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TCI Cadet Corps, could this become an alternative solution for our troubled youth

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#TurksandCaicos, May 8, 2021 – A national voluntary youth organization, sponsored by the ministry of education, with assistance from the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force.  Their goal is to positively change the lives of young people to lead, inspire and excel.Their mission is to help people develop both personally and physically.

These are some distinct functions of the Cadet programme, all of which are essential in changing the trajectory of young lives. In addition, it can be used as a stepping stone in helping to shape careers for local law enforcement enthusiasts. Can this programme also play a vital role in helping to shape our troubled youth identity and character, if it became a better-funded operation with increased volunteerism?

There are many advantages to joining this Cadet Programme. First of all, it will give our youth a sense of purpose, it teaches self-control, responsibility, and respect for authority.  And as we know, for some obscure reason, to many of our youth today have fallen short in these areas.

As human beings, it’s the qualities of our inherent nature to make every effort to epitomize moral virtue. But in reality, we are all but one thought away from making that regrettable decision.  With such perverse behavior by so many of our youth today, some parents are finding themselves in a precarious position and are grappling for solutions. 
Some of us can attest that regardless of our fortitude and parenting skills, a kid could easily slip away from our control, sometimes ending up in uncompromising situations.

Our court system is becoming over burden with criminal cases, with a high number of  them being the lessor of the offenses.  With no adequate rehabilitation services available, the young and vulnerable persons, who are on the verge of going down the wrong path, those with chronic truancy issues or minor offenses could be prime candidates for this programme.

It is of my opinion, some of our troubled young men today will benefit immensely from the intense structure and discipline the Cadet programme provides.  For all intensive purposes, could they be given an opportunity to join the TCI Cadet programme in lieu of paying a fine or being placed in the criminal justice system? If we can save just one youth from the school to prison pipeline, then it’s well worth the trade off. 

Because of our righteous upbringing in the islands, it’s no surprise that the large majority of our citizens will always endorse the “lock um up” mentality, which we know is not the solution. The inconvenient truth is, we tend to spend a lot of time chastising our youth rather then offering pragmatic solutions and alternatives. What we should be spending more time on,  is challenging our criminal justice system to seek meaningful policy reforms and solutions to the growing trend of incarceration.

Many of our youth today, just need some sort of structure in their lives and another avenue to channel their aggression. The path that some of them are on, concerns me greatly. Many of them can also benefit from an increased sense of responsibility like the communal type atmosphere and self-discipline the Cadet programme offers.

The leaders of the Cadet programme can demonstrate to these special recruits that they truly care about the effects of their actions. They can also help to reinforce the positive attitude of empowerment that comes from making smart life choices and the long term benefits of working towards those goals.

Because of our close knit communities, an offender is practically stuck with a stigma or reputation for the rest of their lives, regardless of the level of crime. In essence, we could be unwittingly perpetuating this stigma. The focus needs to be more on restorative justice, rehabilitation, or meaningful alternatives rather than incarceration. 

It appears there is a fundamental disconnect between the aforementioned three areas as it relates to the reality facing our youth of today, and as we know, too many are already trapped in our criminal justice system. Complicity or status quo with the current criminal justice system of control is not the answer. We have to do more to give then a fighting chance.

Traditionally, militarized type programmes in particular has an underlined reputation of courage and honor. Perhaps, this one might allow an inductee the opportunity to outlive or overshadow their past reputation or stigma and take on this new one. I strongly believe that with the dynamics of our criminal justice system, we are in a unique position to lead the way and become developers of our own ideas and experiments. At the end of the day, the burden of our youth belongs to the nation. 

I will end by saying this, let’s not be too quick to write off our troubled youth as “damaged goods”. The challenge now is left up to our political leaders with the moral courage to take on this nascent idea and explore it as a potential pilot programme. Like the political theorist Tommie Shelby once said, “Individuals are forced to make choices in an environment they did not choose”. 

Therefore, instead of seeking the public opinion and buy-in to build bigger prisons, I say, let’s give our young men a choice, which could very well be a win, win for all.

Ed Forbes

Concerned citizen of Grand Turk

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FortisTCI Presents Sponsorship Funds to the National Cancer Society

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (Wednesday, October 20, 2021) – FortisTCI has presented the National Cancer Society of Turks and Caicos Islands with a $5,000 sponsorship to help support the Society’s ongoing programs and the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk-a-thon, which will be held on Saturday, October 30. FortisTCI President and CEO Ruth Forbes made the presentation on Tuesday, October 5 to the Society’s President Veronica Rigby, and former president Rosemary Jolly.

FortisTCI is a long-standing sponsor of the National Cancer Society and over the years has supported programs such as the annual walk-a-thon and the Society’s Night for the Fight event.

FortisTCI President and CEO Ruth Forbes said, “We are proud to once again show our support for the National Cancer Society and the very important work it does. Cancer is a disease that touches almost everyone in our community, whether directly or indirectly, and it is vital that we have a dedicated organization like the National Cancer Society that continues to educate the community, and provide tangible support to cancer patients. As we mark October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we hope this donation will assist in enabling the Society to expand its outreach efforts.”

National Cancer Society President Veronica Rigby remarked, “On behalf of everyone at the Society, I thank FortisTCI for their continued support. Beyond this sponsorship and their financial commitment through the years, we know we can also count on FortisTCI employees to support our activities. We have a partnership that works well together, as we do everything we can to make a positive difference in the lives of those we serve.”

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Bahamas News

Students display culinary skill and creativity in Bahamas Young Chef Competition

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Lamont Missick with judges and teachers

#TheBahamas, October 19, 2021 –  – Despite setbacks and limitations due to COVID-19, Lamont Missick, H.O. Nash; Gerardo Annacius, Anatol Rodgers and Brianna Butterfield of Kingsway Academy, overcame the odds and finished first, second and third respectively in the second phase of the recent 29th Annual Bahamas Young Chef New Providence District Culinary Competitions.

With hybrid lessons and just two weeks of in-person classes supervised by teachers, the three students, who are enrolled in Family and Consumer Science Education, stepped up to the plate and earned the right to enter the upcoming third phase (National Round) of the annual contest.

Now into its 29th year, the annual district competition, sponsored by the Ministry of Education along with Robin Hood Flour and Mahatma Rice, was held at Anatol Rodgers Senior High School, October 7 and 8.   Under the watchful eyes of judges who are all professional chefs — Clement Williams, Jimmy Dean, Chief Judge Gerald Rolle, Hazel Rolle, and Celeste Smith — the students were required to use Mahatma Rice and Robin Hood Flour to prepare a dish and dessert based on the theme “Bahamian Culinary Resilience: Going Back to Our Roots.”

Following the grueling round in the kitchen and interviews by the judges, Raquel Turnquest, Education Officer congratulated the students and parents, and offered advice to the teachers.

“We appreciate all of the time and effort that you put into your children. This competition is a true partnership between home, school and industry. The chefs are willing to give their input and give them [the students] the benefit of their experience.

“We have three young persons who are very much into what they are learning in school. They are putting their best foot forward. All of them are automatically in the national round,” said Ms. Turnquest.

“COVID-19 is forcing us to use technology in new and creative ways. You are now able to bring industry professionals into your classroom almost on a regular basis who don’t have to leave where they are to get into your classroom to give the students the benefit of their knowledge.”

She urged the students to use the judges’ critiques to refine and elevate their dishes.

“You saw the experience of working in the kitchen with persons viewing and walking through while you are working. That is something valuable. Take advantage of it and we’ll see you again for the National round. Congratulations to all of you today.”

 

Lamont Missick, 14,

Flour dish: Pineapple upside down muffin

Rice Dish: Land and Sea Rice

Lamont said he used the opportunity to sharpen his culinary skills.

“I realized my love for culinary arts from the age of 8. I remember watching Ratatouille, and hearing that “anyone can cook, but only the fearless can be great. I aim to be great and one day become and executive chef in my own restaurant,” said the ninth grader.

 

Brianna Butterfield, 14

Flour dish: Sugar apple almond muffins

Rice dish: Spinach Carrot Rice Cup with grouper pineapple sauce

“I love to cook and I wanted to boost my cooking skills,” said Brianna.

 

 

Gerardo Annacius dubbed his dishes ‘Fall ‘n’ Love’.

Rice dish: Conch and shrimp rice ball with plantain and coconut deep fried in coconut topping

Flour dish: Toasted bennie spiced cream puff with native pumpkin and coconut crème filling topped with ginger caramel

 

All of the judges commended the students on their dishes and encouraged them to continue to work hard.

Lamont was praised for his organized and sanitized kitchen-station. Also noted was his flavorful ‘spot on’ rice dish from which exuded flavors of conch, lobster, salt beef and coconut milk.

Chef Williams encouraged him to improve his presentation and move away from serving rice the old fashioned way of “cupping” in a bowl.

The judges were impressed with Annacius’ theme: “Fall ‘n’ Love’ and gave him pointers on how to improve his dish and dessert.

“You experienced a slight setback in the kitchen and your dessert dish did not come out as expected — but you did not stop, you made an effort to present something. Your dessert was flavorful; it did not rise like it should but you executed based on what you had,” said Chef Smith.

 

By Kathryn Campbell

(BIS Photos)

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: Frontline workers and athletes hailed for their roles in battling COVID-19

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#Kingston, October 19, 2021 – The performance by frontline health workers and Olympians from the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo has benefitted Jamaica tremendously.

This from Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Hon. Olivia Grange who made the comment while speaking at a virtual National Heritage Week Thanksgiving Church Service held Sunday (October 17) at the Waltham Park New Testament Church, 65 Waltham Park Road, Kingston, under the theme, ‘Saluting our Heroes…Safeguarding Our Legacy.’

During the service, there were virtual scripture readings by Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness and the Leader of the Opposition, Mark Golding. The service was aired on local television stations and streamed on the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s social media pages.

Minister Grange said that the work by the two groups, health care workers and athletes, “have benefited our nation immensely in the COVID-19 [coronavirus] pandemic times.”

She read comments from a newspaper article by nurses in St Ann, who had explained that although their jobs posed many challenges, “they were working towards a greater good”.

“It is a good feeling to know that we would go down into history as a set of people who did what we could do to alleviate the pandemic. It is a good experience to be part of this life changing time for the country,” Minister Grange recounted from the article.

The Minister said that the athletes should also be commended for giving Jamaicans “much to cheer about by their performance” during the pandemic.

“They represented us so well, that Jamaica ended up with nine medals putting us sixth place in track and field and 21st overall out of 206 competing nations. All of that against the background of the pandemic which had severely disrupted their training schedule,” she said, adding that the athletes should also be praised for setting a good example by getting vaccinated prior to the games.

Minister Grange urged Jamaicans to use Heritage Week to show respect and appreciation for the service and sacrifice of not only the National Heroes, but also for the “heroes of today.”

“It is important that we celebrate our National Heroes and the everyday heroes who make such a difference in our communities,” she added.

She said that the Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Awards 2021 which has been pre-recorded to observe the gathering limits of COVID-19 protocols, will be aired on National Television on Monday, October 18.

In his virtual remarks at the national thanksgiving service, Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen said that Jamaicans should treasure and build on the legacy left “by those who have helped to shape our nation.

“Today we continue to use the inspiration and opportunities created by our heroes as well as the traditions of our parents to be our guide, to open new horizons of social progress, economic growth and individual excellence,” he said.

Release: JIS

Contact: E. Hartman Reckord

 

 

 

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