Saturday, July 05, 2008

Toshihara from Japan International Cooperation Agency Visits Canabelle Soap

I had the pleasure of meeting Toshihara-san at the Anse La Raye Fish Fry where I was introduced to him by "BIG DOG" Nick Klinger my compadre and fellow Peace Corps chum. Nick is working in that fishing village on some great projects which include a School Saving Cooperative and an organized Fish Fry Vendors Association. (props to Nick for getting 50 very independent women to work together to help each other).

The ladies demonstrating.

Toshihara is an experienced development and capacity builder in the development world, his specialty is Fish Marketing and Development. Currently the Japanese government has agreed to install a massive fishing complex in Anse La Raye that will dramatically change and improve the lives of its residents. With all of his experience I had to invite him down to visit Anse La Raye's sister village Canaries to see the soap making process and to advise in a few critical areas we are struggling in, mainly a distribution system.

Toshihara generously agreed to visit bringing down Mr Ferrai from from the fisheries who covers the Anse La Raye and Canaries area.

We demonstrated the soap making process to both of them, having them take a hands on approach as you can see below.

Toshihara taking a hands on approach to soap making.

Mr. Ferrari cutting the soap.

The soap being poured into the new molds.

Toshihara generously agreed to keep his eye out for us as we seek to develop the co-op I was not able to get a commitment from Mr. Ferrari, it was more a "This is great project, good luck." After some pushing he did agree to keep his eyes open for us. This is not unique, honestly, it has been the approach of many of the ministries in Saint Lucia. We still have yet to have a visit from our parliamentary representative who has been in office for over a year and a half nor has anyone visited from the Ministry of Agriculture despite our pushing and phone calls, sad or as it is said here. Salop! I think it is more of a matter of finding the right ministry person who takes on Canabelle as their personal mission recognizing the incredible employment opportunity and income generating potential it has. Until then our fund raising successes to build infrastructure and capacity will remain with the generous business community on the island which includes.

Cable and Wireless
Ladera Resort
The British High Commission in Saint Lucia
The Distillery

Me and the ladies.

Me and Deterville the President of Canabelle Soap.

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