Providenciales, TCI, August 23, 2016 – Just minutes after the announcement that the government was working with TCI Olympian, Delano Williams on a return home this Thursday and the string of activities for his hero’s welcome, the plans were cancelled. The unnamed tropical depression which is by the day gaining strength, just as forecast has power – power enough to force the postponement of that DW Celebration.
Williams was to return to TCI via British Airways this coming Thursday with a welcome reception, motorcade, press conference, Cadet escorted entry into the World Famous Island Fish Fry and remarks of praise coming from as high up as the Governor of the territory. But no more, at least for now, Delano posted on his Facebook page that he will no longer return on Thursday due to the coming bad weather.
The Minister had warned that it was possible and she spoke about how it felt to be watching Delano at the Olympic Stadium in Rio.
“We equated it that the joy we had watching Delano run, and cross the line and hand the baton over first, was probably more joyful than when we heard that we won the election, and I think that just shows the amount of…..like just thinking about it now i’m welling up with emotion, because it was just indescribable, and looking at the pictures and the videos from events that were here, there was an event at Danny Boys, there was an event at Opus, there was one in Grand Turk, and I understand the Vix was packed and somewhere else was packed. Just looking at the pictures of the country standing still for forty seconds, because I was screaming so much, I was able to actually capture a quick snap of his mother and the look on her face, the joy on her face, the joy on Rita Gardiner’s face.” – DP Akierra Missick
Haiti proved a stellar partner for the Turks and Caicos, as its Athletic Association worked to get Delano’s mother, his mentor Rita Gardiner, the Minister Akierra Missick and Sports Director, Judith Robinson official access and special seating to watch DW make history as the first TCI to compete at the Olympics level.
“Haiti wrote back almost immediately saying we would assist in having you and the Director of Sport be part of our official delegation so that you would have access to the games, access to the games hotel, and access to whatever meeting sites that would be on the site.” – DP Akierra Missick
Delano’s mother is Haitian; his father Turks and Caicos Islander and he has a twin sister Ashley, whom he calls his best friend. The trip for the TCI sports officials could already be reaping results for stronger focus on widening sports offerings as there were recommendations, said Minister Akierra from the International Olympics Committee or IOC.
“Another thing that was shared with me by the IOC during our meeting is that root programs need to be in place in order for them to consider having us even as an associate member because they want to see how sport is running from zero to Olympic qualifiers, because it’s about the growth and the continuous development of the individual sport.” – DP Akierra Missick
The Minister also shared that the TCI will work toward associate membership of the IOC in time for the 2020 Olympics which are set for Tokyo, Japan. Delano Williams on Friday August 19th ran a flawless second leg in the men’s 4x400m relay, as the youngest member of Team Great Britain. The team ran the third fastest time in the heats, but was disqualified and was unable to advance to the finals. Needless to say, it was a catastrophic blow to the Olympic dreams of Williams, who wanted and seemed poised to medal, with his team in the event.
Barbados to Host 41st Caribbean Travel Marketplace this Spring
By Sherrica Thompson
#Barbados, February 2, 2023 – Barbados has been selected to host the 41st edition of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace. The event will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown from May 9 -11, and it is expected to build on the success of the 40th staging held in Puerto Rico last fall.
CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig, who made the announcement recently, said it’s the first time in the organization’s history that the association’s largest annual event, which brings together buyers and sellers of the region’s tourism products and services, will be staged in Barbados.
“CHTA has a very strong relationship with both public and private sector stakeholders in Barbados, and as we position the region’s top earner for robust growth this year, we are delighted to lock arms with our Bajan partners to drive business to the Caribbean,” she stated.
Noting that: “This year’s Marketplace will also provide unique access to the Eastern Caribbean for buyers and tour operators as the region places a strong focus on the revival of multi-destination travel.”
Minister of Tourism and International Transport of Barbados Ian Gooding-Edghill, said the Barbados tourism industry was undergoing a major renaissance in the post-COVID environment, and the timing could not be better to welcome Caribbean Travel Marketplace to local soil.
“We are honoured to host such a preeminent gathering of tourism stakeholders from around the world,” Minister Gooding-Edghill said, noting that the meeting aligns with Barbados’ value offerings, which appeal, among others, to the very important MICE [Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions] market.
The launch of the first Caribbean Travel Forum & Awards, a highlight of the Puerto Rico meeting, will return for a second edition and will be held in Barbados on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, ahead of the official opening ceremony of Caribbean Travel Marketplace.
The Forum will also focus on the business of tourism, and business appointments will be conducted on Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11.
Over 150 delegates, including Ministers of Tourism and key private sector leaders, engaged in the Caribbean Travel Forum last year.
National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas
By Shanieka Smith
#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – A new initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs in the Bahamas will see the creation of a National Food Policy geared towards ensuring food security on the island.
“This agricultural policy would encompass a holistic approach and incorporate regulations, legislation, and other aspects to assist the farmers who have not really gotten the attention they deserve for a long time,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting.
Other initiatives within the agriculture sector will also be implemented, such as the digitalization of applications and forms, which will make farming more efficient.
Clay said, “we have already digitalized for the most part the Department of Marine Resources and soon we will unveil new services such as dog licences, import permits, and other services needed for a successful agricultural sector.”
The construction of the Cultivation Centres (TCC) in Eleuthera and New Providence with produce exchange, food processing kitchens and farm stores will continue.
Sweeting said he hopes these initiatives will help to decrease the country’s yearly $1 billion food import bill.
The Incredible Story of David Avido of Kenya, 24 Year old designing for the Grass Roots to the Stars
By Dana Malcolm
#Africa, February 2, 2023 – One Kenyan designer began a sewing business out of the slums where he was born; now he dresses some of the Caribbean and Africa’s most famous faces.
Born the oldest son of a single mother and from Kibera Nairobi, David Avido Ochieng did not have an easy start. In Kibera, the largest urban slum in East Africa opportunities for international success are hard to come by and yet Avido can now say he has dressed the likes of former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Beyoncé, Chronixx, Romain Virgo, Tarrus Riley, Chris Martin, Ty Dolla Sign, Koffee and many more.
As explained on his website, David dropped out of school to work and support his family quite young. In just first form he was working on a construction site but he knew he wanted more from life. After quitting his job he danced and saved what he could and tried his best to complete his education.
He told Vogue magazine: “When I started dancing I used to save money in order to go back to high school, with the little that I could get from dancing and my mom’s money from doing work as a house help, we were able to raise 15,000 shillings and with that, I joined an adult school and skipped forms two, three and four.”
David picked up a sewing machine to make costumes and realized his talent. By 2015, his brand LookslikeAvido was born. He completed a fashion & design diploma at Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts and began to sew incredible pieces right at home in Kibera. Even as his brand is globally recognized, Kibera is where his workshop remains; David says, his homeland is his great inspiration.
“There is no barrier if you believe in your talent and take the next step. I want to encourage and create beauty, where people don’t expect.”
Talented and thoughtful Avido is well aware of the stereotypes surrounding him, his home and the black community globally.
“We know about injustice and violence, prejudice, racial and social discrimination – we experience it within Kenya and we experience it globally, as people look at us as the poor, the uneducated, the needy,” he said.
Featured in Vogue, CNN and other international publications, Avido remains connected to his origins in a tangible way and as his success grows his roots just go deeper. Twenty per cent of all sales of his jackets and other clothing items go directly back to Kibera; his website explains that all the tailoring, product photoshoots and collaborations ‘is all done here in Kibra.’
There is no fabric waste from his garments, instead, scraps are repurposed into masks and shopping bags for residents, all his tailors are local residents, a portion of profits are used to pay school fees and Avido and his team put in extra time to make school uniforms as well.
On his website, is a photo of him sitting around a sewing machine, his worktable resting on hard-packed earth with presumably a group of family and friends surrounding him, a source of pride. The introspective photograph could have been taken in Nairobi, Trinidad or Barbados, so nostalgic is the picture, the bench and the story of community success that it represents.
In a video posted to his YouTube, David sits at his new work desk, and beside him hangs a rack of clothes in the cramped space that serves as his kitchen as well.
“I’m the firstborn of Kibera,” He explains, “Every kid in Kibera is looking up to me— my main dream is to open up a place where I can inspire people to work.”
David has a dozen employees and is listed in Beyonce’s directory of black businesses; with an uncommon wisdom, the designer knows that his successes so far are not parking spaces but rather stepping stones as he faces his future announcing that the journey, for him, continues.
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