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FortisTCI National Science and Technology Fair Returns



#TurksandCaicos, February 27, 2023 – The FortisTCI National Science and Technology Fair is returning to the country’s calendar of events on March 2, 8, and 9 after a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2023 theme is “Empowering minds, inspiring innovation, and advancing science for a brighter future.”

The staple event spanned ten successful years before the hiatus, and this year’s installment will feature four competitions under the science fair umbrella. These competitions are the FortisTCI National High School Science Debate, National Primary School Science Quiz, National Science Poster Competition, and National Science Project Competition.

The debate preliminaries will be followed by the science quiz, debate semifinals, finals, poster, and project competitions on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, and Thursday, March 9, 2023, at Gustavus Lightbourne Sports Complex during Education Week. The National Science Project Competition comprises 18 entries from high and primary schools, while the science quiz has 14 primary schools registered to compete. The science poster competition has up to 16 primary and high schools registered.

A closing awards ceremony and announcement of winners across all competitions will be held at the sports complex on Thursday, March 9, starting at 5:00 pm. The public is invited to any and all events to support the nation’s bright young minds.

FortisTCI President and CEO Ruth Forbes, stated: “The National Science and Technology fair is one of our largest and longstanding community events.

We are proud to steer the return of this grand occasion during Education Week. The fair and its associated championships provide a space where ideas are birthed, and innovation can blossom. Even during the event’s two-year hiatus, alternative programs were introduced by FortisTCI to ensure these crucial areas in education remain at the forefront. We take pride in our role as good corporate citizens and our ongoing work in youth development and the wider community.”

Caribbean News

Sharla Walkin’s initiative to see TCI ‘Wear Orange’ is growing



By Deandrea Hamilton




#TurksandCaicos, June 6, 2023 – The momentum and support is growing for the international commemoration of Gun Violence Awareness Day in the Turks and Caicos Islands; for a third year Sharla Walkin and those who have partnered with her has ensured there was a time of reflection and open grievance for the scores of people killed as a result of gun violence.

Walkin, whose brother Ervin Walkin was shot several times in the back as he walked on Albacore Close in Providenciales in 2018, was just 27 years old and left behind a devastated family including two sons.  His sister was shattered when she got the call, struggled to sleep after the savage way her “humble” brother was killed but found a way to cope.  Walkin tells the story that she found out about a day to remember as a community and as a nation and put plans in motion to commemorate Gun Violence Awareness Day in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

That was in 2021.

In picking up the pieces of her life, Ms. Walkin stood initially with just a few people to mark the moment on the first Friday in June.  Three years later and the Turks and Caicos event has attracted more victims’ relatives, prominent members of society and senior leaders of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police.

“To the families, friends, and loved ones gathered here, we are here for you; we will continue to be with you. I wish to say to you that I am sorry for your loss, I am sorry for the years of pain that you have endured. I am sorry for the fact that there are too many young people turning to a life of crime. Even though sorry will not bring your loved ones back, I empathize with you. The tears you shed also wet our faces too often,” said Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner of Police.

The Turks and Caicos Islands has seen a dramatic escalation in gun crimes with losses far beyond what anyone could have imagined for the cluster of close-knit islands, which enjoyed almost surreal levels of peace.  Now, with consecutive years of record breaking murder figures and a per capita homicide rate that puts the TCI at the top of the heap, it stands with CARICOM in sounding the alarm about the devastating loss in human lives due largely to the overwhelming surge in gun trafficking flowing from the United States into the islands; which ‘do not manufacture weapons.’

The US has become a stronger ally in recent years, stopping several gun shipments from its shores including one such interception to the TCI, thwarted in November 2022.

Gun Violence, Wear Orange Day is a relevant reminder and was again this year held in the Memorial Garden of the Turks and Caicos National Trust managed, Cheshire Hall Plantation.

The Royal TCI Police provided photographs of the support drawn to the tranquil spot to reflect as a community on the heavy price being paid due to the infiltration and savage use of illegal firearms.

Deputy Commissioner Adams, in addressing the gathering which included the wife of the late, Rev Percy Williams, who was gunned down inside his Blue Hills home in another shocking, unprovoked attack in 2020, said about the investigations  “ into the murders of your loved ones are ongoing and we continue in our sustained efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Orange was worn by thousands this past weekend.

In the United States is where the day was born, following a random shooting that took the life of a little Chicago girl in 2013.   Hadiya Pendleton, a 15 year old honour student had just been part of a parade with the ushering in of second term president, Barack Obama a week prior, when she was shot at a playground in her hometown.

Orange is the colour selected because it is also the colour worn by hunters to protect themselves from becoming a target and shot, when out on hunting expeditions.

For Sharla, who also uses her business, Healing Haven to remember her brother, a series of beautiful bracelets have been designed, featuring orange jade and a message of love for her lost brother.

“If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.”

She explained, “I think a lot of people thought I was doing it only for my brother, he was the reason I started but I also wanted to acknowledge because we have quite a few young men that we lost to Gun violence and even young women.”





Header: Relatives of the deceased victims join hands and sing “Bind Us Together”.

1st insert: The widow of Percy Williams chats with DCP Rodney Adams. Williams was shot dead on May 03rd, 2020, at his Blue Hills, Providenciales home.

 2nd insert: Nadidja Parker reads the names of murdered victims.

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Caribbean News

By Merit Only; TCI Politicians enthusiastically support NEW Pathways to Citizenship



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



#TurksandCaicos, June 6, 2023 – Residents of the Turks and Caicos will no longer be able to gain Islander status just by virtue of living in the country for a period of time, instead they will be judged on a points system. The significant changes were announced in the House of Assembly on May 31st by Premier Washington Misick, deputizing for Otis Morris, the Minister of Home Affairs.

“It will assist the Status Commission with streamlining the application process for persons who come to call this beautiful country home— it is a tidying up exercise to make the system more transparent,” Misick maintained.

Amendments to the TCI Islander Status Bill will legalize the changes.

The points system is touted as a fair process which will allow all residents to see the criteria they need to receive status, weed out those who contribute nothing to the country and allow authorities to award status to those who have truly helped build the Turks and Caicos.

“The new points [system] aims to create a more objective framework through which extraordinary individuals can be acknowledged,” Misick said.

Individuals with special talents, skills and accomplishments will be able to accumulate points. Those points will come from specific criteria in the areas of:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Sports
  • Academia
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Humanitarian assistance and more

A quota system is also to be established where a set number of applicants are approved each year and no more, any leftover applications will be deferred.

Status by Marriage will also undergo significant changes.

All residents seeking to gain Islander status via their spouse will have to prove that they have been married for at least 10 years to the date of application and living in the Turks and Caicos for at least two years to the date of application.

Because of the nature of the changes the application period for Turks and Caicos has been pushed back significantly to allow for public consultation and a proper understanding of the Bill by residents

The Bill was met with enthusiastic support from both sides of the house and both the Opposition and Government shared that these amendments would make the status seeking process more transparent.

“This [status] is not something that we can just give out so we need our process in place to critique applications as transparently as possible.”

The push comes months after a set of permanent residents sued TCIG over the obscurity in the process, demanding more explanation on why they had been denied status.

The actual setup of the points/metric system will go to the residents of the Turks and Caicos for public consultation in the coming weeks.

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Caribbean News

TCI records first case of Cholera; Minister says Response Plan Ready



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 


#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its first case of cholera.  The update came from the Ministry of Health and Human Services on Monday June 5th.

The positive result came from a stool sample sent from the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre.

The case appears to be an imported one as the individual had recently travelled to Haiti which is struggling to deal with a major outbreak of the disease.

Beset with vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration, the person was tested for the viral illness.

Cholera is spread through contact with the feces of an infected person.  This can occur when sewage isn’t treated properly and comes in contact with drinking water, or where sources of water are not properly treated.  Drinking or eating food prepared with contaminated water can cause the disease to spread.

The US National Library of Medicine says If left untreated, cholera has a 25-50% mortality rate.  Treatment reduces this dramatically to less than 1%.

Minister of Immigration Arlington Musgrove had told Magnetic Media that the Department of Immigration had implemented a new system to check for cholera infections which had also been in use for any irregular migrants from Haiti.

The National Security Council, NSC had also instructed the Ministry of Health to secure a cache of cholera vaccines for the country’s protection should they become necessary.

Shaun Malcolm, Minister of Health and Human Services today said, “The TCI’s National Cholera Preparedness and Response Plan was updated with stakeholder involvement in 2022 and a number of training sessions were undertaken for frontline workers on Infection Prevention.”

There was no mention, however, of whether the Turks and Caicos Islands was able to secure the vaccines recommended for stockpiling by the NSC.

What was asked of residents is that they “seek medical treatment immediately if they suspect they or their family members are infected.”

The patient is now in stable condition and responding to treatment, informed the Health notice.

The government has sent the sample off to the Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA to determine which strain of the virus is present.

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