File photo. The British Virgin islands has trained 50 people in methods of applying for grants.

ROAD TOWN, BVI–October 14th,2020–Officers from around the public sector and leaders from the Territory’s community-based groups have received training on best practices when applying for grant opportunities.

The group was trained to ensure success when applying for programs such as those offered under the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF SPC) Small Grants Program.

The training session was facilitated by the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) with funding from the Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF) of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). This was also the first portion of the workshop series and provided information on best practices for public officers partnering with community-based organizations (CBOs).

It included topics like community engagement, advocacy and inclusivity and was conducted on October 5 and 6.

Community Development Specialist with the CDB’s Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund, Mr. Richardo Aiken, guided the workshop remotely and said that in the face of increasing threats from climate change, COVID-19 and other hazards, it’s important that community groups are included as part of the region’s broader efforts to build resilience.

“We recognize that as public resources are limited, CBOs play an important role in the overall resilience of all the states served by the CDB. This workshop will help CBOs in the British Virgin Islands improve their operations generally and, we hope, strengthen their activities when it comes to disaster risk management,” Mr. Aiken said.

The second portion of the workshop was held on October 7 to 8 and was geared toward executive members of CBOs. The session covered areas including action planning, accounting and resource mobilization.  All participants were led through the CCRIF SPC Small Grants Program application process.

DDM Planning and Preparedness Manager, Ms. Sheniah Armstrong, said the projects proposed as potential partnerships between community groups and the public sector during the workshop reflect the strong relationships that already exist in the Territory.

Ms. Armstrong said, “Many non-government organizations and community-based organizations in the Territory are accustomed to accomplishing projects together such as in our own SMART Communities initiative.  It is encouraging to see that workshop participants have great ideas for further partnerships.”

The CCRIF SPC Small Grants Program provides grants of $5,000 to $25,000 to Caribbean CBOs for projects related to disaster risk management; engineering; climate change adaptation; training and capacity building; and environmental management initiatives that directly reduce a community’s vulnerability.