Editorial: Stop Likin’ Man!
#Providenciales, August 2, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Someone has taken the time to create a video which highlights the more headline-grabbing, violent crimes of the past 12-months and I have received it many, many times.
My editorial has nothing to do with ‘Stop Likin’ Man’ as is said colloquially when young men follow negative or senseless trends. I just gave that headline so that more people could read this. Forgive me, but please read on. My editorial is about CRIME.
The fact that this compelling video lasting just over three minutes, has been shared with me by individuals of distinct status and who are considered leaders in our country and the region, speaks volumes.
A new governor, a new police commissioner, a nearly 3-year old government and a far more modern police force are burdened with a heavy challenge as the main leaders. The challenge is not unique to the Turks and Caicos, but tempers locally are rising and patience appears to be running out as instances of crime grow more callous, calculated and common.
Two stores in Grace Bay were reportedly broken into sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. A couple of shootings were reported this week, two people were struck with bullets and one of them fatally so.
A lone gunman waltzed into a popular down town business and robbed the place at gunpoint and got away on foot with people’s stuff and the company’s cash.
And the video – released today it seems – highlights the string of murders, well over a dozen, which have claimed the lives of 13 men and one woman, a guest to the Turks and Caicos Islands; all of which were recorded – tragically – in the past year and which attracted an outrageously high level in a U.S. Travel Alert.
Turks and Caicos, it is plain to see that we have a problem.
But the problem is not the problem, the problem is our response to the problem.
We seem to be good at making money, getting investors, living the high-life, minding other people’s business, minding our own business, educating our children, getting degrees and complaining.
But we are less good at handling problems, any kind of problem… together.
We comment on social media. We secretly write scathing messages. We remain in the shadows with our outrage and disappointment. We politicise crime, point fingers and trivialise the work required to fix it. We are often inconsistent in our efforts. We don’t show up when called to participate and we are easily discouraged when we are ignored or our ideas, shelved.
Bottom line is, we lack conviction.
The criminals however are focused. The perpetrators are resolute. They are prepared to let their voice be heard, even if it means riddling off bullets in public places because someone made ‘em mad.
They’ve got conviction about committing crime and from where I sit, they are ready to rumble even to the death.
For too many of us on the right side of the law, we have a problem with getting our points across in the light; we are too prepared to distance the helpful because it’s an easier target upon which to focus; we are more famed for our division than our unity and we are so wrapped up in our agendas that we fail to rally around the good idea of a serious, significant reduction in all manner of crime in this territory.
I believe, we can save the day and preserve our country and for me, the mission has to be less about stopping crime and catching criminals and more about saving our lost boys and bringing them home to be loved, properly… again.
I commend the creator of that video on crime currently in circulation even though, once again the maker of it felt the need to hide their identity.
However, it fuels my curiosity as I ask if, maybe, perhaps we could and would lay it ALL down for the sake of our children who are losing their peaceful country, their freedom, their friends and their own lives due to crime!?
Millions to come from FSC
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Revenue from the Turks and Caicos’ Financial Services Sector will more than double in the next few years, if E Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier and Finance Minister gets his way. It ‘s one of the reasons the country is investing so much capital into getting off of the EU blacklist and becoming a secure trustworthy financial destination.
“The FSC’s revenues for 2020/21 was $10.5M— the figures for 2021/22, would be about similar,” he said. He further explained that $10.5 million from the FSC represented about 2.6 percent of the country’s 408.5-million-dollar revenue. Though it increased to $14 million in the 2021/22 financial year, finance is still a small fry compared to tourism or even stamp duties but that will change, says Saunders.
“My revenue goal for the Government by the year 2029 [or] the election after the next election – is $500M. By that time, I want the financial sector (FSC) revenues to represent at least 5% ($25M). So that’s my goal for the financial sector by 2029.”
This goal, should it be met, would increase the Government’s revenue by 100 million dollars, a significant increase in spending power for local upgrades and improvements for Turks and Caicos residents and visitors.
Saunders says it’s time for the TCI to diversify its sources of revenue to make sure that what happened in the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw residents out of a job for months, will not happen again. Tourism now makes up around 80 percent of the country’s GDP. The Minister of Finance wants to push that down to 60 or even 50 percent.
New ASHLEY’S LEARNING CENTRE CONCERT
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Musicians from the New World Symphony will be in the Turks and Caicos in concert next month and residents are invited to attend in support of the future of Ashley’s Learning Center.
A fairly young orchestral academy based in Miami, the New World Symphony was launched in the 1980s by 1987, Michael Tilson Thomas and Ted Arison,Carnival Cruises founder. From the 1500 applicants who vie for a spot each year, the symphony accepts around 35 music graduates annually for training fellowships.
A select few of those graduates will be in country on April 8th headlining at the Ashley’s Learning Center concert ‘We’re all in this together’. The concert which also feature local artistes will be held at Brayton Hall on Venetian Road from 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Tickets are available ON ISLEHELP $75 PER GENERAL SEAT $125 PER PREMIUM SEAT $195 PER GALLERY SEAT – with /FREFRESHMENTS.
For TICKET RESERVATIONs you can call: 649-341-2304 or email EVENTS@ASHLEYSLEARNINGCENTER.ORG
Women’s Health Connectivity and health a study for TCI’S benefit
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – As the country moves toward new fiber optic connectivity, bridging the digital divide could be a game changer for healthcare and other family-friendly services in the TCI.
The power of universal digital connectivity across countries was one of the recurring themes when the United Nations in partnership with the Network of Afro Caribbean Women and the Diaspora recently explored how technology, innovation and education are being used to address women’s health issues.
The session aimed to highlight success stories and explore how those processes can be replicated to help women and girls globally including in The Turks and Caicos.
The UN explained that despite holding a 70 percent majority in healthcare jobs, women are poorly represented in leadership roles and subject to systemic gender inequalities that can make receiving healthcare challenging.
As delegates from Chile and Rwanda, who were also partners in the session, shared the upgrades to their countries’ systems that had significantly improved the level of care available to their women, digital connectivity was a deciding factor.
In Rwanda the health ministries have begun to use drones to deliver medicine, SMS messages to alert about health threats and a completely digitized health care that eliminates paper documents for pregnant women and makes records accessible to any doctor, immediately.
Rwandan delegate, Rose Rwabuhihi shared tips that countries should keep in mind when trying to implement new processes to benefit women and the wider community.
- Partnership and sustainability are key factors to successful programs. She urged governments not to give up on projects or allow their partners to give up on them halfway.
- Education campaigns to introduce residents to the technology: “We need to build skills and deepen the knowledge so they can use the innovations that have been put in place especially in rural areas.
Poor connectivity and technological issues have plagued the TCI for years especially in the islands outside of Providenciales. Government has substantially acknowledged this disparity in communications services and is investing in a new undersea cable to augment services in the Turks and Caicos.
The UNs perspectives can now ignite a fire for even more family friendly, digital services.
In fact,Senator Yasna Provoste Campillay, the Chilean Delegate explained how connectivity and videoconferencing had been used to reach the county’s women in the most rural of areas. Chile is a long country, its landmass spread lengthwise creating unique communication challenges. While healthcare in Chile is separated by length the Turks and Caicos islands are disconnected by the ocean and solutions that prove useful for the South American country could well be worth implementing locally.
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