Well, Well... my second Baroness for the year! but unlike Baroness Scotland who originates from Dominica, it was Baroness Verma's first visit. She is the British Minister for International Development and born in India. She was "jolly adventurous" braving our roads which are still a bit beaten up in places and coping with the insect life and various inefficiencies with public aplomb, whatever stories she had to tell when she got home. Officially here to see the PM and the President to discuss a huge infrastructural repair project the Brits are funding (thanks guys) post Tropical Storm Erika, the Baroness had asked to share all her meals with various activists and yours truly was detailed off to organise.
We met Gender Based Violence Advocates, LGBT Human Rights Workers and Disability Activists and forged relationships that bode well for further working together. Victims are victims whatever their ability or sexual orientation, politics, colour, HIV status, race, religion or social status and all need the support necessary to survive and to become advocates in their own right.
Opportunities should be available to all, so that employment and self sufficiency are not dependent on who you know but on how hard you try to make the best of what you have. We in Dominica have an awful long way to go, not just in terms of physical accessibility but also in challenging expectations. However at the end of 36 hours in Dominica, the DFID team can be sure they started a process that will once again lead to the reflection "The British were here Thank God" which is carved on a slab on the Bayfront I think from Eugenia Charles' days, which was the last time we had an official visit from a British Minister when Baroness Chalker opened the Post Office in 1993..