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Airbnb Community Fund grants awarded to more than 150 organizations around the world



#July 15, 2021 – Airbnb believes in sharing the company’s success with its stakeholders, including the communities the Hosts call home. That’s why Airbnb created the Community Fund to distribute $100 million over 10 years to organizations that are strengthening communities around the world, including $10 million distributed throughout 2021.

Today, Airbnb is excited to share the inaugural grant recipients of the Airbnb Community Fund, which include over 150 organizations from more than 40 countries and six continents.  These organizations are working to meet unprecedented needs brought about by the pandemic, and focusing on this year’s themes: COVID-19 relief, economic empowerment, and education. 

In Jamaica these organizations are: Jamaica Red Cross, Society for Scientific Advancement, United Way Jamaica. In Dominican Republic these organizations are: Community Foundation in Favor of Single Mothers and Young Unprotected Funcomas RNC, Fundación Grupo Puntacana and in Puerto Rico these organizations are: CMV Casa sin Fronteras, La Maraña, Programa de Educación Comunal de Entrega y Servicio, Inc.

Other recipients include the Mann Deshi Foundation in India, the Affordable Homeownership Foundation in the United States, Urban Refugees in France, and the India COVID-19 Relief Fund.  

To determine how to direct these grants, Airbnb turned to its Host community. Airbnb’s Host Advisory Board, a group of exceptional Hosts who act as the voice of the Host community to Airbnb leaders, selected the grant focus areas and worked with Airbnb’s program partner, GlobalGiving, to compile a list of global organizations working to meet these needs. Members of Host Clubs around the world then voted on organizations they believed have the greatest impact in their regions.

“I really liked how the Community Fund process was shared between different groups – not just Airbnb, but also the Host Advisory Board, Community Leaders and other Hosts.  We are all equally responsible for our Community.  I feel honoured to be part of the process.” – Pascale Hasson, Host Advisory Board member from Bordeaux, France.

Grant recipients outlined the impact the funding will have for their organization. 

“This fund will be used to help us to continue alleviating suffering in Jamaica. It will be used to help us in food distribution across the island to deal with the COVID19 induced hunger. We will also use it to distribute masks and sanitizers to local communities. The Funds will also be used for providing psychosocial support to various communities across the island”. Commented Kathlene Arnold from Jamaica Red Cross Society, Jamaica. 

“COVID-19 has exacerbated food insecurity. Daily Bread’s member agency network is seeing over 105,000 food bank visits per month across the city of Toronto – 50% increase compared to the year prior. Airbnb’s donation will help to ensure that more than 15,000 people can access a supply of fresh produce, dairy, proteins, and shelf-stable groceries. It will also help us build new emergency response programs, such as meal delivery services, so that individuals impacted by COVID-19 – especially seniors or those experiencing isolation – can safely access the food they need.” – Patricia Feehely, Daily Bread Food Bank, ON, Canada

“The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) is so honored to receive the generous gift from Airbnb. NCH is a beacon of hope for those that are experiencing homelessness. We can only remain a beacon with the help of amazing companies like Airbnb. We thank you for your willingness to help us Bring America Home.” – Donald H. Whitehead Jr., National Coalition for the Homeless, United States.

“This funding will allow 300 entrepreneurs in Mexico to receive the training and support necessary to rescue, strengthen or boost their microenterprises, given the current economic situation derived from the pandemic. They may choose to focus on transforming their business models towards digital. Others could prefer to improve their sales and customer service strategies. And some may decide to finally launch that business idea that they long for and achieve self-employment. Regardless of which path they wish to take, we will accompany them and get ahead of this crisis.” – Patricia Larios, Fundacion ProEmpleo Productivo A.C., Mexico.

“This additional funding will allow us to go further in collecting evidence on the impact of strengthening the capacity of Refugee-Led Organisations (RLOs), to support our advocacy work. It will enable us to dedicate time to revising and enhancing our monitoring, evaluation and learning framework, and to involve Refugee-Led Organisations in this process as part of our capacity-building work. This framework will aim to inform international humanitarian actors and funders on indicators of localization and self-reliance of refugees, and to advocate for further efforts towards those objectives.” – Alix Devillers, Urban Refugees, France

“What will the additional funding mean for the Affordable Homeownership Foundation? We will be able to help more Veterans, Disabled individuals and Seniors in need, and the donation will allow us to expand our North Carolina efforts to house homeless Veterans. We are so excited, again thank you!” – Lois Healy, Affordable Homeownership Foundation, Inc., United States

In addition to this process, Airbnb will direct grant awards to additional organizations they believe play an important role in communities around the world and Airbnb looks forward to sharing more later this year. To learn more about the Community Fund and the grant recipients, you can visit the Airbnb Community Fund page.

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Caribbean News

Bob Marley – One Love Actor Endorses Black River Film Festival



#MontegoBay, May 27, 2024 – The inaugural staging of the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), set for June 28 to 30, is being welcomed by local actor, Cornelius Orlando Grant, who sees the potential of the event in unearthing local talent and attracting investment from the international film industry.

Addressing a recent JIS Think Tank held at the agency’s Montego Bay Regional Office, Mr. Grant, who stars as gangster Bucky Marshall in the Bob Marley – One Love biopic, said the BRFF could leverage the interest and attention being generated towards Jamaica and its film industry following the premiere of the movie.

“Look at it this way, the Prince (Harry) came to the premiere and his presence attracted extra attention to [the film industry]. The Bob Marley movie is creating and breaking more records… . Just recently it opened in Japan [where]… reggae music and Bob Marley have a big fan base. Furthermore, people in the [diaspora] that I spoke to are saying that when they view the movie, it brought them vibes of home,” he noted.

Mr. Grant said that with Jamaica being positioned as the hub of the Caribbean film industry and with the increasing number of young persons emerging as content creators, “I think now is the time that we can capitalise on this. The Black River Film Festival is doing just that because it is not only incorporating new content creators but also showing students new career possibilities”.

Young content creators, 14 to 18 years old, who wish to enter or are already practitioners in the field of filmmaking will benefit from masterclass sessions during the Festival.

Mr. Grant will be among the speakers during these sessions.

The Ministry of Education, Region 5 will be partnering with the Festival producers at a workshop to be held at St. Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in Santa Cruz on June 28.


Photo Caption: Jamaican actor, Cornelus Orlando Grant, gives his support to the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), while addressing a recent Think Tank at the Jamaica Information Service Montego Bay Regional Office in St. James.

Okoye Henry Photo


Contact: Sharon Earle

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News




May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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Caribbean News

CTO to Focus on Aviation at Caribbean Week in New York



New York (May 16, 2024) – Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is set to spotlight the future of Caribbean aviation during Caribbean Week in New York, scheduled for June 16-21, 2024, at the InterContinental Times Square in midtown Manhattan.

Under CTO’s annual theme “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity”, the week promises a diverse lineup of activities emphasizing innovation and connectivity.

A key feature of the premier event for travel industry professionals, journalists and members of the Caribbean Diaspora will be the Caribbean Airlift Forum.

Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and Spokesperson for Caribbean Week, will moderate the forum. She emphasized the importance of this session as a critical platform for discussing the challenges and opportunities in Caribbean air transportation.

The session will cover topics including route development, aviation competitiveness, partnerships, infrastructure investment, regulatory frameworks, and market demand strategies. It aims to foster dialogue among airlines, airports, tourism authorities, and aviation ministries, enhancing connectivity and optimizing access to Caribbean destinations.

“In the wake of the pandemic, Caribbean aviation has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability, rebounding strongly in key areas. However, as we celebrate these gains during our Caribbean Week in New York, it’s crucial that we don’t become complacent,” stated Harris.

“We must continue to innovate and address the persistent challenges within intra-regional tourism, which, while recovering, remains a challenge for many of our destinations,” she continued. “Our focus at the Caribbean Airlift Forum is not only on celebrating our successes but also on critically analyzing our challenges to strengthen and diversify our connections to, from and across the region, ensuring a more robust and connected Caribbean.”

The week also features a Business and Tourism Marketing Symposium, the Caribbean Media Awards, and sessions focused on artificial intelligence, crisis communications, and multicultural marketing.

With the support of headline sponsor, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation; gold sponsors Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; and Diamonds International and the Caribbean Media Exchange, Caribbean Week in New York 2024 is poised to be a pivotal meeting for tourism professionals and stakeholders in the region and the Diaspora.

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