Call of the Caribbean: Part III: One End is another’s Beginning:

(This blog will be updated with all corrections suggested. Please comment, and suggest your corrections to which we look forward and thank you in advance.)


The end of the event is the beginning of Ning and Learning Blended. For, once hooked to ACP and CLCP, one is hooked for Life. This was the message Autry and Michael had clearly spelt out during their presentations on Ning and Blended Learning.  

Testimonials galore:

Proceeding into the Plenary of the closing ceremony Izola welcomed the dignitaries, and facilitated feedback from the participants on the event. Responding Anderson was the first and he explained, how for him the “Are we Human?” the basis and introduction to the AIDS Competence process was based on the ‘Reflections on the Heart”. He urged all his fellow participants to reflect on the Humanity part of the Competence process and practice it, which would help all of us to change and be better human beings, so that even if there are differences, we could agree to disagree. 

Other participants followed with their testimonials of the ACP, separated by energizing ACP claps. Some of them were:

“I will take it and apply it in my Ministry” said Alin.

“’Am I human’, is basic, and just after the SALT Visit team left, some of us in FPA began planning out how to go forward using terms of the Competence process.” said the Head of FPA

Benedict recounted what he had shared during Lunch with Izola: “Previously we had attended Meetings, Seminars, Workshops, Retreats, and what-have-you, just to plan and plan alone. There was no follow-up action and review is long. However, this workshop is a change. There is WoT, WoW, and in everything there is love, affection, living, breathing… We learnt removing the self, and then you recognize the passion.”

Chad: “I have gone through many models. ACP was to my surprise a different one. I understood the Self Assessment Framework, moving from input to outputs. Here the levels were the competence markers.”

“All the members in Community Development Ministry and in the Social Development Ministry, we will get to apply the SALT and the Self Assessment Framework Models”, added the Government representatives.

The Team Presentation:

 Izola then requested others from the floor to comment not on the process alone, but also on how are we going to move forward differently. Subsequently, Domnique presented the Intro slides made by the  Stakeholder’s Team which consisted of:

  • Anderson Figaro
  • Natasha Maillard
  • Lionel Sampson
  • Chad Marcane Felix
  • David Soomarie
  • Domnique
  • O’Lea Lokai

Natasha Maillard read out the vision statement. David spoke on recommendations for the CCM,  and the Law reforms. Anderson stressed on moving from Level 3 to Level 5 in the Self Assessment Framework.  Anderson then testified:

“The AAR after every session is very helpful and we learnt a lot from it.”

The Regional Director of UNAIDS Caribbean stated that he was seeing for the first time such an enthusiastic group at the end of a workshop and wondered what in SALT was there that gave the group so much  zeal.  Therefore, he gave a few suggestions:

1)      What mechanism we have to keep this group connected and committed?

2)      What do you want to achieve as a group, and how do you know whether you achieved?

3)      How do you monitor where the communities are? How do you keep an eye?

4)      How do you know stigma has changed?

5)      How do you monitor treatment of HIV?

6)      What are the targets?

Natasha Maillard responding stated that we need a system,  we need to facilitate networking, inclusion of all NGO and other stakeholders working on this theme, linkages to be built which are probably one-on-one like doctors with patients, a one-stop-shop for treatment, referral system.  Moreover, all the 26 Ministries must have HIV Coordinators.

Andy suggested that we must start with the schools and emphasize the services for the childhood.  Anderson stated that CCM must be inclusive of all stakeholders. David  and Leo suggested that all NGOs must be included in the response.

Izola reiterated that we must reflect on the questions the Regional Director of UNAIDS Caribbean had put forward. 

The Honorable Minister, Rodger Samuel, stated how he had attended the Guyana event and wanted it in T&T. He said, “We are different in T&T. Everything we do, we need to coin it. That is the mind set we have.  A lot has been done in the past, but something is not palpable. We must find the right blend. Sometimes, there is overlapping of NGO work both in the themes and in the geographical areas. To attain the twin objectives, we have to get everybody involved, or it will cost everyone, maybe not with lives, but surely economically. I am glad every one of you enjoyed the workshop”.


An Extempo AAR:

The dignitaries were in for a pleasant surprise when Chad and David stated that after every session we have had an AAR and this was no exception. Thus, Christopher in this AAR stated there was a need to extend the workshop so that NACC could be formed. Mitchell suggested that there could be more participation from Tobago. David replied that they participants have not stopped, and also have worked out how we will move forward. Benedict wondered whether ‘we are loosing front-liners in the fight’, as we had to have representation from ILO, Embassies, High Commission, other NGO, CBO, FBO. Lionel requested that some time be given, and even the success stories from the ministries can be shared.  O’Lea Lokai touched on the issue of stakeholders, and suggested having an informal meeting before formalizing it.

Autry recounted the Guyana follow up experience, after an exercise similar to this. “At the end of the exercise, we joined the Blended Learning and named the Team ‘Guyana Competence’. There was ample commitment as UNIADS, the Ministry and the Red Cross allowed their board room for meeting which helped to keep the people together. “ Autry continued that tight now the four priority areas of WoW, Resource Mobilization, Access to Care and Support, had draft action plans drawn up, after completion of the levels in the Self Assessment Framework.  Moreover, Autry explained that these plans had SMART activities only. In addition the activities were in a simple who-was-responsible, when-completion, and Source-of-Resources, format.

Izola thanked the participants, the facilitators and the workshop came to an end.

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Comment by Dr. E. Mohamed Rafique on July 13, 2011 at 12:28pm

Dear JLL,

I heard from Izola that UNAIDS is organizing a meeting as a follow-up to the event, in which they will plan specifically T&T response to HIV in the coming years. Of Course, the draft action plan made by the Core Team during the event, and presented by Autry in our ACP Ning at  will be the foundation on which they will build on. Also this draft action plan which presently looks partially towards answering the questions raised by the UNAIDS Regional Director will be able to do full justice if the Competence Approach is fully applied.

Comment by Jean-Louis Lamboray on July 11, 2011 at 2:08pm

1)      What mechanism we have to keep this group connected and committed?

2)      What do you want to achieve as a group, and how do you know whether you achieved?

3)      How do you monitor where the communities are? How do you keep an eye?

4)      How do you know stigma has changed?

5)      How do you monitor treatment of HIV?

6)      What are the targets?


Great questions from the  UNAIDS regions Director. What are the steps to answers them? Shall we work together at those answers?



Comment by Dr. E. Mohamed Rafique on July 10, 2011 at 9:56am

Dear Michael and Usa,

Just reached Delhi and home, and good to see two comments during the 29 odd hours of my travel back. I agree with Usa that it was rewarding for us the facilitators to see the enthusiasm amongst the participants. More importantly, more enthusiasm and involvement was there from UNIADS, the Government ministries of Community Development, Social Development, and most of all the Honorable Minister from the Prime Minister's Office. And as for requiring a 'founding mother' for T&T Competence, I am sure you will be required. :-)

Comment by Usa Duongsaa on July 9, 2011 at 12:50pm
Wow, what a great way to end the energizing and inspiring 4-day learning event!  Hope the emerging T&T Competence team will be well supported through their Blended Learning experience and follow up with application of what they have learned.  You, Autry and Michael are now the proud 'fathers' of the team!   If a 'mother' is needed, please let me know :-)
Comment by Michael Mc Garrell on July 9, 2011 at 2:21am
Mohammed, you are such a good story teller, again I will remind you of that. You have captured the essence of the four days and has eloquently put it over. I am  home now. Do have a safe flight home.


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