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York University students get local experience with Pinelands Creative Workshop

PCW interns 2015

CHAYANIKA SONNADARA (left) and Andrea Kay, Canadian students from York University, discussing their Barbados exchange project at the Marcus Garvey Resource and Development Centre in the Pine.

YOUNG CANADIANS Andrea Kay and Chayanika Sonnadara are getting a Barbados “grassroots” experience through a three-month attachment with the Pinelands Creative Workshop.

The two York University students arrived on the island two weeks ago on a cultural exchange which will expose them to life in the Pinelands community and to the wider social spectrum of Barbados. Chayanika is studying political science, while Andrea is an environmental science and environmental politics student.

“It is a different dynamic to work in and I am interested to see when we start rolling out projects, how that works here,” Chayanika told the SATURDAY SUN during an interview at the Marcus Garvey Resource and Development Centre in The Pine. While she has already done some work with grassroot type organisations in Toronto, communities like that in a society such as Barbados are of particular interest to the Canadian.

As she explained: “While I might work somewhere like this in Toronto, we have passed certain stages and I think Barbados is coming up quickly.”

She is therefore looking forward to working with the CEO of the Pinelands Creative Workshop, Rodney Grant, and other community leaders and is confident the practical experience will serve to build on what she has been able to glean in the classroom back home.

For Kay, it is Barbados’ “different ecosystem” that has drawn her out of her Canadian “comfort zone” and she plans to capitalise on the experience to become more versatile in environmentalism, her chosen field of study.

“Working with Pinelands is very grassroots, very hands-on. It is very much a part of the community; it is creating relationship with people; it is very personal and face to face,” Kay said. (GC)

First appeared in the Sun on Saturday on May 3oth 2015

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