by Dominique Lescott
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Etsu Bradshaw-Caines the former Director for Gender Affairs in St. Kitts and Nevis has won an Energy Globe Award. Bradshaw-Caines is the eldest daughter of National Hero The Right Excellent Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw. She won the International Energy Globe Award for her project – Reducing Carbon Footprint by Transforming a Centre for Victims of Domestic Violence to a Green Living Space.
Bradshaw-Caines said, “I don’t know that there’s a prize, more than the recognition, putting us out there on the market, being competitive. I was surprised when it said we had 2,500 applicants and 183 countries, and to be the recipient of a little project. A project that is big in the scope of work. A little project, a little country, a little nation and a little person like myself to have been able to get the attention internationally, that’s the prize.”
The Garden of Rebirth is an empowerment center located in St. Kitts and Nevis, housing women and children victimised by abuse. Women are given mental and emotional support in addition to resources to assist in rebuilding their lives.
Bradshaw-Caines was inspired to start a sustainable home for women fleeing domestic violence after a work trip to Taiwan when she was Director of Gender Affairs 2013-2015 where she realised a gap for gender based violence for women in St. Kitts. The Garden of Rebirth opened in 2015 with support from a grant to upgrade the building to house the number of women comfortably by reducing the carbon footprint by transforming a centre for victims of domestic violence to a green living space. Bradshaw-Caines told the WINN news team that 75% of the energy comes from solar.
Outside of the airport, Bradshaw-Caines says “we have one of the top solar systems in St. Kitts”, and she boasts that the centre has “energy efficient windows, energy efficient appliances, toilets, water harvesting so we can recycle” and more.
“Going green is the way that the environment and with global warming etcetera is going”. “Solar energy is a way of sustaining ourselves”, said Bradshaw-Caines. With the hydroponics garden, we have a harvesting system. So the water is collected from rain by gutters that are put into a container. The container pumps the water to our vegetables in our hydroponics system”. In the future, Bradshaw-Caines hopes to be successful in a grant application that includes an aquaponics system built to farm 400 fish. The aim is to make the Garden of Rebirth a sustainable centre for fish and vegetables.. “Not only will we be using the vegetables for healthy eating habits for our women and children, we will be making them available to our community”.
By working with Northeastern University in Boston, the Garden of Rebirth will be getting support with monitoring and evaluation and getting data to show the impact of the work on gender-based violence
The WINN news team asked Bradshaw-Caines what the future holds for the Garden of Rebirth and she told us that she has just started a cohort with the ‘OECS techie’ where she will be getting the thrift store and hydroponics online, so that people can purchase in a contact free way, due to the pandemic. Bradshaw-Caines added “I’m always looking for ways for us to stay relevant, to stay competitive and using a lot of initiates and models and stay relevant”
There is a website www.gardenofrebirth.org where persons can contribute financially or volunteer with the organisation.