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One Nation TCI Pageant to Launches this Weekend

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

“Founded on the principles of Unity, sisterhood and community service,” is how Alicia Swann, One Nation TCI Founder, and President, describes the organization as it gears up for its inaugural showing, to be marked by a pageant and parade of nations, family fun day and cultural show. 

When Magnetic Media spoke to Swann she explained the inspiration behind the name.

“The reason why we chose ‘One Nation’ was because we wanted to ensure that all of our beautiful ladies within the Turks and Caicos feel as if they are a part of our society. Speaking with the ladies I’ve gotten the opinion that a lot of them feel as if they are in our country but they don’t actually feel fully a part of it,” she explained. With constants whose heritages span the DR and TCI, TC-Trinidadians and more the contest is showcasing the rich and diverse culture of the country.

At least two contestants flew in from the UK and the US to participate in the pageant and the event is not just an array of pretty girls.

“We’ve taken the aspects of pageantry to another level, the young ladies have a platform  based on our pillars of the organization which include education and mental health,” Swann continued “We wanted to ensure that they understand the value and importance of  having a role and voice in society.”

The contestants were all allowed to choose an area to speak on and advocate for, and the President told Magnetic Media that so far the young women are taking the challenge seriously. There are 10 contestants overall, five in the ‘Miss’ category and five in the ‘Teen’ category.

The pageant is already receiving regional recognition as the eventual winner has been invited to take part in a regional pageant in St Kitts in August, a feat which Swann says she is extremely proud of. 

In addition to that event a cultural showing, family fun day and parade of nations will be held. 

“We will be honoring people from across the Turks and Caicos, out of every island, for their lifetime achievement in terms of giving back to their society. The persons being honoured are unsung heroes. They have been active in their communities in various roles and we felt the need to recognize all of them.” Swann explained.

The Founder didn’t share the names of those being honoured, preferring to leave it a surprise but did drop hints about who would be highlighted during the event; a smiling clinic nurse in South Caicos, a Grand Turk Taxi driver committed to the island’s development, a dedicated principal from North Caicos, a shipping pioneer from North Caicos as well and a creative founder from Providenciales.

“Our company is huge on ensuring that the community is involved and a part of doing that is ensuring that persons in the community are honoured,” the president said.

Several sponsors have stepped up to the plate including 

No monetary support has come from TCIG but endorsements from both Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education, and Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism, have been shared and the girls are currently undergoing intense training with a pageant coach in preparation for their big night.

Swann is hoping that once the community has a chance to see what One Nation TCI is doing they’ll understand the importance of the events, 

“We are a diverse culture and society and– we want people to understand the importance of diversity, supporting our young ladies and empowering them so they can see they have a role in the Turks and Caicos– The more we offer our young ladies [the more] we are able to retain that talent. Once they feel empowered the sky’s the limit.”

The Pageant and Crowning will be on the 25 and 26th of April while the parade and family fun day will be held on the 27th.

Caribbean News

TCI Sport delegation visits the Cayman Islands and Barbados with key sport leaders

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TCI Sports Commission delegation traveled to the Cayman Islands and Barbados to visit with key Sport leaders. The TCI delegation included the Sports Commission Director, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, Deputy Director, Mr. Alvin Parker, and Facility Manager for Providenciales, Mr. Darian Forbes. The aim of the travel was to visit major facilities, with priorities being pool facilities, and discuss sport development strategies.

The team had the pleasure of being hosted by the Deputy Chief Officer for Sport, Dr. Dalton Walter, and the Director of Sports, Mr. Kurt Hyde in the Cayman Islands; who facilitated the facility tours and shared valuable information on Sports Development. Meetings were held with Deputy Chief Officer Ms. Joan West and Technical Director for the Cayman Islands Aquatics Sport Association, Mr. Jacky Pellerin, on the Cayman Islands’ new 50-meter and 25 meter 10 lanes Mrytha pool facility, as well as with Ms. Shakeina Bush from the National Olympic Office on National Federation development and funding opportunities. The Sports Commission delegation was also grateful for the courtesy call with the Minister of Sport for the Cayman Islands, Hon. Isaac Rankine, and the Chief Officer Ms. Teresa Echenique.

During the Barbados leg of the exploratory travel, the Sports Commission team was hosted by the Director of the National Sports Council, Mr. Neil Murrell, and the Assistant Director of Sports, Mr. Ryan Toppin. The TCI team toured the National Sport Council facilities and visited the Barbados National Olympic Association. Significant to the TCI’s plan to develop an aquatic center, the TCI Sports Commission visited the Barbados Aquatic Sport Association and met with former National Olympic Academy Director, Mr. Dave Farmer, and the President and Second Vice President of the Barbados Swim Association, Mr. Robert Armstrong and Mr. Nicholas Mathis. Insights were shared regarding swimming pool design, development and maintenance as well as pool programming strategies to ensure the growth and sustainability of swimming in the islands.

The TCI delegation also visited other stadium facilities such as Track and Field, Football and Cricket, and other major facilities in Basketball and Boxing. The TCI Sport Commission officials had great discussions with both the Cayman Islands and Barbados sports officials surrounding the development of coaches, athlete development pathways, and strengthening relationships with National Sport Governing Bodies.

Director of Sports, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, said, “We were very grateful for the hospitality and support extended by our Caribbean colleagues. Their support affirmed the commitment and unity among the Caribbean community to develop sports in the region.”

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SIDS drowning in debt as sea levels rise

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

June 7, 2024 – United Nations (UN) Secretary General, His Excellency Antonio Guterres has said that international financing is the “fuel for sustainable development” but small island States are running low on the funding.

Addressing  day two of the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS24), in Caribbean twin island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, the Secretary General said while financing is low, the countries are drowning in debt and rising sea levs due to Climate Change.

“You are leading by example, but too often you are facing closed doors, from institutions and, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic and other global happenings have negatively impacted vulnerable economies, and “battered by a Climate catastrophe they did not create”, he told the gathering.

The SIDS countries are paying more to service their own debt than they invest in healthcare and education, the UN chief warned, leaving the nations unable to make the investments they need to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Many of the States are classified as middle-income, shutting them out of the debt support reserved for the poorest nations, the UN Chief argued that vital actions are needed from international financial institutions, in addition to an immediate SDG stimulus for the SIDS nations.

He outlined that the debt burden should be relieved, by providing access to effective relief mechanisms, including pauses in payments during times of economic volatility, while also transforming lending practices by changing the rules on concessional finance to lower borrowing costs. “You cannot finance education and health with 15-year loans. Let us make SIDS a real priority in everything we do,” he said.

Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley said there was simply no political will on the part of the developed world to make the financial system work fairly,  as she enquired  how many  of those leaders have turned up in Antigua. “We are not seen”, she said, adding that “we continue to be serfs” when it comes to the power imbalance.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are in the crossfires of multiple crises: Climate Change, the economic and social repercussions of COVID-19, and a crisis of debt. The pandemic hugely impacted all island nations, especially those dependent on tourism. Global lockdowns left large holes in islands’ coffers and severely set back efforts to invest in the SDGs.

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Transcultura lauded at SIDS gathering, wins Partnership Awards 2024

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

June 7, 2024 – The United Nations (UN) programme, Transcultura, which seeks to integrate Caribbean, and the European Union through Culture and Creativity, has been selected to receive the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Partnerships Awards 2024.

Operate under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), it is the largest programme in Latin American and the Caribbean, and is a four-year initiative for young cultural professionals, artists, and entrepreneurs from 17 Caribbean countries.

Implemented in three languages, it provides them with opportunities for their future, in the region and in Europe, through training, support to entrepreneurship, networking and mobility programmes. With 15 million euros (16.5 million US dollars) provided by the European Union (EU), Transcultura is also the most significant EU investment in culture in the region.

In four years, over 1,600 young people from 17 Caribbean SIDS have benefited from the programme, with more than 50% being women. Through a combination of in-person and online courses, 600 cultural professionals have been trained. It has also facilitated cooperative cultural exchanges involving over 200 organisations from the Caribbean and the European EU. 

The programme resulted in the establishment of the Caribbean Cultural Training Hub, which fostered synergies between key educational institutions in the region. The award’s jury recognised the transformative impact of the Transcultura programme, empowering young people in the region to become agents of change and development in their communities through culture and creativity.

It was established by UN Member States in 2021 to recognise the efforts of the best and most notable partnerships in the implementation of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action Pathway (SAMOA Pathway). The goal is to inspire others to embark on such partnerships with SIDS.

Transcultura programme leverages the rich cultural diversity of the Caribbean as a driving force of sustainable development through cooperation and exchange within the Caribbean and between the Caribbean and the EU. It aims to create professional opportunities for young people in the Cultural and Creative Industries.

Beneficiary countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

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