On a recent RCP Dominica field visit (March 14, 2011), the British High Commissioner to the Eastern Caribbean, His Excellency Paul Brummell, visited several communities served by this informal home-visiting early childhood development programme, and noted that it can play a significant role in the development of the region. “Even though the stated goal is all about the children, I can see how [the RCP] benefits a number of people in the wider community”, he said.
Also on the field visit were Second Secretary Daniel Carruthers, Irma Edwards, Chief Personnel Officer-Office of the Prime Minister, Dominica, Clive Murray, CCSI Programme Officer, and Gelina Fontaine, Programme Manager, Child Fund Caribbean.
The field visit enabled His Excellency to experience first-hand what the programme offers to children and parents. In the community of Bataca, in the Kalinago Territory, he met Rover (RCP caregiver) Ruthphin Dupigny with toddler Cody Paris and parent Cedric Paris – the Commissioner joined little Cody in some singing and reading activities, and a short walk.
In the community of Salybia, he participated in further programme activities with Rover Willis Joseph, parent Doriscia Stanford and her baby Jernelle Joseph before visiting the Kalinago Council Office to see a group stimulation exercise conducted by five Rovers and children along with their parents. His Excellency was impressed with what the programme offers, and noted how highly parents speak of RCP benefits and the positive impact of the programme. He also heard from Rovers about how they gain confidence from the programme and enjoy contributing to the lives of children and families.
Operating in Dominica since 2004, the RCP has expanded into many communities, according to Nisbertha Buffong, Dominica’s RCP Coordinator. Approximately 153 children are currently being served by 20 Rovers in the areasof Castle Bruce, Petite Soufriere, San Saouveur, Good Hope, the Kalinago Territory and Atkinson. There are plans to extend the programme to Marigot and Grand Fond in the near future.