Barbadians interested in vying for the UNESCO "Award of Excellence For Handicrafts" have only a few days to secure an application form and brief from the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, located at the Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road, St Michael.

This is necessary since the closing date is Thursday, March 15, 2012.

The programme, which is being held in our sub-region for the first time, is co-ordinated by the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO in close collaboration with the UNESCO office.

Applicants are required to submit details to the Barbados National Commission for UNESCO, about their own product that may include houseware, decoration; jewellery, toys and games; musical instruments, clothing and scarves as well as fashion accessories.

This information should list all the materials used in production of the handicraft and their origin(s), indicating also if they are natural, modern materials such as glue or fire retardants, among others.

The steps used in the production process must also define such as ???by hand’ or with the ???help of machines’ and applicants must tell a short story or legend about the craft or some of the patterns used. The applicant must also explain what is new or original about their particular product and how it is marketed, whether locally, regionally or internationally, as well as its weight and price.????

Handicraft items will be judged on four criteria – excellence, authenticity, innovation and marketability.

They must also fulfil two pre-conditions to be eligible for evaluation. The items must be eco-friendly and the producer must affirm that no labour laws or copyright is violated and no individual group is exploited in any stage of production.

All items will be judged at the national level and the selected ones will be sent to Jamaica for the final judging.

An application processing fee of US $20 by bank transfer is required.

Application forms are available at the Barbados National Commission for UNESCO, located within the Ministry and should be submitted there by March 15 in order for the Commission to forward them to Jamaica by March 30.

For further information applicants should contact the Ministry at 430-2700.


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