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From Awareness to Action: Media Workshop Boosts Social Protection

Published 6 June 2024

St Kitts, Basseterre,

Buckie Got It Media Source

Knowledge and Calls for Stronger Advocacy From Awareness to Action: Media Workshop Boosts Social Protection

Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis, 6 June 2024: Media in Saint Kitts and Nevis are
now better positioned to report on, and initiate conversations on social protection matters
thanks to a recently concluded Social Protection for Media Professionals workshop.

The event, which brought together representatives from broadcast and social media at
the Marriott Hotel, framed social protection within the context of human rights and the
Sustainable Development Goals. It explored available services across the Eastern
Caribbean (including Saint Kitts and Nevis) and debunked popular misconceptions
surrounding social protection. The importance of using the media to tell stories in
meaningful, sensitive and resonant ways was also discussed.

Speaking during the workshop, Ms. Azilla Clarke, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of
Social Development and Gender Affairs, stressed the importance of the media as a key
partner. “Persons choose how they access information and many of them choose media
houses over government entities. So, we need to share information with our media
houses to help us educate, inform and advocate for the social protection system and its
beneficiaries,” she noted.

In addition to public education and awareness, the role of the media as change agents
was emphasized by Mr. Cosbert Woods, United Nations Country Coordination Officer for
Saint Kitts and Nevis. He remarked, “Notwithstanding the valiant efforts of our social
protection officers, partnerships with the media are needed to ensure that access to
information about available services and rights and responsibilities are provided to those
who need to navigate life’s uncertainties.” He added, “If we can empower the media to
see themselves as strategic allies for change then we can leverage their skills sets in
advocacy and communication to evoke the necessary transformation in our social
protection efforts.”

Media practitioners welcomed the event, suggesting that it would lead to social
protection stories gaining more traction. According to Andre Huie, President of the Media
Association of Saint Kitts and Nevis, “As media we are inundated by so many topics each
day and sometimes issues like social protection aren’t high on our agenda. Certainly, this
workshop has now brought it into focus. It allowed us to pay greater attention to matters
related to social protection and how important it is in supporting vulnerable persons
and…the development of countries. I am hopeful that it will change our focus in terms of
our news agenda.”                                                   

The media training was delivered by the Resilient Caribbean: Engaging and Training
Youth, Strengthening Integrated Social Protection Sector Delivery Joint
Programme which is being implemented by four UN agencies in Anguilla, the British
Virgin Islands, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis and the wider Eastern Caribbean through
the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission. Capacity strengthening for
enhancing social protection systems is a priority for the joint programme.

The workshop formed part of a suite of services on which the programme is currently
collaborating with the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis including a two-day
’bootcamp’ for public sector officials implementing social protection programmes, aimed
bolstering their communication skills and better positioning them to speak about their
work and its impact.

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