This is a plea for help. I am often asked if I have a list of Civil Society Organisations in Montserrat, and the answer is that I don’t. I am involved in three voluntary organisations on island so, one way or another, I get myself invited to meetings with diplomatic missions or with the consultants writing Government strategies. That sometimes involves me asking nicely, if I haven’t been invited directly, or just turning up anyway. I always say how strong civil society is here, and that’s the point I’m asked for the list. It’s also the point at which I struggle.
There is also no formal relationship with Government with civil society a whole and it is sometimes difficult to find out about Government consultations. Montserrat’s Sustainable Development Plan expires this year too and we should be looking to maximise community involvement in its replacement.
So I am going to put together a list of Montserrat civil society organisations, and for this I’m going to start with the UN definition of a CSO and add anything else I can think of for completeness. The UN definition is: “Non-State, not-for-profit, voluntary entities formed by people in the social sphere that are separate from the State and the market. CSOs represent a wide range of interests and ties. They can include community-based organizations as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In the context of the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, CSOs do not include business or for-profit associations.”
So with the help of a few people, and the list that appeared in Discover Montserrat last year https://discovermni.com/about-montserrat/get-social-montserrat/ I’ve come up with the following. Please let me know if I have missed anything, or have included anything that is now defunct or should not be there. Contact details would be helpful too, as would correcting the category I have put them in. I will try to keep it updated. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
The Evergreen Senior Citizens Club
Montserrat Association for Retired Persons.
Older People’s Welfare Association
Meals on Wheels
Children and Young People
Montserrat Children’s Society
Fish and Fins
Montserrat Early Childhood Association
Other Health and Wellbeing
MAPD – Montserrat Association for Persons with Disabilities
WOMB – Women of Montserrat Bonding
St John Action Group
Davy Hill Action Group
St Peter’s Community Group
Montserrat Shamrock Lions Club
MAPS – Montserrat Animal Protection Society
Montserrat Cadet Corps
Montserrat Track Alliance
Montserrat Arts Council
Montserrat Foundation Music Programme
Emerald Community Singers
Small Business Association
Montserrat Chamber of Commerce
Montserrat Hospitality Association
Young Entrepreneurs Association of Montserrat
Civil Service Association
The picture below is from Montserrat’s Sustainable Development Plan and I think it’s of the young people consulted on the contents. Wouldn’t it be great to track them all down and see what they say now?