PR – Interns completing the 2021 Caribbean Institute for Sustainable Island Living (CISIL) Summer Internship say they are grateful for the quality learning and hands on experiences now inspiring them for the future. The young people began the programme at the Jessamine Eden Farms on July 12 focusing on plant science, soil science and apiculture. In a combination of classroom and in the field experiences, the interns learnt the proper technique to collect and test soil samples for nutrients/chemicals present, propagation techniques (eg. vivipary and cuttings), plant management techniques and apiary management. Jessamine Eden is home to over 135 species of medicinal herbs and 22 types of palm trees and the interns researched and learnt to identify many species.
Speaking of her experience Eboné Naomi Sylvester, a St. George’s University student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and Wildlife Conservation says she is inspired to take a more environmental track with her studies to become an advocate in the future. She added, “what stood out to me waslearning about the terroir or provenance of a place, meaning the factors that contribute to a place being unique such as the soil, topography and climate.”
20 year old Jahim Lee was the youngest intern in the programme. Remarking about the internship he said, “Soil testing was a big experience for me and I feel happy that I can actually conduct a soil test now. I will also definitely be using cutting techniques in the future.” Lee says he wants to get deeper into the family farming business and even expand.
Annil Sampson says he now has a greater appreciation for the hard work and processes that go into creating results on a farm. “I will use my knowledge about plant propagation and planting techniques to plant my own cocoa, citrus and avocado trees,” said Sampson.
Apart from the scientific learning, the six-week summer internship climaxed with a self-development session titled ‘Social skills for pleasant interactions on the job.” The session facilitated by Protocol & Etiquette Training Consultant Alice Thomas Roberts covered a number of topics including emotional intelligence and teamwork for success.
CISIL Founder and award-winning scientist Dr. Valma Jessamy ended the internship by announcing a scholarship award to Eboné Sylvester for her tuition at the St. George’s University. CISIL’s scholarship programme is funded through donations from JECO Caribbean Inc. which previously awarded three (3) scholarships. Handing over the cheque to the St. Andrew’s school teacher was Advisory Board Director Jerry Edwin. “Eboné is a hard worker, very pleasant; she’s a dreamer. She reminds me of myself at a younger age. We want her to put all her energy into her studies knowing that her tuition is paid,” said Dr. Jessamy.
Formerly launched Earth Day April 22, 2009, CISIL is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower Caribbean people to live well in harmony with the environment through education, advocacy and community engagement.