#TurksandCaicos, April 29, 2022 – The Turks & Caicos Real Estate Association (TCREA) has announced a pioneering initiative to shape the next generation of real estate gurus for the country.
In a forum with local media, a dynamic group of industry stalwarts and trendsetters shared that local high school students aged 14-17 will now get a first-hand look at the burgeoning real estate domain here in Turks & Caicos through the TCREA Real Estate Mentorship Program.
Led by TCREA Ambassador, Mr. Trevor Musgrove, the initiative seeks to educate school-leavers on the advantages of becoming a part of one of the country’s foremost industries which has seen remarkable growth throughout the years and has recently enjoyed record-breaking numbers even amidst a global pandemic.
The Committee is an impressive one and boasts a group of the most accomplished, internationally celebrated, and experienced brokers and realtors in the game: Blair MacPherson of REMAX; Nina Siegenthaler, Manfred Smith, and Richard Sankar of Sotheby’s; Vernica Delancy and Dedra Gray of Keller Williams; and Sean O’neill, Musgrove’s partner in Turks and Caicos’ newest real estate firm, The Agency.
Sharing more about his decision to launch the initiative, Musgrove stated, “Mentorship is something I truly care about. As a young boy growing up in North Caicos, I could never have predicted that this is where I would be. But I can tell you with certainty that I am where and who I am because of people who took the time to steer me in the right direction when I shared my dreams and goals with them.
“It is said that to whom much is given, much is required. I am a firm believer that one of the most important things you can do is to provide an open door to those who wish to see their own dreams realized and are willing to work hard to do so.”
He continued, “Each of the real estate professionals that have graciously volunteered their time to this initiative encompass what the spirit of this program is all about. Some of these individuals were the ones I looked up to and have emulated, and we will continue to do the same for more young men and women here in Turks and Caicos.”
Musgrove says that the program is much more than an introduction to an expanding and lucrative industry. It will allow youngsters to see the side of Turks and Caicos that appeals to the ‘movers and shakers’ of the world. It is his hope that after going through the program the teens will have a better appreciation of their country and will understand why it is a captivating and award-winning destination, and why so many seek to make it a second home.
The Minister of Education, Honourable Rachel Taylor, was also present for the grand announcement proudly declaring the Ministry’s endorsement of the program.
“I was delighted to receive Mr. Musgrove’s communication that this mentorship program was being developed, as it aligns perfectly with one of the key pillars set out in our National Youth Policy.
“I understood that the group’s initial plans were to share this opportunity with students on Providenciales only, for logistical reasons. I believe that this is an experience that should be extended to all high school students in the Turks & Caicos Islands, and I promptly requested that Mr. Musgrove disseminate this information to Grand Turk, North Caicos, and South Caicos with a commitment that my Ministry will provide the necessary transportation for successful Sister Island applicants to travel to Providenciales for their in-person mentorship sessions.
“I must point out that our National Skills Audit of 2017 speaks to the soft skills gaps in the areas of Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Analytical Skills, Communication, Team Building and Customer Services. I am elated that this TCREA Mentorship Program seeks to develop and harness these areas as we prepare our youths to become productive citizens of this country.
“This program is indeed in line with our Youth Policy which incorporates 7 pillars. Pillar 1 speaks to Enhancing Youth Economic Participation and Economic Empowerment. This youth led initiative will aid in promoting the concept of workplace learning as they use the workplace as a learning space through this Mentorship opportunity. This program will bridge the gap in supporting school-to-work transition initiatives for the cohorts of students who may have an eye for Real Estate,” said the Minister.
The TCREA Mentorship Program will run from May to December of this year, culminating in a special retreat. Mentees will receive educational modules at the start of each month and will come together with Mentors at the end of the month to engage in interactive sessions putting their education to practice. These in-person sessions will take shape in office meetups, open house visits, and other exciting activities.
Applications for enrollment into the program were sent to high schools just before the Easter break, with the final day for submissions slated as Friday, April 29th 2022. Musgrove says this first group will be capped at 10 students, as they wish to ensure a personal experience for all involved. He is confident the program will be continued by future TCREA Ambassadors and will grow in size from year to year.
Release: SOS Media
Hurricane Nicole – A symbol of climate injustice
By Deandre Williamson
Caribbean Climate Justice Journalism Fellow
#TheBahamas, November 29, 2022 – With the trauma of Hurricane Dorian still lingering, Abaco and Grand Bahama residents braced for Hurricane Nicole as they experienced another unfair blow of climate injustice.
As sea levels rose, triggering storm surges and flooding, the northwestern islands of The Bahamas were placed under hurricane watch. For many, this signaled that the fight for climate justice must continue.
Some residents on those islands evacuated their homes and fled to shelters hours before Nicole made landfall in The Bahamas on Nov. 9 as a tropical storm and strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane with winds up to 75 miles per hour.
“The wind was manageable. It wasn’t as bad as we thought. In our area we got maybe a limb or so that blew down. The power was out for a while, but thank God, we made it through it,” Abaco resident Mark Anthony Swain said.
Although the impact of Hurricane Nicole was minimal when compared to Hurricane Dorian in 2019, climate change is the underlying cause of the intensity and frequency of hurricanes in recent years.
When Nicole exited The Bahamas, the “all clear” was given, but the country isn’t clear from future hurricanes and the devastating effects of climate change.
However, it’s clear that The Bahamas and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) need climate justice because they are hit hardest by the impact of climate change, are the least responsible and together bear next to no responsibility for the climate crisis.
While the Government of The Bahamas is fighting for climate justice, residents of Abaco and Grand Bahama are calling for more to be done to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Swain, who also experienced Hurricane Dorian, said the countries that are major contributors of carbon emissions in the atmosphere should do more to assist smaller countries in fighting climate change, so when hurricanes and other natural disasters occur, the smaller countries will be able to maintain themselves.
“I think these other countries that are contributing to the climate challenge that we are facing should be held responsible and accountable in that regard,” Swain added.
China, the United States, Russia, India and Japan are the top five countries with the highest carbon emissions in the world.
Grand Bahama resident Randy Deleveaux, who was on the island during Hurricane Nicole, agrees that more should be done concerning the climate crisis because The Bahamas is in a hurricane zone based on its geographical location.
“We know that every year rain, sun or shine, it appears as if we are going to have a hurricane, whether it’s a major one or not a major one,” Deleveaux said. “As a matter of fact, even though the ones we consider not major, we still have to take more necessary precautions because Dorian taught us we can’t take nothing for granted.”
Deleveaux suggested that the government should ensure that every household is equipped with storm shutters, floatation devices and life jackets.
“There are so many things that the government can do and persons can do in relation to hurricanes because we always have to prepare,” he added.
“Every time we have a hurricane coming, persons have to run and scrap for plywood to put on their windows. We need to move from that and be able to properly prepare.
“Look at our coastal erosion and stuff like that because of the hurricanes. I remember one time you could go on the beaches and see sand, now some of these beaches don’t have no sand like that because of hurricanes and we’re not even looking at the impact that is having on our coastal and marine life. We don’t replace the sand. There is so much things we can do.”
Loss and Damage
But no matter how large or small a hurricane measures on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, there is always loss and damage associated with a storm.
According to Prime Minister of The Bahamas Philip Davis, during the Caribbean Regional Heads of Government Meeting in Preparation for COP27, more than 50 percent of The Bahamas’ outstanding debt can be linked to the impacts of the hurricanes between 2015 and 2019.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), in its damage and loss assessments (DaLA) synthesis, noted that The Bahamas has lost more than $4.2 billion over the past seven years as a result of Hurricanes Joaquin, Matthew, Irma and Dorian.
Abaco and Grand Bahama are still rebuilding from Hurricane Dorian and, although minimal, the damages from Hurricane Nicole are being assessed.
Prime Minister Davis was in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt attending COP27 when Hurricane Nicole passed through the northwestern Bahamas. At COP27, he called on world leaders to get real about ensuring that loss and damage are compensated for.
“We do not have a significant carbon footprint in the world. Yes, we do have a significant carbon sink in the world. But yet still, after this hurricane has passed, who’s going to have to pay for the recovery, reconstruction and for normalizing the lives of my people?” Davis said in a video interview.
Climate justice fights for solutions to the climate crisis that would result in reduced emissions and industrialized rich nations sharing the burden of the crisis by helping SIDS handle the severe effects of climate change.
Swain lost his home during Hurricane Dorian and there are others who also lost their homes and some are still living in trailers in Abaco.
Without insurance, Swain is rebuilding his home, but the progress is slow.
He explained that the Disaster Reconstruction Authority and other NGOs promised to help him, but they haven’t delivered on their promises as yet.
“We will, out of pocket, try to do some things to get us along,” Swain said.
Hurricane Dorian caused a housing shortage in Abaco and the demand for a home is great.
According to Swain, because of the demand and desperation to find a home, the rent in Abaco is skyrocketing.
“You can find the average apartment, two bedroom, going for no less than $1,500. In some instances it’s over $2,000,” he said.
After negotiations and hearing the pleas of Small Island Developing States, COP27 closed with the announcement of a loss and damage fund to compensate countries impacted by climate change. This is a huge step in the fight for climate justice.
This story was published with the support of Climate Tracker’s Caribbean Climate Justice Journalism Fellowship.
Member, The Bahamas Press Club 2014
Caption: Flooding in Abaco caused by Hurricane Nicole. (Photo/Abaco resident)
Police Academy Commissioner Shot Dead in Haiti
By Sherrica Thompson
Reports from the police are that Harington was shot dead on the grounds of the police training facility in a gang-controlled neighbourhood in the country’s capital of Port-au-Prince on Friday, November 25.
The spokesperson for the National Police of Haiti (PNH), Inspector Garry Desrosiers, in confirming Friday’s killing, said the commissioner was “shot in the head not far from the Academy” and the attackers “stole his [Harington’s] vehicle and kidnapped his driver.”
Harington’s killing is the latest in several attacks against law enforcement in Haiti. The killing also happened at a time when international leaders are trying to help Haiti’s political leaders control the surge in gang violence in the country.
The police have not released any information on who might be responsible for the commissioner’s death.
St Kitts and Nevis Welcomed the World’s Largest Cruise Ship
By Sherrica Thompson
#StKittsandNevis, November 29, 2022 – The twin island of St Kitts and Nevis is about to chart its busiest cruise seasons yet as the world’s largest cruise ship, the Wonder of the Seas, made its inaugural call to Port Zante in the country on Thursday, November 24.
About 6,495 guests arrived on the ship, with 2,259 crew members on board.
The oasis class ship was welcomed by Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew, who led a delegation on board last Thursday to host a brief plaque exchange ceremony.
“You have confidence in the destination by adding St Kitts and Nevis to your now largest vessel, the Wonder of the Seas, with a passenger capacity of 6,988,” the Prime Minister said.
The Chief Executive Officer at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Mr. Ellison Thompson, said the ship’s visit was a result of the country’s comprehensive negotiations with stakeholders.
“The destination’s ability to secure a vessel with a 6,495-passenger capacity today, November 24, is the result of comprehensive negotiations between the Ministry, the Authority, and cruise lines. As a result, we are gradually seeing the fruits of our marketing and strategic efforts, and we take pride in celebrating such a momentous occasion,” Thompson said.
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