#TurksandCaicos, June 10, 2021 – Turks and Caicos Islands, June 9, 2021 – The breathtaking sights of the underwater ecosystems at the Smith’s Reef Snorkel Trail are all set to be explored by local communities, students, and international guests thanks to rehabilitative work funded by the Sandals Foundation to ensure the protection of the enchanting marine life, the safety of snorkelers and the sustained livelihood of those who earn a living from using the nearby boating channel.
On Tuesday June 8, in commemoration of World Oceans Day, the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources proudly reopened the more than 20 year old near shore trail after implementing upgrades valued at just under US $30,000 from the Sandals Foundation.
Restoration works included the cleaning and continued maintenance of existing snorkel trail markers, installation of beach signage and marker buoys around the snorkel site, introduction of swim zone lines outside the snorkel area to prevent snorkelers from accidentally entering the boating channel, and the provision of signs and other collateral noting guideline for reef etiquette.
Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at the Sandals Foundation was pleased to see the reopening of the iconic site, bringing with it opportunities for sustained education and economic exploration.
“The new underwater trail signs will add to the rich educational experience of students and local community members who’ll be able to develop a deeper appreciation for and understanding of how they too can help protect the beautiful natural resources,” said Clarke.
The site’s reopening is even more significant, Clarke continued, as the theme for this year’s World Oceans Day, “Connects the importance of the Ocean to what we know all too well as Caribbean nationals – our lives and livelihoods. The marine space is part of our identity as a region and we are very happy to have this beautiful snorkel site reopened with restored amenities to not only protect the natural ecosystems that are present but also the life and livelihoods of persons who share in its resources.”
Alizee Zimmermann, Executive Director at the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund expressed gratitude to the Sandal’s Foundation for the Smith’s Reef restoration works funded.
“Smith’s Reef is an iconic off-shore snorkel site enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. The restoration efforts have created a safe space for snorkelers, alerting them to where the boat channel begins through the addition of a swim zone line. Additionally, the snorkel ring itself serves to keep people off of the shallow, fragile areas of the reef, protecting our vulnerable corals all the while taking the snorkeller on an informational tour through the placement of underwater trail markers. The beach signs and waterproof but recyclable maps will make this a fun, educational and memorable experience for all.”
Turks & Caicos is home to the third-largest barrier reef in the world with more than a million travelers venturing to the island each year to explore the wonders of the marine space.
Speaking at the Trail’s brief reopening ceremony executed under strict safety protocols, General Manager at Beaches Turks and Caicos, James McAnally beamed that, “As the island’s tourism industry continues its upward trajectory, the newly reopened snorkel site will be a welcome addition to marine adventure seekers.”
McAnally added, “Many guest travel here to enjoy the vibrant aquatic life and that’s why the Sandals Foundation, Turks and Caicos Reef Fund and Beaches Turks and Caicos believe this restoration project will enhance the sea life activity and options for both residents and tourists.”
Coral reefs are threatened throughout the Caribbean and the tropical Atlantic. Near shore reefs are particularly valuable assets as they allow visitors a one of a kind opportunity to easily access and learn about the wondrous ecosystem. Renovations of the Smith’s Reef Snorkel Trail began in late 2019 but had numerous setbacks due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project continues the longstanding partnership between the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund and the Sandals Foundation who have over the years implemented a number of activities towards the sustained conservation of the island’s marine spaces.
SheLeads launches global hiring App from the Turks and Caicos Islands
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – An app that does your hiring for you; it’s every hiring manager’s dream and it’s real. Even better? It’s home grown and born in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Hiring app SheLEAD HR Solutions was created in a collaboration between Turks and Caicos Islanders: Sheba Wilson and Roger Harvey.
Harvey, who is the founder of Go to Web Solutions, a new startup software company, explained that they brainstormed the system when they realized how TCI islanders were applying for jobs.
“The whole idea came about when we noticed applications in the TCI typically applied for a job by email— and that’s been a very inconvenient process.”
It meant printing out applications for all the applicants which might then get lost and keeping meticulous track of email addresses, phone numbers etc. In an effort to make recruitment better for the organization and the candidates SheLead was created. It is a powerhouse of an app, what the system offers is a tailor made and user friendly interface specific to each company that employers can manipulate easily.
Sheba Wilson, expert HR Manager with over a decade of experience explained the process.
“The hiring system is basically an HR solution that is geared towards streamlining the hiring process as well facilitating onboarding.”
Wilson explained this made the a fully functioning electronic process with communication in real time.
“Candidates are able to receive updates as soon as they input information and as soon as the hiring manager uploads them–– it cuts down a lot of the time that human resource departments have to spend with regard to making telephone calls or sending emails with follow up questions— because all of that functionality is included in the software,” she explained
The actual process of using the app is extremely easy.
Applicants upload their application and documents to the app and receive an automated response after which the HR manager can see that application, determine whether there are documents missing and or whether the applicant should be shortlisted for an interview.
When the decision is made, the HR manager or hiring manager updates the app and the applicant receives a text and email advising them of the updates.
Wilson explained that not only would this system make communication more effective between companies and potential employees it would make that communication faster as well. She said poor communication was a repeated issue which potential employees had with companies.
“We know that it is a very rigorous process but this particular software helps to take away all of the heavy lifting and creates a very streamlined process for the candidate and the company.”
There are additional features like personality compatibility tests to see whether applicants are a right fit. Applicants can also upload videos, get reminders about documents and use countless other features.
“The feedback has been phenomenal. We have tried it out in quite a few markets and The feedback has been positive so far,” said Harvey.
Employers who use the app get a branded portal and can add QR codes to advertisements for positions which when scanned send applicants directly to the portal where they can upload their applications.
The app is already getting recognized for its brilliance and is picking up customers left and right. Grace Bay Resorts is a bonafide client and the developers are currently courting the TCIG. International clients are knocking on the door as well.
The TCI grown app is an ingenious idea and seems poised for success. To her fellow Turks and Caicos islanders Wilson said, “Don’t downplay yourself. Don’t ever believe that you are less than. You have the innate talents and abilities that God has given you. What you need is the confidence to step forward and do what you have to do. Sometimes we allow fear to stop us, we think ‘oh I am just a small town Island girl who is going to take me seriously?’ It starts with confidence and there’s power in collaboration. Don’t be afraid to partner with other Turks and Caicos islanders,” she urged.
The app is available on the App Store and Google play and comes at no cost to applicants; only employers pay and employers are eligible for a free demo.
For small companies the two executives explained the starting price for the most basic package would be under $250 a month.
You can learn more here.
EYE OF FIONA VERY NEAR THE SOUTHWEST COAST OF PUERTO RICO… FIONA CONTINUES TO STRENGTHEN
0400 PM EDT Sunday September 18, 2022 Valid until 1000 AM Monday September 19, 2022
#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – At 200 PM AST (1800 UTC), the center of Hurricane Fiona was located near latitude 17.8 North, longitude 66.9 West. Fiona is moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h). A northwestward motion is expected to begin later today and continue through Monday, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest on Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Fiona will continue to pass near or over southwestern and western Puerto Rico this afternoon and evening. Fiona will then move near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic tonight and Monday, and near or to the east of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph (140 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours while Fiona moves near Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and over the southwestern Atlantic.
- WINDS: Tropical storm conditions are possible in the Turks and Caicos Islands by late Monday or early Tuesday. High likelihood of tropical storm force winds for South Caicos, Grand Turk and Salt Cay.
- RAINFALL: 2 to 5 inches. Rainfall is expected to be heavier in the more eastern islands (South Caicos, Grand Turk and Salt Cay). These rains will cause localized flooding of roads, properties, and communities.
- SURF: Swells generated by Fiona will reach the Turks and Caicos Islands by Sunday night.
- Use this time to download the DDME Alert App for significant weather alerts and for useful information on how to prepare for various hazards. Click the link: http://onelink.to/qe7vn2
- Reduce hazards in and around your property, such as overhanging trees, clogged drains, and unsecured items that can become missiles during high winds.
- Review your Family Emergency Plan and your Business Continuity Plan.
- Discuss with family members what actions they should take if impacted by hazards arising from the adverse weather.
- Prepare your emergency supplies to last at least 3 – 7days.
- Assist neighbours and the elderly in prevention and preparedness activities.
- Continue to monitor the DDME website and Social media pages for official weather updates.
The TCIAA Meteorological Department and the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies will continue to monitor this system and advise the public accordingly.
Turks and Caicos Deputy Premier attends Trade Forum to promote business with Africa
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – “Imagine a world where the largest African export to the Caribbean is no longer slaves.”
Under these words and in an effort to promote increased trade and strengthen relationships between the private sectors in Africa and the Caribbean the first ever AfriCaribbean trade and investment forum was held in Bridgetown, Barbados from September 1st to 3rd.
Spearheaded by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Export Barbados (BIDC) and Invest Barbados the event brought together between 750 to 1000 delegates, investors, bankers and other stakeholders from across Africa and the Caribbean under the theme, ‘One People. One Destiny. Uniting and Reimagining Our Future’.
Nigerian author Dike Chukwumerije opened the event reminding the gathered of their shared history.
“You can bind the hands and feet of men and women but you cannot bind their hearts” he said. Chukwumerije’s bone chilling poem was a perfect opener for the linkages based event.
“The bones that connect us all to the continent can never be broken—we are one people scarred by one trauma nailed to one cross followed by one stigma and our voices will not be heard until we project them together.”
On the opening day the President of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank Professor Benedict Oramah introduced the event and what it aimed to do.
“Trade can be used for good or evil— We would be stupid not to recognize that Africa’s borders have been extended to the Caribbean. We would have ourselves to blame it for you failed to realize that we are the same people and therefore can constitute one integrated market.” he said.
Bajan Prime Minister Mia Mottley in giving the keynote address said, “We have come here cognizant that our people have worked together for over a century in the various Pan African conferences, political cooperation, though essential, is not sufficient for the journey that must be made to reverse the underdevelopment of Africa and the Caribbean.”
Highlighting the current common battles that the two regions face including COVID, inflation and debt Mottley vowed, “We the children of independence have determined that we shall not allow another generation to pass without bringing together that which should never have been torn asunder.”
She maintained that despite hardship we must take our destiny into our own hands now as one people working together.
“We have the capacity to remove the middle man, to remove the middle leg and forever remove the scars of the middle passage.”
Mottley insisted that our destiny to be great nations was within our grasp if only we would take it.
Over the course of the three day event several panel discussions will be presented geared towards partnership in:
- accelerating industrialization and manufacturing;
- developing special economic zones (SEZs) and industrial parks;
- improving infrastructure, financing and trade logistics, including regional integration;
- creating the conditions to accelerate private sector investment;
- promoting trade and tourism; and
- improving agricultural productivity and expanding agribusiness opportunities and food security.
The event was attended by countless dignitaries E Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands; Carla Barnett Secretary General of CARICOM; Albert Muchanga, commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission; and hosts Bajan Prime Minister Mia Amor Motley and Bajan President Dame Sandra Mason.
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