“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. Being a Leader is not about being perfect. It’s about weathering the storm and carrying on”

The Hon. Dr. Ralph Gonsalves have steered St Vincent and the Grenadines in the right direction through the storm the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and post- Global Financial Crisis, for we’ve noticed many economies were still hurting and are still feeling the impacts of the 2008 global financial crisis.

Every Prime Minister inherits challenges, but, few have face so many. We’ve noticed, few years later after the Global Financial Crisis, Salary increases for Public Servants, More persons attending University abroad (especially those of the Indigent poor), Indigent poor decreased to 2.9%,  14 National Scholarships, College Students with B+ and above continues to receive $500, YES Program continues and many more.

Comparatively, St Vincent and the Grenadines debt to GDP sits at 67%, GDP per capita increased from $3,076.29 USD in 1999 to $10,000 USD in 2014, coupled with an average economic growth of approximately 2%. On the other hand, Jamaica Debt to GDP sits at approximately 132%, GDP per capita sits at $8,600 and economic growth at 0.5%. Not to mention, over 1000 individuals lost their job in St Lucia, Bahamas and over 3000 in Barbados.

Min. of Foreign Affairs et al Camillo MIchael Gonsalves led the fight to the United Nations General Assembly, in his capacity as St Vincent and the Grenadines Permanent Representative to the United Nations to bring attention to the impact of the Global Financial Crisis impact on Small Island Developing States (SIDS). At the time, when Great Powers were creating their “country clubs” to deal with the Global Financial Crisis amidst little attention was paid to how it impacted Small Island Developing States.

The #ULP Team is endowed with a Visionary Leader (International Airport, Education Revolution, etc.) and Pragmatic Leaders (EU removed us from their Black List, Schengen Visa Free, etc.).

People of St Vincent and the Grenadines you will have a choice to make in another few weeks or so, between two completely different parties. One with “No Vision” the “NO Damn Plan” (party) according to my Comrade and Friend Trish (Jett Mummy) – abbreviated as #NDP. While on the other hand, you have the Unity Labour Party abbreviated as #ULP, a Party with a Vision and a Pragmatic Leader. Moving Forward with the Unity Labour Party #4InARow.

MY ULP STORY:

As a young man growing up I have always had a passion in education and solely believe that it is the most important tool for personal growth and the advancement of any nation state, especially developing states. However, coming from a life of destitution, being born to a mentally mother, absent a father and growing up in a group home for Homeless and incorrigible boys, impacted my chance of advancing earlier in my life. In my earlier stages of my life, I resided at Liberty Lodge Boys’ Training Centre. After Liberty Lodge, I would find myself moving from house to house just to rest my head, sometimes shower and even to acquire a proper meal.

Despite my disadvantages, I remained resilient, positive and kept focus on my goal to obtain a higher education envisage becoming a contributing human being to society. Thus, I was able to access funding through the “Disadvantage Student Loan” created out of the Education Revolution. As a result, I was able to access Higher Education, upon which I attended the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. On October, 29 (2015), I graduated with “First Class Honours” in the area of International Relations. Today, I am currently pursuing an MSc in Government, specializing in International Relations at the University of the West Indies, Mona. In addition, I tutor level’s 1, 2 & 3 courses (in the areas of International Relations) at the Undergraduate in Department of Government.

Also, I am a recipient of a Graduate Assistance, which covers my tuition fee for the Master’s Program and I have be given a Grant from the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines valued in the amount of $25,000 which covers my Hall of Residence including other living expenses, to assist with my studies.

Digression; I derived my strength from my Mother and the people who have showed me their unwavering support throughout my life. My role models are Prime Minister Dr. ralph Gonsalves, President Barack Obama and Min. Camillo Gonsalves.

– Emmanuel Quashie

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