NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (April 27, 2021) — Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health and Gender Affairs in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), expressed satisfaction with participant’s progress at a Basket Weaving Workshop at the Pond Hill Community Centre for women hosted by the Department of Gender Affairs.
The minister was at the time visiting for a first-hand look at the participants’ progress on Thursday April 22, 2021, at the three-week workshop hosted by the Department of Gender Affairs. She expressed her gratitude to the facilitator Ms. Marilyn Pemberton a basketmaker on Nevis for more than 26 years and to participants.
“If you look at the hat that I am wearing, it is multi-faceted. It is worn tonight as a hat but it could be used as a fruit basket and a flower arrangement basket and we see that our women here this evening are doing all sorts of different arrangements – bread baskets, food trays. One person is actually doing some small baskets to package their products: face care and body products, and so we are indeed very grateful to the facilitator Ms. Pemberton and to all the women who would have come out to take part of this very important workshop,” she said.
Mrs. Brandy-Williams who has been a driving force behind gender affairs and equality in the NIA, noted that the workshop is one of some initiatives the department has put in place targeting women, to assist with revenue generation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What the Department of Gender Affairs is trying to do during this era of COVID, we are trying to retool women so that they can find small industries to subsidise their income at this time, and so the basketry workshop is one of such initiatives in this effort to generate more income in our household…
“I want to say that it is our intention to have a similar exercise in the St. James area in the not-to-distant future,” she said.
The Basket Weaving Workshop from April 12 and concludes on April 29, comes on the heels of a plumbing workshop for women hosted by the department in March during its International Women’ s Month activities.
Ms. Latoya Jeffers, Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs, who was also present added her thoughts on the progress of the workshop.
“It has been going very well and I am very pleased with the level of talent that I am seeing here this evening. The ladies are doing an excellent job,” she said.
During the workshop participants are being taught various techniques in basketry including the use of material such as rattan, screw pine and bed grass.