Institute has worked with young people to bridge academic excellence, tech empowerment and civic engagement to build a better Caribbean. This summer, our Create and Code technology education program for children ages 7-16 immersed its participants in thinking about and building innovative tools to raise awareness for forest and marine preservation. Since 2015, the student interns of the Research and Service Learning Program collaboration with Dominica State College have been building a research and action resource for environmental sustainability at carisealand.org.

On Thursday, September 14, the group of interns met with the directors for their first colloquium session of the semester to plan their areas of concentration for developing digital media content (PSAs, short films, animations), public murals, and teaching resources for primary and secondary schools. The topics included: wildlife and forest biodiversity; land displacement and building construction; food and water security; environmental justice and community impacts; economic and political costs of climate change; arts and activism for environmental and social change, among others.

Four days later, Hurrican Maria ripped through our home of Dominica as a Category Five storm forever changing our view of our world and the sanctity of our beautiful nature island. Now, more than ever, Create Caribbean commits itself to using technology, humanities and research to not only raise awareness about sustainability and climate change resilience, but also to ACT, in our small and larger ways on making consistent and determined change in our local communities. But we need your help.

As we build back, we need help in replacing some of the important technology equipment and operational resources lost during the storm. These include laptops, projectors, phones. We need help with getting our interns back on their feet so they can begin work again – they’ve lost clothes, books, school supplies, their personal laptops and tablets during the wind and rain torment of September 18. We need help in getting immediate resources for us to get back to work.

We’ve decided our first goal is to return to our environmental sustainability project (carisealand.org) and to integrate our research there into our first community project: home learning reinforcement project for students of primary and secondary school. Although schools are trying to get back to normal for Dominica’s students, many schools are unable to re-open and some students will just generally need more support outside the classroom. Create Caribbean interns will tutor and mentor students through a home learning project in conjunction with partnering schools and community groups. To effectively do that, we need support in terms of electrictity supply, funds to support mobile data, transportation and water and food for our interns during their volunteer activities.

We are ready to get back to building a better Caribbean. With your help, we can start today.

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