Travel & Tourism students at Chichester College enjoyed a visit from a very special guest this week.
The High Commissioner of Saint Lucia to the UK, H.E Mr Anthony B. Severin, visited the college to hear about the work the students were doing with social enterprise Caribbean Elective.
The students spent two intensive days with Caribbean Elective, on their ‘Project Anse La Raye Bootcamp’, which saw them learning about how sustainable tourism can be harnessed to support growth in developing Caribbean communities.
The ‘Bootcamp’ aims to develop students’ softer skills, such as confidence, team work and problem solving through real-world inspired and connected challenges. On this occasion, small groups were tasked create a new initiative to boost tourism in Anse La Raye, one of the more economically and socially depressed communities in Saint Lucia, and then present them to an audience which included their peers as well as a judging panel which included High Commissioner Severin.
Ideas included holding a week-long sporting festival, opening a community-run destination café and a new hotel, built sustainably but including the luxury associated with Caribbean holidays.
Alisha, one of the travel and tourism students who participated in the bootcamp, said: “I found it really interesting – I learnt a lot! And being able to meet and present in front of the High Commissioner wasn’t something we expected, but it was definitely a great experience.”
Classmate Ruby agreed: “It was very interesting and it was fun while we did it. I think it was a really good experience and I’m proud to say we’ve done this.”
The High Commissioner spent time at the college, talking to the students in the final stages of their preparation, and encouraging them to search for creative solutions to the problems and challenges which they would have encountered along the way.
Following the presentations, he noted that one of the main purposes of education was to prepare citizens to play a meaningful role in society by providing them with the means to solve the problems which they would encounter in their daily lives.
Find out more about the Caribbean Elective: https://caribbeanelective.com/
He commended Chichester College and the Caribbean Elective for giving life and practical meaning to the notion of education as a tool for societal problem solving, and looked forward to them continuing to work along those lines.
The event was organised by the Caribbean Elective, a social enterprise that works with schools, colleges and universities to create educational programmes designed to harness the vital skills of students and provide them with opportunities to have a lasting, positive impact on communities across the Caribbean.
Harry Spear, Co-Founder of Caribbean Elective, added: “There may be more than 4,000 miles between Chichester and Anse La Raye in Saint Lucia, but that hasn’t stopped these students from forming such an amazing connection with this community.
“The students have brought fresh ideas and proved that they can make a real difference.
“I hope the experience will give them real confidence and inspire them to take on bigger challenges in the future.”
It's hoped the college will continue working closely with the Caribbean Elective to develop further opportunities for students across Chichester College.
Helen Loftus, Principal of Chichester College, reflected: “We were so impressed with the way our students rose to the challenge during this intensive, two-day ‘bootcamp’.
“They worked extremely hard, and we are proud to see them presenting with confidence. The skills they have developed through this experience are all ones which will help with their future employability, which is absolutely crucial.
“We were also honoured to have been joined by His Excellency Anthony B. Severin, and for him to see first-hand our students and to hear their ideas. We’re grateful to the Caribbean Elective for arranging such a fantastic experience for our students.”