Keithlin Caroo is the founder and president of Helen’s Daughters, an agricultural non-profit organisation in St. Lucia. Helen’s Daughters was created as a means to provide access to financial empowerment for rural women through adaptive agricultural techniques, capacity building and improved market access.
The platform provides rural women’s workshops, agri-tourism linkages, a sustainable change program, and a #HerStory initiative that features rural St. Lucian women in agriculture, fisheries, agro-processing and animal husbandry. The organisation was created through a winning proposal for UN Women’s Empower Women Champions for Change Program in 2016.
“I believe that with our project we can push rural women to the forefront of modern agricultural techniques and give them greater value in the sector,” she told Forbes.
Helen’s Daughters is also preparing the Caribbean’s first e-agriculture initiative, Green Gold. The e-commerce platform would serve as a way for commercial markets to work with local farmers without the need to source from them directly.
“We are hoping that this can really help the rural economy and families in the same way that the Green Gold era did,” Keithlin told Forbes, referring to the banana boom that turned St. Lucia into the banana capital of the Caribbean for 50 years. “With a food-import bill of $360 million and a thriving agricultural workforce, there is a possibility to drastically reduce food importation and rural poverty by connecting rural farmers to commercial markets.”
In addition to her work with Helen’s Daughters, Keithlin also works for the Office of the Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs (OASG II) with the United Nations in New York City. She’s also worked for the Mediation Support Unit (DPA) and the Department of Public Administration & Development Management.
However, she hopes to eventually dedicate herself to Helen’s Daughters full-time.
“While the UN has always been a dream for me, that dream is slowly changing,” she said in an interview with St. Lucia News Online. “I have found a way to directly impact my own country and give back to my ancestors who laid out a foundation for my achievements. As a grand-child of farmers on both sides, Helen’s Daughters to me is a tribute to their sacrifices and I hope that in the near future, I can return to work on this social enterprise full-time.”Tags: agriculture, Caribbean Islands, social entreprise