Antiguans Launch Crochet Exhibit to Raise Environmental Awareness

More than 40 Antiguans from different sectors of society came together to craft replicas of the coral reef and sea animals to promote environmental protection. Entitled “Crochet for a Cause: Ridge to Reef,” the project’s implementation in Antigua and Barbuda featured two days of workshops at the National Public Library where participants were equipped with the knowledge required to create replicas of coral, turtles, fish, starfish, and seashells.


Funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, the project seeks to reduce biodiversity loss and highlight the importance of reducing human induced stresses such as poor water quality and physical damage to the marine environment. GEF SGP UNDP Representative for Antigua and Barbuda, Natalya Lawrence provided brief remarks at the workshops’ opening ceremony. “In our simple way and through this project we are going to do our best to raise awareness about coral reef conservation and what it means to us as guardians and stewards of our own environment to take care of our coral reef.”


The workshop began with a presentation by National Parks Authority Marine Ecologist Ruleo Camacho who challenged participants “It is very important to remember that especially when you live on small islands the way of life that we have is very dependent on our environmental ecosystem. No matter how small the thing you are doing if you are making a positive impact towards environmental conservation, you are making a difference.”

(l-r) The National Library Director Mrs. Ryllis Mannix, Elaine’s Caribbean Crochet Founder Nikisha Toppin, National Parks Authority Marine Ecologist Ruleo Camacho, and GEF SGP UNDP Representative for Antigua and Barbuda Natalya Lawrence

In addition to encouraging environmental awareness, the project aimed to equip workshop attendees with the resources, skills, and tools to create crochet products for economic empowerment. Department of Creative Industries representative and participant, Ms. Sylvanie Abbott indicated “Since I am here, I like it and I am very impressed with what I am seeing, and I am so appreciative of it. First thing, I thought was that I could make some of these things and sell to the tourists.” Crochet artisan, Valerie John, from the sister isle of Barbuda, stated “As a crocheter, who only makes clothing, it was my first time attempting amigurumi. Initially, I had reservations but when I started to create, it was so easy and so much fun. I will definitely be participating in future workshops.” During the workshops, students from Antigua Girls High School were given the opportunity to contribute to the project’s creations, expressing joy and excitement during the process.


The GEF SGP UNDP is conducting this project in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, and Ministry of Environment and National Beautification, Green and Blue Economy Barbados. The project facilitated by Elaine’s Caribbean Crochet, in collaboration with BYBT is in its second year of implementation.


Google Drive photos and videos –

Replicas created by the crocheters of Antigua and Barbuda


Facebook Albums

Day 1

Day 2


Instagram Videos

Snippet of Crochet for a Cause Antigua

Testimonial Video – Christal Clashing 

Testimonial Video – Sylvanie Abbott

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