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Sandals Foundation, Beaches Resorts, and Sesame Workshop Present “Sesame Street: Let’s Learn!”

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FREE Resources & Webinars for Early Childhood Parents and Educators

#TurksandCaicos, June 19, 2021 – Supporting the educational development of the island’s young, the Sandals Foundation and Beaches Resorts have teamed up with Sesame Workshop’s Sesame Street in Communities to host three free webinars and share over 300 FREE online resources with educators and families of children ages Birth-8 years old.

The Sesame Street: Let’s Learn! initiative, which has been fully endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Labour, Employment and Customer Services, forms part of Beaches Resorts’ longstanding partnership with Sesame Workshop. As a proud sponsor of Sesame Street, Beaches Resorts is the only resort company to offer Caribbean Adventures with Sesame Street, which includes immersive, playful learning at the Sesame Street Kids Camp, walkaround characters, live shows, parades, and more. Through social impact initiatives with Sesame Street in Communities and the Sandals Foundation, the organizations are able to bring the laughter and learning of Sesame Street to local communities in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos.

Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at Sandals Foundation says, “In light of the challenging time that it has been for families, educators and children, it was important for us to see how we engage our partners at Sesame Workshop who are experts in child development, creating age-appropriate content, and helping children cope with complex social issues and big feelings.”

“The resources,” Clarke said, “supplement children’s learning as well as provide social and emotional support so every child can succeed in school.”

Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President, U.S. Social Impact, at Sesame Workshop says, “We know this past year has been a challenge for families, caregivers, and educators. The free resources, including webinars and Sesame Street videos, storybooks, and more will keep children engaged and learning. We look forward to working with our longstanding partner Beaches Resorts, along with the Sandals Foundation, Ministry of Education, and the local community to help kids across the island grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.” Antonio Freitas, Senior Content Manager, Sesame Workshop is leading this effort in training.

The webinars address the most essential needs of children today—tackling school readiness, coping with the challenges that impact their learning, including health emergencies such as the Covid-19 pandemic, and building resilience in facing tough issues.

On Wednesday, June 9, just over 60 educators, parents, and caregivers joined Sesame Workshop early childhood experts online using the Zoom platform to explore school readiness resources geared to support children learning.

In his opening address, Edgar Howell, Director of Education, expressed delight in the collaboration noting, “We are excited about the webcasts, about the opportunities that are being provided to teachers, parents, and children especially given the impact that Covid-19 has had on Turks and Caicos. We are anxious to see what our teachers and parents will learn from being involved.”

During the interactive session, which explored the importance of learning through play, having parents/guardians present, and developing meaningful moments with children, attendees viewed videos and participated in activities, as well as shared their own experiences in ensuring children are school ready.

One parent participating in the session shared, “The workshop was very insightful with numerous topics for working with families, as well as professional development topics to explore. The videos and other resources will also prove to be very beneficial. An excellent session!”

On Wednesday, June 16, the second scheduled webcast will explore health emergencies, while on June 23, the early childhood experts will share how to help children build confidence and overcome challenges with resources that help develop resilience. Persons who were unable to attend the first session can access the recording through the Sandals Foundation or the Sesame Street in Communities Facebook pages. Parents and educators may also access the more than 300 learning resources through Sesame Workshop’s digital platform, Sesame Street in Communities and sign up for the upcoming webcasts at m.sesame.org/ssicbeaches.

Since the opening of Beaches Turks and Caicos in 1997, the company has invested in numerous educational projects, providing school supplies and facilitating development programs within schools.

James McAnally, General Manager at Beaches Resorts, says, “In addition to and independent of our work with Sesame Workshop. through the Sandals Foundation, we’ve been able to scale up the reach of our involvement within the sector by helping to distribute digital learning devices, coordinating the building of hand wash stations, facilitating upgrades to school facilities and hosting first aid, CPR and special needs training for teachers. These webinars are well timed and will certainly offer much needed support in these unique and ever-evolving times.”

Release: Sandals Resorts

Caribbean News

Barbados bestows Humanitarian Award on PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne 

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, November 25, 2022 – The newest recipient of Barbados’ Humanitarian Award is outgoing Pan American Health Organization Director, Dr Carissa Etienne.  The government of Barbados grants this award to frontline workers who were instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Etienne expressed her gratitude for the recognition, noting, however, that she was more grateful for the opportunity to have served on the island. She also praised Prime Minister, Mia Mottley for her diligence in leading the country and regional involvement during the pandemic.

Humanitarian medals were also given to Frontline workers who risked their own safety to ensure the needs of the public were met. Those who held supporting roles on the frontline received humanitarian lapel pins, and those who made generous donations were given humanitarian plaques.

Dr. Etienne highlighted one major lesson from the pandemic, “we are only safe when the weakest among us is also safe”.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.

He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.

While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell  explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.

“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”

He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue.  The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that  TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.

“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”

Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”

“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.

He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.

“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”

Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: Government Revenues Soar

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#Kingston, November 25, 2022 – There has been a jump in Government revenue collection, with tax revenues for the first six months of the fiscal year exceeding budget by $35 billion.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, said that the out-turn is as a result of higher-than-expected economic performance.

“The first quarter growth came out at 5.7 per cent… and all categories of revenue are over budget. Revenues from income and profits are up by nearly 13 per cent or $10 billion,” Dr. Clarke said.

In addition, he noted that revenues from production and consumption are up by seven per cent or $7 billion and revenues from international trade are up by 15 per cent or $18 billion. Revenues from motor-vehicle licences for the first six months of this year are 16 per cent higher than budgeted.

Dr. Clarke was speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (November 22) where the First Supplementary Estimates for 2022/23 were approved.

The approval reflects a revised expenditure of $971 billion, from the previously approved budget of $912 billion for the financial year.

Minister Clarke said the First Supplementary Estimates come within the context of positive overperformance of the economy.

“As a result of this revenue overperformance… we are able to come to this Parliament six months after and put a Budget that proposes $60 billion in new expenditure,” Dr. Clarke said.

The largest component of the supplementary budget is the allocation for public-sector salaries and wages in keeping with the restructuring of compensation.

“We are allocating $16 billion there and there is another $2 billion to the Ministry of Health and Wellness and then about $3 billion for statutory deductions, making a total of $21 billion,” the Minister said.

 

Contact: Latonya Linton

Release: JIS

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