Archive | Columns

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar and Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley

Government critical of Opposition over defeat of Anti-Gang legislation

PM Rowley: “And we’re seeing an exponential rise in gang activity,”

 

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Dec 7, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government Thursday blasted Opposition legislators after they failed to provide the necessary support for the Anti-Gang Legislation that the authorities said was needed to deal with the rising gang activities in the country.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley told a news conference that all objections to the bill had been addressed and amended before it was put to the vote and accused the Opposition of supporting criminality by objecting to the legislation that had required a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

At the end of it all…there was not a single impediment standing in their way…every single thing they raised including the (comments by the) Chief Whip (David Lee) (were addressed).

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar and Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley

“On December 7, 2017, in the wee hours of the morning, (Opposition) refused to use their vote to defend the lives of the people,” a visibly upset Rowley told reporters.”

“The business of Trinidad and Tobago was gutted and undermined. We have a scourge of gang activity in many if not most of our communities, there are thousands of families where the quality of life is being severely impacted by illegal activity.

“For some inexplicable reason, our colleagues in the Parliament found it difficult or impossible to convert the scourge of gang activity into an illegal activity,” he added.

The Anti-Gang Bill 2017 seeks to make provision for the maintenance of public safety and order through discouraging membership of criminal gangs and the suppression of criminal gang activity and for other related matters.

It seeks to make it an offence to be a member of a gang, to be in possession of a bullet-proof vest, to participate in, or contribute to, the activities of a gang, to support or invite support for a gang, or to harbour or conceal gang members or recruit persons to a gang.

The legislation also contains a ‘retaliatory clause’ which protects persons who have left gangs from retaliatory actions by gang members.

Opposition legislators voted against the bill that had first been introduced here during the term in office of the People’s Partnership government headed by Kamla Persad Bissessar.

Former Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar abstained when the vote was taken during the early hours of Thursday morning and has promised to outline his position at a news conference  on the weekend.

Rowley told reporters that he had spoken to the Lee seeking to determine the objections of the Opposition saying that the main opposition United National Congress (UNC) was seeking to benefit from the crime situation in order to attain power.

“Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her UNC gang and cabal voted to maintain that status quo….so that crime and criminality can remain a chronic state of affairs, so that those politicians can point to the crime and call Trinidad and Tobago a failed state and hope that you will be disgusted with those in office and put them in office

“That is the most cynical, wicked and pernicious act,” Rowley said, adding that citizens should hold their representatives to account.

“You put them in office and you have to get them to work for you, because right now they are working for themselves. I could not believe…I served with people who would do something like that.”

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, who had earlier told legislators during the debate that between 2014 and this year, gangs in Trinidad and Tobago had increased 129 per cent and gang members have increased 60 per cent,

“And we’re seeing an exponential rise in gang activity,” he said, noting that in 2014 the acting Police Commissioner had said there were 92 gangs with 1,500 members.

“In 2016 it grew to 172 gangs and 2,358 members – today it’s 211 gangs and 2,458 members,” he said, adding that gang-related murders totalled 998 between 2010 and this year and the number of gang-related guns seized stands at 4,674.

According to Al-Rawi an estimated 1,195 firearms were seized since 2016 alone, reiterating that the number of gangs and their members in the nine police divisions ranging from 49 (Western) to nine (Eastern). There are also 221 members in the Witness Protection Programme, he noted.

Al- Rawi said that when the bill was first introduced here by the previous government, 463 were arrested under the law during the 2011 state of emergency (SoE).

Speaking at the news conference Al-Rawi said he was ‘shell-shocked’ by the Opposition’s behaviour, saying “we went over it bit by bit…when we came to take the final vote… all 21 PNM (People’s National Movement) members present voted yes. When we came to the vote from the Opposition it started with no…a big fat no.

“Suffice it to say it was shell-shocking to see what happened yesterday after 14 hours of work,” he said, telling reporters that he had observed that some Opposition legislators were in disagreement with the decision adopted by the Opposition Leader.

“I saw the look on the faces of those opposite me last night. I saw shock. I saw fear, I saw disgust. I saw a member of the UNC bench have some very heated words with his leader and storm out of the Parliament,” Al-Rawi added.

Prime Minister Rowley said his government would continue to seek to criminalise gang activity and will seek to use other laws in the interim in order to crack down on gang activity.

“I realised that Opposition was hell-bent on not making gang activity in Trinidad and Tobago an illegal act….we have one hell of a problem because Opposition has decided to come down in support of criminality in Trinidad and Tobago.”

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Crime, Local, News, Politics, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Lowell Hawthorne

CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill founder reportedly commits suicide in NY factory

NEW YORK, Dec 3, CMC – The founder and chief executive officer of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, Jamaican Lowell Hawthorne reportedly killed himself inside his Bronx, New York factory on Saturday .

According to police reports, Hawthorne, 57, shot himself inside the Park Ave. building, near E. 173rd St., in Claremont section of the Bronx, at about 5:30 p.m.

Lowell Hawthorne

The  New York Daily news reports more than a dozen current and former employees stood in disbelief outside the factory hours later.

“He was a good boss, humble and a good businessman,” said Pete Tee, 27, a former employee, “He never seemed sad. This is just terrible news right now.”

Hawthorne opened the first Golden Krust store on E. Gun Hill Rd. in the Bronx in 1989, going on to build the Jamaica beef patty purveyor into a US national empire by boasting more than 120 restaurants in nine states.

Pat Russo, who has worked with Hawthorne since the 1990s, was shocked by the news that his fellow businessman had taken his own life.

“It doesn’t make any sense. He had everything to live for,” said Russo, who is the president of Chef’s Choice food company. “He was a brilliant business guy. The perfect American success story.”

Hawthorne’s death sent shockwaves from the streets of the Bronx to government offices in Jamaica where Prime Minister Andrew Holness fired off a tweet offering his condolences.

Some of Hawthorne’s employees said they suspected something was amiss when they spotted his car, a silver Tesla 85D, parked oddly outside the factory – blocking a lane of traffic.

Longtime employee Everald Woods said he loved working under Hawthorne.

“He was a nice boss, a wonderful guy,” said Woods, an employee since 2003. “He’s the kind of guy you want to work for – for that long. He takes care of his employees.”

Family friend Wayne Muschamb said Hawthorne was an inspiration to his compatriot in Jamaica.

“Look how far he reached. He’s known from here to Jamaica,” Muschamb told the Daily News. “I’m kind of lost for words, man. This has got me shocked.”

Hawthorne’s rags-to-riches story was set in motion in 1981 when he followed several relatives to the US from Jamaica in search of opportunity.

He briefly worked as an accountant for the New York Police Department (NYPD) before deciding to build a business inspired by his father’s bakery back in Jamaica.

Golden Krust became the first Caribbean-owned business in the US to be granted a franchise license, according to its website.

In 2012, Hawthorne published “The Baker’s Son: My Life in Business,” a memoir.

“It’s a very humbling experience to know that the concept that began in Jamaica with our parents was able to come here,” Hawthorne told the Daily News at the time.

Hawthorne told the Wall Street Journal in 2015 that his goal was that, “by 2020, all Americans will have heard of Jamaican patties,” according to the New York Post.

He told the newspaper that it’s a family operation with Hawthorne’s wife, three sons and daughter, not to mention cousins. nieces and nephews, all involved.

Saddened employees gathered outside the Golden Krust factory, at 3958 Park Ave. Saturday night to pay their respects.

“He’s a nice man, a good man,’’ said John Harrison, who had been working there for three years. “The Jamaican people, they feel it. All of us are Jamaican. We lost a Jamaican, we feel it.’’

Hanaku Oxori, who had worked at the plant for 17 years, said, “he’s nice with everyone here.”

The suicide “was a surprise to me,” he added. “We saw him every day. He talks to everyone. He was always in a good mood.”

Hawthorne, on November 28, made a post on Facebook, reflecting on his life.

“I was always in search of the next honest means to make a dollar,” he wrote. “Like many transplanted Caribbean nationals, I struggled to work and raise a family. I can only thank God for everything I have achieved.”

“If my story here can inspire others to rise up and give it a go, I would have accomplished something meaningful,” he added.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Court, International, Local, News, Obituaries, Regional0 Comments

BAKERs from fine grains Barbados

Caribbean Grains spreads the fine art of baking

Bakers Michael and Ali with students from Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School Barbados

(PRESS RELEASE) – Caribbean Grains Ltd, which operates a production mill in Vieux Fort, considers itself more than just a manufacturer of flour.

The Company, which has been here for more than a year, sees itself as an ally of the present and future generation of bakers.

During the month of November, the Company has been conducting training sessions aimed at equipping bakers with new techniques in the areas of bread and pastry production.

The latest training sessions were held on Thursday, November 16th and Friday, November 17th at the Caribbean Grains facility in Vieux Fort. A session with students of the Beanefield Comprehensive Secondary School, together with local bakers from the south, was conducted on day-one. Day-two was devoted to students from the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) and Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School (VFCSS). The training sessions were conducted by two bakers from Guadeloupe and Mustique.

Managing Director of Caribbean Grains Ltd, Arnaud de Moussac said such training is very useful because it allows the Company to interact with bakers while they prepare various products made from flour from the Company.

“What we are aiming at is giving a consistent product every time the baker is starting his process, helping them to rationalise and practising economy, mostly by weighing the product because, at the end of the day, not weighing products can make a big difference in terms of earning and losing. And no one knows that you are winning when you are getting a little heavier product, but your bottom line will know it. So, we are trying to get the same cause and effect from these training sessions.”

The Managing Director added that Caribbean Grains is a new Company which must prove itself to its customers. He described the level of business with local bakers as “good” and “picking up.”

“The people have a better response to our product. We are very happy with the way they are willing to re-assess us. Nobody likes to change, but the change is welcome, and more and more we hear people saying that they want to buy Saint Lucian products because it generates Saint Lucian employment.”

Bakers were given an opportunity to learn and improve their skills in the areas of French and local bread products, as well as in baked goods such as pastries, cakes, croissants and pizza, using local flour manufactured by Caribbean Grains.  Sessions with the students are part of a practical training programme that Caribbean Grains conducts every other month with local bakeries and bakers.

Chef at Coconut Bay Resort, David Serieux, who has been a baker for 18 years, said he emerged from the training session with knowledge of how to refine his baking skills.

” Well, to be honest, it’s not something I never did before, but the techniques and the process I saw here seem much better here because of the equipment, such as the proof-box, and the way the oven works is amazing.”

Other bakeries represented at the training sessions were Bonne Baguette Bakery, the French Bakery, Mannee’s Bakery, and Kaision Bakery.

Participating students expressed gratitude to Caribbean Grains for exposing them to various techniques and opportunities in the field of baking.

Posted in Climate/Weather, Education, Entertainment, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Addicted to Your Phone? It Could Throw Off Your Brain Chemistry

Addicted to Your Phone? It Could Throw Off Your Brain Chemistry

Livescience.com
 Credit: baranq/Shutterstock

It’s hard to escape screens; there is a roughly 100 percent chance you are looking at one right now. And though the long-term effects of screen time are still being studied, the effects of excessive internet and smartphone use are well-documented. “Pathological” internet use has been linked to depression in teens, and it may even shrink gray matter.

Now, a small new study suggests that for teens, being hooked on the internet and smartphones may harm brain chemistry, as well.

The research was presented yesterday (Nov. 30) at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual meeting in Chicago.The paper, which was presented by lead study author Dr. Hyung Suk Seo, a professor of neuroradiology at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea, found an imbalance of chemicals in the brain of “internet-addicted” teenagers. This imbalance was similar to that seen in people experiencing anxiety and depression. [9 Odd Ways Your Tech Devices May Injure You]

This ad will end in 12 seconds.

But there’s also good news: The imbalance is reversible in several weeks using a type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy.

In the study, researchers examined the brains of 19 internet- and smartphone-addicted teenagers and 19 nonaddicted teenagers using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a form of MRI that can reveal changes in the chemical composition of the brain. (Internet and smartphone addiction were measured using standardized questionnaires.)

Compared with the control group, the teens with internet and smartphone addiction showed a clear overabundance of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in one region of the limbic system, the brain’s emotional control center. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning that it blocks nerve cells from firing.

GABA is found in everyone’s brain, but too much of this neurotransmitter in the wrong areas can have stultifying effects.”When the normal function of the limbic system is disturbed, patients can develop anxiety, depression or addiction,” said Dr. Max Wintermark, a professor of radiology and the chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University. Wintermark was not involved with the new research but said that he was intrigued by it because of the increasing prevalence of phones and web devices in society.

“There have been multiple studies published [that link] addiction to alcohol and other substances with chemical imbalances in different regions of the brain, but this is the first study I’ve read about internet addiction” that shows such a link, Wintermark told Live Science.

For most people, checking email first thing in the morning or spending an hour scrolling though Instagram after work does not signify an internet addiction.

Rather, internet addiction, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association, is an excessive use of the internet that leads to impairment of everyday life, sleep and relationships. Studies from around the world have found that the rates of internet addiction in young people range from less than 1 percent to 18 percent.

The teens who participated in Seo’s study all took standardized tests used to diagnose internet and smartphone addiction. The participants whose scores indicated an addiction  tended to saythat their internet and smartphone use interfered with their daily routines, social lives, sleep and productivity. These teenagers also had significantly higher scores in depression, anxiety, insomnia and impulsivity than the control group (the participants whose scores did not indicate internet addiction).

Due to the small sample size used in the study, Wintermark stressed that it’s too early to say that the chemical imbalances observed in the teens’ brains are linked to clinical problems such as anxiety and depression. Further testing on a larger group of people is needed, he said.

Wintermark noted that 12 teens in the study with addiction went on to participate in cognitive behavioral therapy, and after nine weeks, they all showed decreased or normalized levels of GABA in their brains. According to the researchers, those teens completed a modified form of therapy that’s used to treat video game addiction, involving weekly 75-minute sessions of mindfulness exercises. These include recognizing internet impulses, finding alternative activities and expressing emotions.

“With appropriate intervention, the teens were able to basically correct those chemical changes” in their brains, Wintermark said. “That’s the part of the study I find most interesting. It shows there’s hope.”

The study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Originally published on Live Science.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, Technology, Youth0 Comments

migration

Black Caribbean legislators express disappointment at the end of TPS for Haitians

By Nelson A. King

WASHINGTON, Nov 22, CMC – Black Democratic congressional leaders have joined Caribbean legislators in expressing outrage over the Trump administration’s decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 60,000 undocumented Haitian nationals residing in the United States.

US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Elaine Duke said on Monday that she made the decision to terminate the TPS designation for Haitians, with a delayed effective date of 18 months, “to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on July 22, 2019.”

migrationBut US Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Immigration Working Group, Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, and Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, CBC chairman, said, in a joint statement, that they were outraged by the decision that now forces the Haitian immigrants to return home.

They noted that the massive earthquake in the French-speaking Caribbean country killed more than 300,000 people in 2010, disrupted the function of civil society, displaced families from their homes, closed schools and social service agencies, created instability in the government and undermined the economy.

The Black congressional leaders said these conditions were exacerbated by the cholera epidemic, subsequent hurricanes and food insecurity crisis, “which continues to this day.

“The people of Haiti demonstrated extraordinary resolve in their efforts to rebuild. These efforts have been supported by Haitian nationals here in the United States who have worked hard and sent money to family members and friends.

“These remittances are critical to the recovery, and have provided for basic needs, including education, agricultural restoration, business development and home reconstruction.

“Although the administration granted Haitians another 18 months in the United States, the conditions on the ground clearly merit continuing TPS coverage, rather than terminating this essential, life-saving designation,” they added.

The law makers said that while campaigning in Miami, then-candidate Donald Trump called Haitian-Americans “hard-working, creative and industrious, and promised to be their ‘greatest champion.’ Today, Donald Trump broke that promise.

“By ending Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, the Trump Administration has put the lives of more than 50,000 people at risk,” said Clarke, Conyers and Richmond, adding continued, stating that the decision is a “low point for this administration” and “will leave an indelible mark further tarnishing his [Trump’s] legacy.”

Additionally, the Black congressional leaders said the “wrongful decision underscores the need for congress to lead by passing bipartisan comprehensive TPS legislation that would provide meaningful relief to Haiti and all other similarly situated countries.”

New York State Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, New York told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC)  that she was “equally saddened and angered” by the decision.

“For anyone who has been to Haiti in recent months, it is clear that the administration’s decision does not coincide with the dangerous reality on the ground,” said Bichotte, the first Haitian American from New York City to be elected to New York State Assembly. “The return of tens of thousands of people is only going to make conditions worse.

“Furthermore, it would be equally dangerous for the other hundreds of thousands of Central Americans who don’t know any life other than their life in the US,” she added. “In addition, for both Haitians and Central Americans, their economic contributions to both the US and their home countries will now be lost. The fight must continue to address these inhumane and unconstitutional decisions.”

New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, said he was “appalled to hear the administration’s decision, but I was not shocked.

“This kind of callous, deliberate disregard for the well-being of hard-working immigrants, this disdain for our fellow human beings, is what we’ve come to expect from Donald Trump,” he told CMC.

“Trump’s own State Department has a travel advisory in place, which cites the dangers of travel to Haiti for Americans. Yet, he has no problem forcing Haitians, who came here in the wake of a devastating earthquake and outbreak of disease, to return to a country once again crippled by a natural disaster, Hurricane Matthew.

“It could not be clearer that his motives are xenophobic, that his priorities lie in creating fear and relegating certain people to a second class, and I will not stand for it, 59,000 Haitians living in the US under Temporary Protected Status will not stand for it, and their neighbours and communities will not stand for it,” Williams added.

“We must fight for what is hard, because we are factually right and Trump is morally incorrect. Rather than simply expressing our outrage, those of us with the power to do so, need to formulate and enact plans of action.

‘“We need to challenge this decision and put pressure on congress to address this issue legislatively and humanely. We must all become a part of the resistance. This president has made it clear that he’s coming for all of us – whether we choose to acknowledge it or not,” Williams added.

The decision to terminate TPS for 58,000 Haiti nationals living in the US comes 14 days after DHS announced it was terminating TPS for 2,500 Nicaraguans and delaying a decision for 57,000 Hondurans, which automatically gave them a six-month extension after their current status expires in January.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, International, Labour, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

J.A. Lester Spaulding

Chairman of RJR/Gleaner Communications Group Lester Spaulding has died

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Nov. 17, CMC – The Chairman of the RJR Gleaner Communications Group, J.A. Lester Spaulding, died in hospital on Friday.

J.A. Lester Spaulding
J.A. Lester Spaulding

Spaulding, who became the Managing Director of  Radio Jamaica in 1978, led the company through its expansion up to its recent merger to become the RJR Gleaner Communications Group.

Spaulding who also served as a board member of the Caribbean News Agency (CANA), began his career as an accountant at what is now PricewaterhouseCoopers prior to joining Radio Jamaica Limited (RJR) in February 1965

Posted in General, International, Local, News, Obituaries, Regional0 Comments

marijuuu

Guyana to host CARICOM consultations on use of marijuana

 
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Nov 3, CMC – Guyana will host a consultation on the use of marijuana on Monday, November 6, 2017 as part of the efforts by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments to conduct careful in-depth research so as to inform decision making on the issue.

The Regional Commission on Marijuana, which was established by CARICOM leaders, will meet with various stakeholders including Youth and Faith-based organizations.

marijuuuThe region-wide consultations are intended to obtain information on the social, economic, health and legal issues related to marijuana use in the Caribbean.

“Such information would, among other outcomes, determine whether there should be a change in the current drug classification, modelled after the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances for which many, if not all, CARICOM members are party to,” the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said in a statement.

It said that given that reclassification of the drug would make it legally accessible for all types of use, including religious, recreational, medical and research, the Regional Commission is expected also to provide recommendations on the legal and administrative conditions that will apply, as per its Terms of Reference.

Many Caribbean countries’ legislations do not currently allow for full legislation under international law and national approaches to addressing this issue have resulted in various positions.

In the case of Jamaica, for example, the Dangerous Drugs Act was amended in 2016 and legislation was passed which reduced possession of small quantities to a petty offence. It also created the framework for the development of legal medical marijuana, hemp and nutraceutical industries.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Cabinet agreed, in August 2016, to send a draft law to Parliament for its first reading. In August of this year, Belize introduced an amendment to its Misuse of Drugs Act, to deciminalise the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana.

The proposed legislation also provides for the imposition of monetary and non-recordable penalties for such amounts that are found on school premises in specialized circumstances and decriminalizes the use of the substance in small amounts on private premises.

In other countries there have been widespread public information and communications initiatives driven by both government and civil society.

In addition to national consultations, the Regional Marijuana Commission will undertake extensive secondary research to inform the preparation of reports to be submitted to the CARICOM leaders for its consideration, the Secretariat added.

So far, consultations have taken place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados and the Secretariat said that national consultations will continue in Suriname, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Belize.

The Commission is headed by Professor Rose-Marie-Bell Antoine, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and includes practitioners with expert knowledge in a variety of disciplines including medicine and allied health, health research, law enforcement, ethics, education, anthropology/sociology/ culture.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Crime, Education, Health, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional, Religion, Youth0 Comments

IMG-20171022-WA0008

Montserrat hosts Dominica children in relief from hurricane ravages

By B. Roach

These five children from Maria ravaged Dominica arrived on a Fly Montserrat charter flight which landed at the John A. Osborne Airport Friday afternoon, October 20, 2017.

These five children from Dominica will be attending school here for the next three months, in the first instance.

All the children have host families and culminated from an initiative taken on by the Montserrat Children’s Society on Montserrat (MCS), which was launched here in February, 2013 at the Hill Top Coffee House and Family Centre. The president is Mrs. Helena Dorsett and she informs how the “support has been wonderful.”

“Several sponsors are on board to assist in whatever way they can…weekly and monthly,” she said.

The Host Families are: Mary and Nurse Naomi Farrell, Joycelyn L. Howe, Mrs. Catherine and Rudolph  Dorsette, and Miss Lucille Irish. The other person is Miss Norma Francis who received direct assistance to bring one a young member of a family into her care.

The Farrell sisters speaking to ZJ B Radio’s Tanisha Christopher said they were prepared and able to assist in caring for the 18-year old disabled girl child to whom they have opened their doors. Mary said, “We would not know where we have to go and what we would have to do. People need people and we are one family.”

“My sister and myself when we heard about it we decided to take a child or children to assist in whatever way we can so that (they) can be relaxed and stress-free…and we are capable enough to do such,” Mary said. .

President Helena Dorsette said that in discussion with the Minister of Education Mrs. Delmaude Ryan, Director of Education Mr. Glen Francis and Ms. Elaine Ryan of the Social Services, MCS was assured that, “if we could get the children to Montserrat there was more than enough space available at both primary and secondary school level.”

Mrs. Dorsette said further, “MCS is hoping to meet with the Director of Education to fast track and arrange meets so that the children can begin school within the coming week.”

Dorsette also informed that some Staff of Social Services department, who are also members of MCS, assisted with vetting the families. The MCS president is also hoping that, “with the direct communication links which have been established ‘before’ the children came up, will cement the relationships between families, and arrangements can be made between the families to determine whether they want, (can accommodate) the children to complete the Academic school year on Montserrat.”

Some of the children gave brief accounts of their experience through hurricane Maria which originated from a tropical wave, becoming a tropical storm on September 16, east of the Lesser Antilles with remarkably favorable environmental conditions enabling the storm to undergo explosive intensification as it approached the islands.

Maria reached Category 5 strength on September 18 as it made landfall on Dominica, producing extreme winds across the entire island.

It is reported that afterwards, Maria reached its peak intensity over the eastern Caribbean with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph (280 km/h).

The children upon arrival in Montserrat also expressed their joy at being in Montserrat, especially it was their first time being in Montserrat. One said: “Someone told me that I’m going to enjoy my experience in Montserrat. It’s a small island and everyone knows each other and they are very friendly and very great people…it’s amazing I saw the volcano and I was very happy cause that was my first time.”

While the president wishes to express thanks to the Executive and Members of MCS for support, she also sends thanks to individuals, businesses and individual sponsors, who at the end are soliciting assistance with the difficult situation of books, uniforms etc. “If there is any assistance with the books we will appreciate…” Mary Farrell said, as otherwise to that if all food, clothing, shelter, “we are ok.”

Posted in Hurricane, Kids, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

24529684_1508283345.6847

Crowdfunding Campaign to Help Young Montserratian Attend BerkleeCollege of Music

SALEM, Montserrat – A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help a young Montserratian attend the school of her dreams.

Vocalist Nia Golden successfully auditioned and was accepted to Berklee College of Music in Boston. She is the first Montserratian to do so. 

Her mother Nerissa Golden, Founder and Editor of Discover Montserrat has opened a GoFundMe page to assist with her tuition.

Click to Donate Now!Nia was unsuccessful in her request for a scholarship from the Government of Montserrat as it is not seen as a priority area for study.

The goal is to raise US$ 33100 by November 2017 so she can complete her paperwork and begin school in January 2018.

GoFundMe Campaign for Nia Golden to Attend Berklee College of Music →

 “You can give anonymously online or offline and every contribution will count towards the goal,” said Nerissa Golden. “Nia has benefited tremendously from the Montserrat Foundation started by the late Sir George Martin. Rebecca Chalmers, Cris van Beuren and Ines Lapa saw her potential and worked with her. Ines Lapa helped with her online audition and that is why we have reached this stage.”

Nia plans to study for a bachelors in Vocal Performance and Film Composing. “I really love to perform and write my own songs. Also I want to create iconic music that audiences will remember when they watch a movie,” Nia shared. “My mom and a few organizations helped me to attend the Berklee Five Week Summer Camp in 2016 and it confirmed that this was where I wanted to study. The school is located in Boston, and is right in the heart of a lot of creativity and I will have many opportunities to grow as an artist.”

“I am really proud of Nia and what she has accomplished so far. I want to see her go as far as she possibly can and I hope everyone will contribute as much as they can to this goal. I am thankful that the opportunity exists for us to crowdfund her future,” her mother stated.

Follow Nia’s journey on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/goldennia .

https://www.gofundme.com/NiaGoesToBerklee

Links to Performances

How Come You Don’t Call Me – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv3Emg0-BTo 

Jason’s Song – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTa1bGfT66c

ENDS

Posted in Entertainment, Features, International, Local, News, Youth0 Comments

school feeding

Caribbean countries meet to create pathways to food and nutrition education

BRASILIA, Brazil, Oct 3, CMC – Delegates from several Caribbean countries are meeting here this week to discuss a new vision for school feeding programmes that is being promoted through regional and national interventions based on the fundamental elements of education for sustainability and the production of food for schools.

The interventions aim at strengthening the process of how policies for food and nutritional education in schools are institutionalized in 17 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

school feedingThe International Congress of School Feeding Programmes, being held from October 3-5, brings together nutrition and education experts from Brazil, Latin American and Caribbean countries to discuss and disseminate good practices, as well as provide the necessary inputs for building of knowledge of content, methodologies and didactic-pedagogical procedures necessary for the development of qualitative actions of food and nutritional education in schools.

The Congress will focus on three main areas and is expected to generate the opportunity to meet and discuss different perspectives and approaches of the main theme “Food and Nutrition Education”.

The organisers said that discussions will be held through lectures, workshops and exhibitions on topics such as the development of food and nutrition Education concepts, methodologies, best practices, and policies for school feeding programmes, as well as national developments and their impact on School Feeding Policies.

At least 17 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean including Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada are attending the talks being held within the framework of a regional project entitled “Strengthening School Feeding Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Since 2009, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Brazilian Government, represented by the National Fund for the Development of Education (FNDE / MEC) and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC / MRE), under the International Cooperation Programme, have been carrying out this regional project.

It is part of the agenda of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) with the aim of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 on eradicating hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition.

Posted in Education, International, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Newsletter

The Montserrat Reporter - August 18, 2017

https://indd.adobe.com/view/fefbe432-457e-4ac8-8976-c4a380014263

Archives