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Precious Treasures International Students impressive for TCI in CPEA Writing Competition



Jadon, Kavya & Malik of PTIS are now published authors


By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, February 16, 2022 – As the ‘orange economy’ or the economy of creatives which includes all the sectors whose goods and services are based on intellectual property becomes more and more viable,  countries are beginning to explore ways to foster young minds and interest them in the arts. The Turks and Caicos is brimming with natural talent as the country nabbed not one, not two, but three spots in the top 20 placements of the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) story writing competition.

The CPEA Short Story Competition was created by the Caribbean Examinations council and is only open to students partaking in the CPEA and calls for a 1000 word original story. The competition was created to provide students across the Caribbean an opportunity to write stories that would be read by a regional audience.

Three students in the Turks and Caicos school system placed in the top 20, getting their stories published and illustrated by the Caribbean Examinations Council.

Jadon Harvey with his story titled: ‘The Harvey’s Survival Against Hurricane Irma’; a robust portrayal penned about his experience in: “hurricane filled with thunderous skies, escaped chickens and flying barn doors…”; it claimed the No. 18 spot. (click the image to read the story)

On the other hand Kavya Mirwani penned ‘Hannahs Adventurous Christmas Holiday’. (click the image to read the story)

The charming tale of a family overcoming Covid-19 to break out  enjoy a fabulous holiday in the Turks and Caicos Islands, lapping up the natural beauty, all while being safe, netted Kavya the No. 12 spot in the best 20 list.

Malik Forsythe was the TCI’s biggest winner with ‘Chronicles of a Grenadian American Boy in Turks and Caicos Islands’.  (click the image to read the story)

His culture rich story about his blended background as a Grenadian-American living and experiencing life in the Turks and Caicos, journeying to the islands of his heritage and being immersed in the variety of cultures painted a vibrant picture of life and lifestyles in the islands.  The thrilling account thrust him to the No. 5 spot in the regional story-writing competition.

The top twenty stories were selected by a panel of judges from across the region. The judges made their selections with these criteria in mind.  Did the story capture the imagination of the readers and did the original entry contain the rich and diverse cultures and lifestyles of the Caribbean?

All three students who attend Precious Treasures International School in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands demonstrated tremendous talent and an uncommon astuteness about the world in which they live, reflected in the very nature of the topics they chose to reflect upon.

The stories could easily be used by any teacher to segue into topics including climate change, tourism, world health, migration or culture. This is especially relevant as the project is aimed at identifying short stories written by students that could be used as reading materials by other students

Through the competition the Caribbean Examinations council says they hope to inspire children to write; this creative outlet can open intriguing doors including providing them with an authentic audience far beyond their shores; provide a lucrative career; expands the understanding and appreciation of life within the region and the most obvious being it can unearth writing potentials in students.

Many of the goals are already accomplished in the CPEA Story Writing Competition.

Hearty congratulations to Jadon, Kavya and Malik; all 11-year-olds, in sixth grade at PTIS.

Caribbean News

Grants for farmers



#TurksandCaicos, January 31, 2023 – Good Morning to my colleagues in government, I recognize……..and most importantly good morning to the farmers. It is my pleasure today to have you here at this award ceremony.  For the very first time in Turks and Caicos, farmers are getting relief for hurricane damage.

This shows that the government is committed to ensuring that the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands have access to a constant and nutritious supply of food, reduce the food import bill and retain money in the local economy. Food Security is the foundation of all human needs. Given the threat to the global supply chain and growing inaccessibility to enough nutritious food, the Government is committed to supporting the farmers to produce local food, to supplement the food requirement of the country. My government’s priority is to provide an enabling environment, to facilitate local investment within the Agriculture Sector as outlined in the People’s Plan for Empowerment

In February last year (2022) my government launched the Agriculture Finance Support Programme (Agro-Grant Incentive). This Finance Support Program for farmers is the first program of this kind in the Turks and Caicos Islands and shows Government’s mandate is to invest heavily in local food production through providing financial support. My government has allocated US$250,000.00 in this first year to promote agriculture development. This Finance Program has 3 areas of support

  • Improvement Programmes – to upgrade farms, Existing registered farmers who wish to perform farm upgrades can receive a maximum of $20,000
  • New Farm Start Up/Young Entrepreneurs– For new or younger farmers between the ages of 18-25 years can receive a maximum of $15,000
  • Disaster Relief – this is specifically in response to National Natural Disasters “Acts of Nature” inclusive of earthquake, hurricane and storms and other approved natural disasters. The value of this grant will be 10% of the assessed damages (up to a maximum of $20,000 USD

To date 12 farmers have received grants in the first 2 categories. Today we are here to give disaster relief to those registered farmers who would have suffered from losses due to the passage of hurricane Fiona in September last year.

Government knows that Farming is an expensive business, farmers livelihood depends on the investment they make on their farms. We live in a small island state that is vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricane. These disasters can have devastating effects on farms, destroying years of productive work and effort farmers would have put in.

Government in recognizing the important contribution farmers make to Food security and the vulnerabilities they face has moved into action to provide much needed support towards the rebuilding of the farms. Today 15 registered will be receiving funds for disaster relief to assist with their rebuilding efforts. This monies I know will be used for the purposes granted.

I want to thank my Cabinet colleagues and Premier for supporting the continued efforts to grow the Agriculture Sector.

My department of Agriculture recognizes farming is dynamic and as such has lobbied Cabinet for continued support. I am pleased to say that in August last year through a Cabinet Paper, government had approved amending the Agriculture Policy to provide full exemption of import duties for farm vehicles registered farmers can now apply through the department for this support. At that meeting we also agreed for the Department of Agriculture to develop a comprehensive Agro-Incentive Program to support farming in the TCI.

Once again I would like to commend the farmers who are benefiting today for their hard work and dedication and look forward to serving you as your minister

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Bahamas News

U.S. Supports the RBPF With Additional Crime Fighting Vehicles on The Bahamas’ “Road to 50”



#TheBahamas, January 31, 2023 – Since 1973, the United States and The Bahamas have enjoyed a long-lasting security partnership.  To mark this valued friendship, the United States Government, on January 31, 2023, renewed its support for the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) with 20 new Ford Police Inceptor Hybrid SUVs valuing nearly $1.4 million.  The United States’ Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts; Prime Minister, the Hon. Philip Davis; Minister of National Security, the Hon. Wayne Munroe and RBPF Commissioner Clayton Fernander were on hand for the donation at RBPF East Hill Street Headquarters.

The 20 hybrid vehicles will be added to the 32 vehicles previously donated to the RBPF by the US government to help replace crucial infrastructure lost during Hurricane Dorian.  Recovering from a hurricane is an arduous process that requires support at many levels, from roads and housing to mental health services.  The U.S. government hopes these vehicles will contribute to one key step in the process: citizen security.  These vehicles will not only assist the RBPF’s efforts to combat crime but will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the islands.

In her remarks Chargé Pitts noted, “these vehicles are just one example of the United States’ continued efforts to help for The Bahamas’ keep its citizens and visitors safe.”

Prime Minister Philip Davis showed his appreciation for this timely vehicle donation as it will assist with added capacity and increased saturation patrols on the streets.  The Prime Minister added that residents will notice an increased police presence and the police will have new capacity to respond quickly to any criminal activity.

RBPF Commissioner Clayton Fernander highlighted that “we have noticeably taken more illegal firearms and ammunition off our streets in 2022.  We have also seized more illegal drugs including marijuana and marijuana plants than in [previous] years.  Suffice to say, we have efficiently utilized all 32 vehicles previously donated by the U.S. government in our crime fighting efforts.”

In recent years, the U.S. Government, through U.S. Embassy Nassau, has delivered more than $25 million to assist The Bahamas with efforts to fight crime.  On behalf of the Bahamian people, Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe extended his gratitude for the U.S. government’s assistance noting “It seems that when we’re together there [is] always an occasion where they [U.S. government] have helped us and assisted us substantially.”

Captions: Credited to U.S. Embassy Nassau

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Bahamas News

Minister of Health & Wellness thanks Cuban nurses for their service during the COVID-19 Pandemic



#TheBahamas, January 31, 2023 – An appreciation ceremony was held at SuperClubs Breezes resort, January 30, 2023, to thank the remaining cohort of nurses from the Republic of Cuba who joined the cadre of healthcare workers at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) to assist in the delivery of hospital services and patient care in face of the impact of COVID-19.
The cohort originally comprised 42 nurses who started their duties on Monday, January 24, 2022. The ceremony was attended by some 25 remaining nurses.
Minister of Health and Wellness the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville thanked the Cuban Ambassador, His Excellency Julio Cesar Gonzalez Marchante, on behalf of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues, for Cuba’s response to the call for help from the Bahamas Government.
“You came to us in one of our most dangerous moments. You came to us in the heat of the Delta Variant when many of our brothers and sisters lost their lives as a result of COVID,” Minister Darville said.
“At the time that I went to Cuba, we had about 100 nurses in our healthcare system who were out as a result of COVID, while the developed world was recruiting our nurses left, right and centre.”
He also noted that at that time The Bahamas could not even get vaccines.
“We are a Small Island Developing State. The world was hoarding the vaccines to developed countries and our population was very vulnerable because we did not have access to what the developed world had.”
Minister Darville said, “But we had a friend 100 miles to the south of us who came to our rescue. You came to us at our most vulnerable moment. For that as a country, Your Excellency, we will forever be grateful to the Republic of Cuba.”
The Minister noted that the nurses’ services were so exemplary and needed, the contract, which was originally for three months, was extended to one-year. Despite this, he said it was time for the nurses to return home to their loved ones.
However, he explained that the relationship between the two countries has not ended as he is in negotiations with the Republic of Cuba for bringing in some additional biomedical engineers, physicians, respiratory therapists and HVAC specialists.
PHOTO CAPTION – Minister of Health and Wellness the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville thanked the nurses from the Republic of Cuba for bolstering the country’s healthcare system during the COVID-19 Pandemic, during an appreciation ceremony at SuperClubs Breezes, Monday, January 30, 2023.
(BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)

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