Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 9th 2015 Contents A35
Monday, March 9, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
International Women's Day was cele-
brated yesterday and the T&T Guardian
has been highlighting women who are
making a difference in the community.
One such woman is Alicia Small at Shift!
Caribbean, an NGO that she started to
change this country 's leadership culture.
The first part of this story ran three
weeks ago, when Small spoke about the
challenges of setting up the NGO in the
Sunday Business Guardian. Today, Small
tells us more about what Shift!
"One young lady," said Alicia Small "she
wanted to tackle unemployment in her com-
munity. She started to offer reading and lit-
eracy classes and different classes at her local
church. It s a fantastic project, but she may
not be able to articulate the systemic shifts
needed to change the situation. So young
people in her area are unemployed. Why?
What are the systems in that environment
that are creating that?"
This is what Shift! Caribbean hopes to do,
show those who want to intervene to solve
community or national problems like these
how to do it, in a way that is most likely to
result in success.
"The design is the crucial first step and we
train, we walk folks through to help them
create real sustainable, sustainable in our sense
means long-term change. It has to be fair, it
has to be equitable change and positive change
on the planet."
This is done over a two day course, usually
"It s all day Saturday, all day Sunday from
9 am to 7 pm on both days. You go through
a mix of personal distinctions about how to
operate in the world as a leader. What break-
downs you may experience. How to get past
those. So we go through different things about
how to get feedback, listening, integrity. There
are actually six levels of integrity," said Small.
Keeping your word, is just one of the levels
Small said participants must also prove their
level of commitment by filling out an appli-
cation outlining their project.
"Why the application? One, if you take time
out to fill out, then it is important to you.
Two, putting your thoughts on paper, there
is nothing more powerful than that, to see
where the gaps are with the idea that you
Commitment must also be shown by com-
pleting both phases of the training.
"If you cannot complete this, then it cor-
relates to your project being effective and
Small said showing participants how to
access funding for their projects by working
on their "pitch". They also help attendees set
up a action plans for their projects over 30,
60 and 90 day periods. Additionally, Shift!
Caribbean provides a level of coaching support
after the programme to see that these plans
are being adhered to.
Small said the organisation plans to expand
the level of coaching support offered in 2015
and also intends to monitor and evaluate the
impact of the projects.
"We ve had a few NGOs start out of this,
participants have taken up and incorporated
NGOs and we want to see what the NGOs
have been doing. Have you been able to expand
it, or get people involved in it. This is our
third year of workshops, we want build in now
measuring and evaluating our participants
from 2012 up till now," said Small.
The workshops are hosted under the aegis
of both United Global Shift and Landmark
Education, the international organisations
where Small first received her own training.
She said additional projects for Shift! Caribbean
for 2015 include launching the organisation s
website, developing a youth version of the
project that will be piloted in 2016 and hosting
the workshops in Tobago.
Small said she is often moved to tears by
the nature of several of the projects she sees
during the training sessions and the growth
of participants afterward.
"When people come in and they ask them-
selves can I do this and see them move to yes,
I can do this, I have a plan and I can articulate
what my project is. It is just amazing to see
the leadership flourish in just regular people.
People who think they are too old to do this.
Or people who think they are too young and
no one will listen to them."
The projects run the gamut from environ-
mental concerns to health coaching.
Those working behind the scenes are also
from a diverse background. Small said Par-
entingTT co-founder, Barbara King, Phyllis
Griffith of the Association of Developmental
Education, Anne Marie Manuel, founder of
Chery s Grace Empowerment Centre are her
board members. Meanwhile Rani Lakhan
Narace, of Trinre, is an advisor to the board.
"She has been really instrumental in helping
us," said Small.
DATES FOR SHIFT! TRAINING
•Phase One: June 27 and June 28 (9 am to 7
pm) •Phase Two: Aug 22 and Aug 23 (9 am to
7 pm) •Any inquiries about the Shift!
sessions can be addressed
• Elsa Wrench
will return next week.
Participants in a Shift! session. PHOTO: COURTESY ALICIA SMALL
Alicia Small, from Shift! Caribbean, said she is
often moved to tears by the nature of some
of the projects participants put forward on
the courses. PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO
Small helps community with Shift! Caribbean
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