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Keithlin Caroo

Helen’s Daughters

Saint Lucia

Keithlin Caroo is a young Saint Lucian changemaker championing the cause of gender inequality and rural development across the Caribbean. Her impact is most visible through her non-profit, Helen’s Daughters, currently operating in Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Established in 2016, Helen’s Daughters built her passions and offers advocacy, capacity development and improved market access to thousands of rural women across participating islands. Her goal with the WLW fellowship is to continue developing the sustainability of the organization, from finances to operations, putting in place a succession plan and focus on expanding to 3 new countries in the next 3 years.

Keithlin Caroo

About
Me.

What is your story?

What drives your work?

I do this work, subconsciously at first, as a homage to my grandmother who raised children and grandchildren off of her earnings as a market vendor and farmer. Every single day, I think of the effect Helen's Daughters would have on her life and perhaps how much further my family could have come if there was an organization that supported rural women. I want to see these women and their families thrive because these are the same families I was raised in and I want to put an end to curses like intergenerational poverty that plague communities like my own.

Describe your biggest strength as a leader

I believe my biggest strength is creating networks to support our work and in conceptualizing programs

Describe your biggest challenge as a leader

My biggest challenge can be managing staff and my expectations of them.

About the
Organization
and the Project.

Sector

Not-for-profit

Vision & Mission

Vision: We use agriculture as an entry-point for overall development through the economic empowerment of rural women.

Mission: To build individuals holistically that can in-turn build their own communities, through the integration of agriculture, health and food and nutrition and gender equity.

Year Founded

2017

No. of Employees

10

Years in the Organization

7 years

Annual Budget (USD)

$120,000

Geographical Area Served

St. Lucia
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Organizational /

Project Description

I'm not going to focus on a project but rather developing the sustainability of my organization, be it financially, putting in place a succession plan and focus on expanding to 3 new countries in the next 3 years.

I do have 3 major goals:

1. Complete the construction of our office/training space and community hub.

2. Advocate for a change in policy in sustainable land planning with a gendered framework

3. Create Helen's Daughters as a regional hub for women in agriculture.

Why is this project important and timely?

What is the target population of your project? 

Rural women and their families in the Caribbean region.

Positioned to serve 10,000+ persons

Due to the lack of gender-specific training programs targeting women in agriculture, we have trained over 3,000 women in sustainable agricultural practices and more efficient agri-business practices. 70% of those trained had never received formal agricultural training and 90% of participants demonstrated a marked increase in knowledge of these practices. 15% of participants in our program went on to become full-time agri-entrepreneurs (quitting full-time
jobs or creating employment) after the program. 20% of participants detailed a shift towards equitable power relations in the household. 25% of women who were already operating in the informal sector as vendors were able to receive official certifications to be recognized as farmers. Furthermore, we have seen an increase in gender-specific training since we started. We have directly aided 1,365 beneficiaries, with an additional 6,062 beneficiaries indirectly impacted. In total, our programs have reached at least 7,427 beneficiaries between December 2022 to November 2023.

How will you know that you have achieved that impact? What data will you use to assess your impact?

We use a number of indicators to assess impact from storytelling of beneficiaries, to revenue generated from income-generating opportunities such as farmers markets, to assessments conducted pre and post training programs. We've developed a monitoring and evaluation dashboard that collects this information, along with training staff on how to use this dashboard.

We measure our impact on economic opportunities, increased income, additional business opportunities for our member farmers.

How do you anticipate this unique leadership education impacting you personally? What new skills are you hoping too develop & grow through this experience?

I believe this is my year of growth in leadership and I want to be able to be more confident, hold space and manoeuvre obstacles without taking them as personal failures. I'm hoping to become a more effective manage, build my executive present, improve my communication, particularly during networking opportunities and manage conflicts better.

Where would you like to see yourself professionally in the next 3 years?

In the next 3 years, I want to be one of the foremost leaders on social entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean, I want to have a succession plan complete and prepare to groom a successor as I would have been 10 years in the role. I would like to transition to creating more ecosystem support for social entrepreneurs in the Caribbean, along with consulting on development projects.

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