The Dominican Republic Embassy in Jamaica and WiPay recently collaborated to empower artisans during the inaugural DR Week JA.
The artisans, carefully selected by the Foderate Association, showcased a diverse range of products, including jewellery, paintings, cigars, handmade accessories, and crafts at the business forums held at the AC Hotel in St Andrew. WiPay, a fintech company providing a range of products and services for payment processing, offered a payment solution to facilitate transactions between the artisans and their buyers.
According to the Ramon Guillen, executive director of Foderate, “this is the first time we are traveling to Jamaica, and it has been a great experience sharing a part of our homeland with others not just from Jamaica but other Caribbean countries and around the world”.
Amashika Lorne, operations manager for WiPay Jamaica, echoed this sentiment, stating that the company’s mission of financial inclusion for all made it an easy decision to partner with the embassy to support the eight artisans.
WiPay’s technology proved to be user-friendly, even for artisans with limited English proficiency.
Lorne conducted a training session that incorporated her use of Spanish, making it possible for the artisans to conduct purchases by attendees of the forums with ease. This collaboration was deemed a success by the Counselor Minister of the Dominican Republic, Miguel Balaguer, who was pleased with the exposure and opportunities the artisans received during DR Week JA.
Lorne shared that “hundreds of thousands of Jamaican dollars were processed by WiPay Jamaica during the week-long activities”.
The week of events culminated in an inauguration of a permanent exhibition of the artisans’ work at the Dominican Republic Embassy in Jamaica. This week of activities not only empowered the artisans but also promoted cultural exchange, increased bi-lateral ties, and business expansion between the two Caribbean countries.