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Representatives of the Fisheries and Ocean Resources Unit in Montserrat receive a copy of the EAF toolkit

Anguilla and Montserrat strengthen capacity to mainstream climate change adaptation in their fisheries sectors

CANARI Media Release

commonly known in Montserrat as ‘jacks’

Port of Spain, Trinidad With the start of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season mere weeks away, many Caribbean islands are already bracing for the possibility of being hit by a tropical storm or hurricane.

One sector which has been particularly hard hit is the fisheries sector. Damage to important fisheries infrastructure and assets such as jetties, boats, and fishing gear can cost Caribbean countries millions of dollars in recovery and lost revenue.

These damages also have a substantial impact on the livelihoods of those who depend on fishing as a main source of income and could be a driving force behind increasing poverty in fishing communities. Other climate related effects such as warming oceans and rising sea levels also have negative impacts on the sector, including loss of important fisheries habitats.

Ensuring that countries integrate climate change adaption and disaster risk management into the policies and plans for their fisheries sectors is therefore vital for protecting important fisheries ecosystems, securing livelihoods and food production and reducing poverty.


Participants at the workshop held in Anguilla, January 22-25, 2019

In January 2019, the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies of the University of the West Indies (UWICERMES) hosted training workshops in Anguilla and Montserrat with policy makers, fisheries managers, fisherfolk and other key stakeholders to demonstrate how climate change adaption and disaster risk management can be practically incorporated into fisheries management plans. A total of 69 participants from both islands, attended the four-day workshops.

The training workshops used the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) toolbox to help participants decide what practical solutions they could apply given their particular circumstances and resources. Overall, participants found the toolkit easy to use. Participants in particular found the section of the toolkit on communication to be very useful, with one participant in Anguilla noting that “communication and the means in which it is carried out among stakeholder groups is critical in fisheries planning.” 


Representatives of the Fisheries and Ocean Resources Unit in Montserrat receive a copy of the EAF toolkit

As a follow-up to the workshops, both Anguilla and Montserrat will take steps to update their fisheries management plans to mainstream climate change adaption and disaster risk management using an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries. Part of the training also specifically targeted fisherfolk in an effort to get them more involved in stewardship actions that would help protect and conserve the marine habitats upon which they depend, and reduce their vulnerability to climate change impacts. A small grants call was sent out in March 2019 to fisherfolk organisations in both islands for proposals on projects to address climate change adaptation and disaster risk management through stewardship and innovative solutions. The selected projects will launch in June 2019 and end in December 2019.

For further information, please contact: Ainka Granderson, Senior Technical Officer, CANARI at ainka@canari.org or +1-868-638-6062.

About the project:

The training workshops and small grant programme are both key activities under the 3-year Climate change adaptation in the fisheries of Anguilla and Montserrat project (April 2017- March 2020). This project is being is being implemented by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) in partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources – Anguilla, Fisheries and Ocean Resources Unit – Montserrat and the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies of the University of the West Indies (UWI-CERMES). The project is funded by the Government of the United Kingdom from the Darwin Plus: Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund under the Darwin Initiative. See here for more information on the project:

Climate Change Adaptation In The Fisheries Of Anguilla And Montserrat (April 2017-March 2020)

About CANARI:

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is a regional technical non-profit organisation which has been working in the islands of the Caribbean for 30 years. Our mission is to promote equitable participation and effective collaboration in managing natural resources critical to development. Our programmes focus on capacity building, policy planning and development, research, sharing and dissemination of lessons learned, and fostering regional partnerships.

Ocean Governance and Fisheries

The Caribbean region is ranked among one of the most biodiverse regions of the world.  In the OECS increasing awareness is being placed on marine areas which hold an abundance of natural resources including rich biodiversity, living resources both marine and terrestrial and nonliving resources in the form of mineral and natural products. In comparison to the land area the OECS has many times more marine area as prescribed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Law of the Sea.

While, the OECS has exercised jurisdiction by legislation over the water column and the accompanying living and non-living resources, the benefits to be derived are not fully maximized but nonetheless many resources are utilized. However, many decades of use and exploitation of the marine environment with inadequate resource management programmes has left a growing evidence of degradation of its critical and vulnerable ecosystems. Some of the drivers of this degradation are those activities associated with poorly-planned coastal and urban development, unsustainable tourism, land based and marine sources of pollution, over-exploitation of living resources, removal of keystone species and the proliferation of invasive species.  Notwithstanding, the economic potential of some marine resources remains unassessed or underutilized. These latter resources include, but are not limited to, non-living resources such as petroleum products, marine renewable energy sources, and mineable resources.

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Sold Into Sex Slavery

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by Mark Bassant and Hema Ramkissoon

May 18 2019

SOLD A LIE

Maria There­sa, a 19-year-old nurs­ing stu­dent from Tu­cu­pi­ta, saw the promise of a new be­gin­ning.

Like oth­er places in Venezuela, the econ­o­my of her small town in the Orinoco Delta had col­lapsed, caus­ing thou­sands of res­i­dents to flee.

Maria saw her chance when a friend told her about peo­ple who could take her to find a bet­ter life in Trinidad.

Some traf­fick­ers, an or­gan­ised net­work of Trinida­di­ans and Venezue­lans, promised Maria and her friends that they would loan them mon­ey for the trip. When they land­ed in Trinidad, the same peo­ple would find them jobs as hair­dressers or house­keep­ers.

So, one night in Jan­u­ary, Maria climbed on­to a pirogue from a hid­den in­let on the Orinoco Riv­er. About six hours lat­er, she land­ed in an area she be­lieved to be Ch­aguara­mas, where she and oth­er pas­sen­gers on the boat were met by a man they didn’t know. From there, they were tak­en to a house oc­cu­pied by oth­er mi­grants.

For three days, Maria and eight oth­er Venezue­lans were crammed in­to a room where day­light bare­ly crept in. Their pass­ports were tak­en from them and they were fed a di­et of Crix and wa­ter. One day, they had no food at all.

It was on­ly then Maria re­alised that the traf­fick­ers had sold her a lie.

On the third day, the door to her room opened and one of her han­dlers told her to get pret­ty; that some vis­i­tors would be ar­riv­ing soon. Maria was con­fused and afraid but did as she was com­mand­ed.

When a strange man came in and leered at her, she un­der­stood her fate.

“They said that we (were) go­ing to be pros­ti­tutes and if we didn’t like it, it didn’t mat­ter, be­cause they brought us here and we had to do it.”

Dressed in a green track suit, Maria gave this de­tailed ac­count from a safe house in Pe­tit Bourg.

“I would have worked in any job be­cause there is noth­ing in Venezuela. There is no op­por­tu­ni­ty. You can’t sur­vive. But not pros­ti­tu­tion,” Maria said, bury­ing her face in her hands.

BONDAGE DEBT PAID WITH SEX

Venezuela’s eco­nom­ic col­lapse has trig­gered an ex­o­dus of some five mil­lion peo­ple from the South Amer­i­can na­tion. By some es­ti­mates, some 60,000 have sought refuge in Trinidad.

A three-month Guardian Me­dia in­ves­ti­ga­tion has re­vealed how hu­man traf­fick­ers have swooped in to prey on Venezue­lan women seek­ing eco­nom­ic sur­vival. These traf­fick­ers have placed hun­dreds of young women in­to mod­ern-day sex slav­ery.

The net­works in­volve an en­tan­gled web of Trinida­di­an and Venezue­lan traf­fick­ers who smug­gle these women, cor­rupt po­lice of­fi­cers who fa­cil­i­tate the trade and pro­tect wrong­do­ers, and im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials who of­ten times take bribes to turn a blind eye to the women’s ex­ploita­tion. Un­der­world Venezue­lan fig­ures with il­lic­it arms and Asian crim­i­nal gangs are of­ten part of the crim­i­nal net­works.

The il­lic­it sex trade seems to span the en­tire coun­try, from the re­mote port of Ce­dros to high-ris­es in West­moor­ings, where sex slaves—some as young as 15 years old—are held against their will, locked in rooms and forced to have sex with men. Some vic­tims are drugged so old­er men can have their way with them.

The traf­fick­ers rou­tine­ly take these women to bars and night­clubs in search of clients. The younger the women, the high­er the price.

For a 30-minute ses­sion, traf­fick­ers charge $300, about the price of a doc­tor’s vis­it. The rates dou­ble to $600 for an hour. For the en­tire night, the traf­fick­er pock­ets $6,000.

The women are giv­en a mere pit­tance to sur­vive. They are forced to work night af­ter night un­til their bondage debt is erased; a debt owed to traf­fick­ers for their pas­sage to this coun­try.

These women are trapped in a cy­cle of debt with no re­lief in sight. And the traf­fick­ers find ways to keep the women en­slaved by adding the cost of food, cloth­ing, shel­ter, med­ical and pro­tec­tion fees to the orig­i­nal fig­ure.

SIX YEARS LAT­ER, NO CON­VIC­TIONS

Since the in­cep­tion of the Counter Traf­fick­ing Unit un­der the Min­istry of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty six years ago, on­ly 56 peo­ple—a lit­tle more than nine a year—have faced the courts for this of­fence, ac­cord­ing to a top law en­force­ment of­fi­cial. To date, no one has been con­vict­ed, au­thor­i­ties say.

In the last six months, po­lice have made some high-pro­file ar­rests, but hu­man rights ac­tivists con­tend that not enough is be­ing done.

The re­cent ar­rests in­clude:

On Feb­ru­ary 6, Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith lead an op­er­a­tion that res­cued 19 young South Amer­i­can women from two homes in West­moor­ings and a restau­rant along Ari­api­ta Av­enue. The young women, ages 15-18 years, were locked in rooms and made to take drugs and have sex with men for mon­ey. Po­lice al­so round­ed up at least 18 sus­pects for ques­tion­ing. A Chi­nese man, Jin­fu Zhu, and his 23-year-old Venezue­lan ac­com­plice, Solient Tor­res, were lat­er charged with 43 sex charges un­der the Sex­u­al Of­fences Act. The young women, most­ly of Venezue­lan na­tion­al­i­ty, were lat­er tak­en un­der the State’s care and kept in a safe house.

Mere days af­ter this ma­jor bust, a 24-year-old Venezue­lan woman who had es­caped from hu­man traf­fick­ers was re­cap­tured by them in Diego Mar­tin. Po­lice in­ter­cept­ed the al­leged traf­fick­ers along the Solomon Ho­choy High­way in the Clax­ton Bay area. Bat­tered and bruised, the shak­en woman was tak­en to the Wood­brook Po­lice Sta­tion. Akeem James, a 28-year-old spe­cial re­serve po­lice of­fi­cer and 39-year-old Kevin Houl­der a truck dri­ver were lat­er ar­rest­ed .

In Oc­to­ber last year, a 19-year-old Venezue­lan woman was se­vere­ly beat­en in a house in Debe. A video of the beat­ing was post­ed on so­cial me­dia by her al­leged per­pe­tra­tor who be­rat­ed her. A Diego Mar­tin man, Aval­on Cal­len­der was lat­er charged with kid­nap­ping and wound­ing with in­tent.

Au­thor­i­ties ac­knowl­edge that the hu­man traf­fick­ing prob­lem in­volv­ing sex slav­ery is a mas­sive one.

Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Stu­art Young said the res­cue of the 19 women last Feb­ru­ary had trig­gered a flood of tips about il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ty in­volv­ing hu­man traf­fick­ing across Trinidad and To­ba­go.

THE WORLD TAKES NO­TICE

Sev­er­al in­ter­na­tion­al agen­cies have fo­cused on the sex traf­fick­ing prob­lem dur­ing their in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the Venezue­lan mi­grant sit­u­a­tion in Trinidad.

Melanie Teff, who is UNICEF UK’s se­nior hu­man­i­tar­i­an ad­vo­ca­cy and pol­i­cy ad­vis­er, re­called in­ter­view­ing about 50 Venezue­lan vic­tims who re­count­ed how traf­fick­ers en­trapped them in­to lives of sex and drugs.

In an in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia, Teff said, “We heard about these women and girls read­ing ad­ver­tise­ments for what seemed like jobs in bars that did not ap­pear to be pros­ti­tu­tion. Their doc­u­ments are tak­en away leav­ing them trapped in a for­eign land.”

Teff said the height­ened de­spair of these Venezue­lan women left them at the mer­cy of heart­less traf­fick­ers.

“They want to sur­vive and send back mon­ey to their fam­i­lies, who they feel a re­spon­si­bil­i­ty to sup­port. If they are not al­lowed a way of be­ing le­gal in Trinidad and To­ba­go, then they are go­ing to be at much greater risk of be­ing ex­ploit­ed,” she said.

‘COPS IN­VOLVED IN HU­MAN TRAF­FICK­ING’

PCA di­rec­tor David West con­firmed re­ceiv­ing many re­ports about po­lice of­fi­cers be­ing in­volved in hu­man traf­fick­ing and hold­ing girls and young women cap­tive.

Young girls are at the mer­cy of rogue po­lice of­fi­cers, West said.

“These young girls do not know the sys­tem and there­fore they are afraid to re­port it,” he said.

West said that the PCA had re­ceived a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of com­plaints in 2019 when com­pared to pre­vi­ous years.

“It is very wor­ry­ing, the sto­ries that the girls tell are…,” West said, paus­ing to com­pose him­self.

A fa­ther of two girls, West said, “I do not wish it on any­body’s daugh­ter, what they have al­leged­ly done to those girls.”

West said vic­tims should know that his agency will in­ves­ti­gate com­plaints against of­fi­cers. “Come to the PCA and we will take their com­plaints and in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter and bring those per­pe­tra­tors to jus­tice,” he said.

Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith said he could not com­ment on pend­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions in­to po­lice of­fi­cers in­volved in hu­man traf­fick­ing.

Grif­fith said he was mov­ing quick­ly to adopt poli­cies to tar­get and stamp out cor­rupt cops with the in­tro­duc­tion of poly­graph tests.

“Like any oth­er kind of il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ty hu­man traf­fick­ing we will treat through sting op­er­a­tions,” Grif­fith said. “If they don’t (stop),we will get enough ev­i­dence to put them be­hind bars.”

‘YOU’LL BE­COME PROS­TI­TUTES’

Cas­es in­volv­ing Maria and oth­er women im­pli­cate po­lice of­fi­cers who not on­ly held them cap­tive but fa­cil­i­tat­ed sex­u­al ex­ploita­tion of the women.

Maria was adamant that an of­fi­cer was the mas­ter­mind be­hind the hu­man traf­fick­ing ring that held her cap­tive for al­most six months.

An­oth­er woman who was held at the house in Debe, south Trinidad, said a po­lice of­fi­cer rou­tine­ly raped her and forced her to have sex with cus­tomers. “He col­lect­ed and kept all of the mon­ey.”

Guardian Me­dia spoke to their vic­tims…

Like Maria, Ju­marie Car­oli­na fled pover­ty and star­va­tion in her home town of Cara­cas.

She en­dured a nine-hour jour­ney from her home to Tu­cu­pi­ta. Car­ry­ing on­ly a knap­sack, she board­ed a fer­ry to Ce­dros.

A friend from her home town told her of the op­por­tu­ni­ties in Trinidad. The is­land at the South­ern tip of the Caribbean was de­scribed as an ide­al es­cape from the crum­bling Venezue­lan so­ci­ety.

At Ce­dros, she met a man iden­ti­fied as James who picked her up and took her to a house in Princes Town. James told her she would be there for a few days be­fore she could start work­ing as a wait­ress at a near­by bar.

Af­ter three days, one of the traf­fick­ers en­tered her room and raped her. Over sev­er­al days, he re­peat­ed­ly raped her. “He would force me to take (mar­i­jua­na), then rape me,” said Ju­marie, tears welling up in her eyes.

James made it clear that she owed him $1,000 for the trip and would have to work as a pros­ti­tute to re­pay him.

He bought her a back­less hal­ter-top and tight-fit­ting jeans and took her to a well-known San Fer­nan­do night­club fre­quent­ed by men, from all walks of life; hop­ing their mon­ey could buy them a good time with young Span­ish-speak­ing women.

When­ev­er Ju­marie seemed un­will­ing to com­ply with James’ wish­es, he would threat­en to harm her fam­i­ly while bran­dish­ing his firearm, she said.

Ju­marie said she knew she had to es­cape. A taxi dri­ver hired by James to take her to and from the club was her on­ly con­nec­tion to the out­side world. One evening, she asked him how much it would cost to take her to meet a Venezue­lan friend in Port-of-Spain. He agreed to help her.

Af­ter hear­ing Ju­marie’s sto­ry, her friend—de­ter­mined that it would be too risky to keep her—con­tact­ed an­oth­er woman who gave Ju­marie refuge.

But it seemed as though she was un­able to es­cape James’ reach. He sent a se­ries of men­ac­ing mes­sages, show­ing pic­tures of her fam­i­ly mem­bers in Venezuela, she said.

“You can’t hide here and you can’t hide in Venezuela,” he told her via text mes­sage.

Ju­marie had ini­tial­ly agreed to take Guardian Me­dia re­porters to sev­er­al lo­ca­tions where men had abused her. But on the day of the meet­ing, Ju­marie texted a friend, “I’m gone. He will find me.”

She then left on a boat from Ce­dros.

ES­CAP­ING CAP­TORS

One day in Feb­ru­ary, Maria es­caped from her cap­tors when she jumped through a bath­room at a bar in Wood­brook. She ran as fast as she could with no idea of where she was head­ed. She met some Venezue­lans on the street and bor­rowed a phone to con­tact a friend. Maria end­ed up in the same safe house as Ju­marie.

Af­ter ex­chang­ing sto­ries, Maria and Ju­marie re­alised they were vic­tims of the same sex traf­fick­ing ring. They had even stayed in sep­a­rate rooms of the same Debe house rent­ed by the po­lice of­fi­cer.

The sin­gle-storey house, paint­ed in brick red, had raised con­cerns among lo­cal res­i­dents who point­ed out that the house’s win­dows had been plas­tered over and ro­bust steel door kept oc­cu­pants in­side.

Many neigh­bours told Guardian Me­dia how Span­ish-speak­ing women would leave the house at night and re­turn in the wee hours of the morn­ing.

The same house was the scene of sev­er­al ques­tion­able in­ci­dents over the last year, in­clud­ing the vi­ral video of the beat­ing in­volv­ing the Venezue­lan woman.

PO­LICE OF­FI­CER DE­NIES IN­VOLVE­MENT

Both Maria and Ju­marie claimed that an of­fi­cer known as He­mant “Crix” Ram­sumair, who had ties to the po­lice of­fi­cer known as James, rent­ed the Debe home where they were once held cap­tive.

Peo­ple who live in the area said Ram­sumair resided ten min­utes away from the house in ques­tion.

Guardian Me­dia ap­proached Ram­sumair a few weeks ago out­side the Bar­rack­pore Po­lice Sta­tion where he worked. Ram­sumair was asked to ex­plain sev­er­al in­ci­dents at the house, in­clud­ing the beat­ing of the Venezue­lan woman last Oc­to­ber and the use of the prop­er­ty to en­slave Maria, Ju­marie and oth­ers.

Ram­sumair had been sus­pend­ed for some time from the po­lice ser­vice be­cause of a do­mes­tic mat­ter and had on­ly re­cent­ly re­sumed du­ty. He ac­knowl­edged tak­ing charge of the house about two years ago, but said he re­lin­quished it af­ter the beat­ing cap­tured in the vi­ral video.

Ram­sumair dis­tanced him­self from the al­leged beat­ing in­ci­dent at the house and de­nied any part in any hu­man traf­fick­ing ring that in­cludes the in­volve­ment of po­lice of­fi­cers.

He chalked up the in­ci­dent to noth­ing more than a lover’s quar­rel. He said, “That was the guy’s girl­friend and some­thing hap­pened and he could not take it and that is the gist of it. Se­ri­ous­ly.”

While Ram­sumair claimed to have giv­en up rental of the prop­er­ty, lo­cal res­i­dents con­tra­dict­ed that claim.

A rel­a­tive of the own­er, who re­sides in Cana­da, said they had been try­ing to evict Ram­sumair for sev­er­al months now with­out suc­cess.

Asked to com­ment on the as­ser­tions by Maria and Ju­marie and their or­deal, Ram­sumair said: “I would like to see that be­cause I knew all the peo­ple who stayed there. They were my friends. They can’t say any­thing bad. I think I have a good re­la­tion­ship with one or two of the girls I know who came to Trinidad.”

When asked if po­lice of­fi­cers in the area were part of this il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ty?

Ram­sumair said, “No, that is not so. It could nev­er be so.”

Ram­sumair said he had nev­er been un­der any in­ves­ti­ga­tion for hu­man traf­fick­ing.

Ram­sumair said, “Hon­est to God, I don’t know any­thing about the stuff, that pros­ti­tu­tion thing. My fam­i­ly taught me bet­ter than that.”

In the last sev­er­al months, dozens of Venezue­lan women have en­tered the coun­try in the hope of a new life. Many have been duped in­to sex slav­ery.

Un­like Ju­marie who es­caped, these women re­main be­hind trapped.

Hema Ramkissoon is the top ed­i­tor for the Guardian Me­dia Lim­it­ed broad­cast di­vi­sion. She has been with the com­pa­ny for more than a decade. Hema is the host of CNC3’s Morn­ing Brew pro­gramme which high­lights pol­i­cy and pol­i­cy­mak­ers in T&T.

Mark Bas­sant heads the in­ves­tiga­tive desk at Guardian Me­dia Lim­it­ed. He has more than two decades of ex­pe­ri­ence in jour­nal­ism and is a grad­u­ate of Ry­er­son Uni­ver­si­ty in Toron­to, Cana­da. He has won six Caribbean Broad­cast­ing Union awards for Best In­ves­tiga­tive Re­port­ing in tele­vi­sion.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Court, Crime, Featured, International, News, Police, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Mitchel Anguilla

Connecticut Man Facing Charges In Anguilla Over Death Of Resort Worker

April 23, 2019 – Lisa Rozner, Local TV

https://cbsloc.al/2vhodI9

DARIEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – A Connecticut man is accused of killing a hotel worker on a Caribbean island while on vacation with his family.

Scott Hapgood

A family vacation on the British island of Anguilla ended with an arrest and accusations of manslaughter for 44-year-old Scott Hapgood, of Darien.

Last week the island’s police department arrested the father of three in the death of 27-year-old hotel employee Kenny Mitchel. Mitchel worked at the luxury Malliouhana Resort, where Hapgood was staying.

Kenny Mitchel

A death certificate shows Mitchel, also a father and husband, died of suffocation and blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso.

Hapgood’s lawyer reportedly alleges his client was acting in self-defense.

A judge in Anguilla initially denied bail but then allowed Hapgood to walk free on bail equivalent to about $75,000.

His neighbors didn’t want to go on-camera, but were shocked and say Hapgood is a kind man. They say the family has three children in elementary and middle school.

Hapgood works at UBS Financial Services Company. A representative there would only say they were following the situation closely.

As for Mitchel, his family tells CBS2 he’s a native of Dominica and was a peaceful man from a devout Christian family. Among those he leaves behind are a daughter, who they say was his pride and joy.

Hapgood is due back in court on the island Aug. 22. His lawyer allegedly told a local paper there that he has every intention to clear his name.

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DSC_4864  web

First Montserrat Graduate of Sandhurst Military Academy, returns


(l-r) HE Governor, Hon. Premier, RMDF Officers –
Alvin Ryan, Darion Darroux, Peter White, and
Glenroy Foster

His Excellency Governor in hosting a brief welcome home ceremony at the Governor’s Office for 2nd Lt. Darrion Darroux, who completed his commissioning course at the acclaimed prestigious Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst a few weeks ago. In his welcome, the Governor claims his love for and interest in the military.

And, perhaps in a small way, the media as well, as with champagne and grape juice and other sparkling white drink, and some appropriate eats, (no doubt geared at the military personnel) he welcomed the small group of officers as he congratulated and toast young 2nd Lieutenant Darion Darroux upon his return from a successful completion of the military training course in the UK.

The Governor in brief remarks opened: “I’m a real huge fan of the Royal Montserrat Defence Force (RMDF)…They’re spot on for Montserrat – a group of people who help us when the chips are down.”

Governor Pearce noted that 2nd Lieutenant Darroux embodied self-discipline, the desire for personal development and service to the public and how the officer had impressed the British armed forces minister Mark Lancaster on his visit to the island last year. Lancaster was also in attendance at the graduation ceremony.

(l-r) HE Governor Pearce, Lt. Darroux and Premier Romeo

Premier Romeo was also on hand to welcome and congratulate the young man, noting that the senior officers in the RMDF were extremely proud of Darroux’s success, which was their achievement as well.  The Premier said he was a “model” of what the RMDF has done for the people of Montserrat…not just in disaster and to train youth but to become men and women of substance.

“I am extremely proud of this opportunity to congratulate you on achieving a first…this opportunity to congratulate you also proves that we need to support more and respect more, the work of the RMDF,” he said.

“I saw the development of an individual that is absolutely impressive, he is a model like many others, of what the RMDF has done for the people of Montserrat and for individuals. Not just during disaster time, not just to train youths, but to train them to become men and women of substance,” Romeo added.


Capt. Alvin Ryan, CO Peter White, Lt. Glenroy Foster and Lt. Darrion Darroux,

Major Alvin Ryan, who leads the local force, joined in the toasts. He said he sleeps well at night knowing that people like Officer Darroux are in the ranks of the organisation, which is over 100 years old. He thanked Defence advisor Colonel Anton Gash who continues to deliver for Montserrat.

Gash was instrumental in recent upgrades of uniforms and other equipment at the RMDF. He also facilitated the officer’s attendance at the military school.

Darroux responded and told the small gathering, that it was a privilege to have been trained at Sandhurst, which he counts as a personal and professional accomplishment. He said he wanted to deliver training to help better the young people in Montserrat and also the soldiers and start to make the change we need in Montserrat.

The young officer, who works at the Integrated Border Security United, began his para military career with the Montserrat Secondary School Cadet Corps, said proudly: “I’m privileged to have trained and commissioned from the Royal Military Academy…it’s quite an accomplishment for me personally and professionally and I’m just happy that I got to spend some time there and to better myself in terms of my training professionally and myself as a person.”

Posted in Featured, International, Local, News, Youth0 Comments

crif

CCRIF to provide US$220,000 to Young Caribbean Nationals in Support of Disaster Risk Management

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, April 8, 2019. CCRIF SPC is pleased to announce that for a fifth year in a row it will provide funding of over US$220,000 to Caribbean nationals in support of scholarships and internships. This initiative is aimed at building a cadre of persons who can effectively provide support for comprehensive disaster risk management (DRM) and climate change adaptation in the region.  

The initiative is part of CCRIF’s Technical Assistance (TA) Programme which was launched in 2010. This programme has three main components – scholarships and professional development; support for local disaster risk management initiatives undertaken by non-governmental organizations; and regional knowledge building, which involves the development of MOUs with regional organizations towards implementation of strategic regional projects in support of DRM and climate change adaptation. Since the inception of the programme in 2010, CCRIF has invested over US$3 million. CCRIF operates as a not-for-profit organization and the resources made available for the TA Programme are derived from earned investment income.

With respect to scholarships, over the period 2010-2018, CCRIF has awarded 24 postgraduate and 29 undergraduate scholarships totalling US$445,250 to students from 8 countries for study at The University of the West Indies and US$545,561 to 16 students from 8 countries in the region for study in the USA and UK.

In 2019, through the CCRIF-UWI Scholarship Programme, CCRIF will provide scholarships to postgraduate and undergraduate students who are pursuing study at The University in areas related to disaster management at all three of its residential campuses (Mona, Jamaica; Cave Hill, Barbados and St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago). Eligible programmes of study include Geography/Geology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Meteorology, Insurance and Risk Management, Natural Resource Management, Land Management and Building and Construction Management. The undergraduate scholarships are awarded to students enrolled in a qualifying BSc or BA programme to cover their second and third (final) years of study. The value of each postgraduate scholarship is US$11,000 and each undergraduate scholarship US$8,000 (US$4,000 per year for the two years). The deadline for 2019 applications is June 2 2019. For further details:

http://www.ccrif.org/content/programmes/ccrif-uwi-scholarship

CCRIF also will provide up to four scholarships this year for study in master’s programmes in areas related to disaster risk management at universities in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada as well as at local universities (other than UWI) in Caribbean countries. Eligible areas of study under the CCRIF Scholarship Programme include: Catastrophe/Disaster Risk Management; Property/Casualty Insurance; Meteorology; other hazard/disaster-related disciplines and MBAs with a major in Risk Management and/or Insurance or a related field. Scholarships are valued up to a maximum of US$40,000 (for extra-regional universities) or US$20,000 (for Caribbean institutions) and are awarded to applicants who demonstrate academic excellence, are involved in, or work in the field of risk/disaster management or sustainable development in the Caribbean and have a record of broader community involvement. The deadline for 2019 applications is June 2 2019. For further details:

http://www.ccrif.org/content/scholarship

CCRIF’s flagship professional development programme is its Regional Internship Programme, which was launched in 2015. It is designed to provide opportunities for students who have specialized in the areas of disaster risk management, environmental management, actuarial science, geography, climate studies and other similar areas to be assigned to national and regional organizations where their educational experience can be enhanced through practical work assignments. In this initiative, CCRIF is partnering with a range of organizations who act as host organizations. These include national disaster management and meteorology agencies as well as: the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA); Caribbean Development Bank (CDB); Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC); CARICOM Secretariat; Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) and various departments of the campuses of the University of the West Indies (UWI), among others. Since 2015, CCRIF has placed 85 interns in 27 host organizations with an investment of almost US$270,000.

The programme is open to citizens of CARICOM and/or CCRIF Caribbean member countries who are graduates of a recognized university. The interns should have completed a course of study in any one of the following key areas: disaster risk management, environmental management, meteorology, climate studies, civil engineering, management studies with a focus on risk management, environmental economics, geography, geology, civil engineering, risk management and actuarial science. The deadline for 2019 applications is June 2 2019. For further details:

http://www.ccrif.org/content/regional-internship-programme

CCRIF is the world’s first multi-country risk pool in the world, providing parametric insurance for tropical cyclones, earthquakes and excess rainfall to 19 Caribbean governments and 2 Central American governments. To date, CCRIF has made payouts totalling US$139 million to 13 member governments – all made within 14 days of the event. Data from member countries show that over 2.5 million persons in the Caribbean have benefitted from these payouts.

Through its insurance products and Technical Assistance Programme, CCRIF is committed to supporting Caribbean countries towards reducing vulnerabilities and building resilience within the context of advancing sustainable prosperity of the small island and coastal states of the region.

About CCRIF SPC: CCRIF SPC is a segregated portfolio company, owned, operated and registered in the Caribbean. It limits the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes, earthquakes and excess rainfall events to Caribbean and – since 2015 – Central American governments by quickly providing short-term liquidity when a parametric insurance policy is triggered. It is the world’s first regional fund utilising parametric insurance, giving member governments the unique opportunity to purchase earthquake, hurricane and excess rainfall catastrophe coverage with lowest-possible pricing. CCRIF was developed under the technical leadership of the World Bank and with a grant from the Government of Japan. It was capitalized through contributions to a Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) by the Government of Canada, the European Union, the World Bank, the governments of the UK and France, the Caribbean Development Bank and the governments of Ireland and Bermuda, as well as through membership fees paid by participating governments. In 2014, an MDTF was established by the World Bank to support the development of CCRIF SPC’s new products for current and potential members, and facilitate the entry for Central American countries and additional Caribbean countries. The MDTF currently channels funds from various donors, including: Canada, through Global Affairs Canada; the United States, through the Department of the Treasury; the European Union, through the European Commission, Germany, through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and KfW, and Ireland. In 2017, the Caribbean Development Bank, with resources provided by Mexico, approved a grant to CCRIF SPC to provide enhanced insurance coverage to the Bank’s Borrowing Member Countries.

For more information about CCRIF:

Website: www.ccrif.org | Email: pr@ccrif.org |  Follow @ccrif_pr |  CCRIF SPC

#ccrif #scholarships #internships #technicalassistance #universities #uwi #students #postgraduate #undergraduate #disasterriskmanagement #drm #caribbean #climatechange

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Climate/Weather, Education, News, Youth0 Comments

IMG-20190323-WA0002 br

Darroux Complete Reserve Officers Commissioning Course at Sandhurst

Darroux ctr with Irish Guards officials

The Royal Montserrat Defence Force (RMDF) is proud to announce that 2nd Lieutenant Darion Darroux has successfully completed the Reserve Officer’s Commissioning Course at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

This course commenced on 28 January 2019 and ran for eight weeks culminating in a Commissioning Parade which took placed on Saturday 23 March 2019 at the Old College Parade Square. The Commissioning Parade consisted of a March on by the 37 Platoon of the Dettingen Company accompanied by a band from the Household Calvary.
The parade was inspected by Colonel the Right Honourable Mark Lancaster, Minister of State for the Armed Forces. The Officer Cadets had the privilege of Minister Lancaster giving the feature address at the parade. Minister Lancaster was very instrumental in the RMDF receiving their new set of uniforms after his visit to the island in 2018.

As part of the ceremony one Officer Cadet received the Sword of Honour after being adjudged the best officer cadet for this course. The parade culminated with the officer cadets marching up the steps and into the grand entrance of the Old College. This has been the highlight of the parade. A total of 33 officer cadets graduated as part of the ceremony. This is the same course which reserve officers of the British military, as well as other officers in training from around the world, would attend to qualify for their commissions. Mr. Darroux’s attendance was made possible through support of the British Defence Adviser’s Office based in Jamaica.

Darroux ctr with his mom and younger brother

On hand to support Darroux during his commissioning parade were his mother and his brother. Also in attendance were Mrs. Janice Panton, UK Representative for the Government of Montserrat and Lt. Giles Bromley-Martin representing the Irish Guards. The Irish Guards have had a long standing affiliation with the Royal Montserrat Defence Force and recently completed a week-long visit to Montserrat to foster the bounds of friendship between the two units.

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

MNI wins Cayman Is new

Big moment for Montserrat football

The win – Montserrat 2 – Cayman Islands 1.

So this is where we were taken from – FB – Craig Brewin

The eight other teams in contention for the last four qualifying places are St Kitts & Nevis, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Bermuda (who play each other), Guyana & Belize (who also play each other), and French Guiana. To add some spice to the final round of matches, and some unpredictability, CONCACAF has arranged things to ensure that each team plays someone of a similar ranking. This is also the final round of qualifying for next season Nations League groupings so everyone has something to play for.

The following is how the weekend needs to pan out for Montserrat.

Day 1: Friday 22nd March. Cayman Islands v Montserrat.

Montserrat has to win. A big win may help. Montserrat is now ahead of Cayman Islands in the FIFA rankings and given its form so far, a win for Montserrat is possibly the more likely option.

Day 2: Saturday 23rd March. Guyana v Belize. Surinam v St Kitts &Nevis.

Either Guyana or Belize will almost certainly finish above Montserrat if they win. St Kitts will finish above Montserrat if they win.

Day 2: Saturday 23rd March. El Salvador v Jamaica.

Kicking off after the two earlier games have finished, El Salvador needs a win against a Jamaica team looking to qualify for League A in the Nations League. It is possible that a big win in the Cayman Islands could see Montserrat stay ahead of El Salvador on goal difference.

Day 3: Sunday 25th.  Dominican Republic v Bermuda.

This game is sudden death, with the winners virtually guaranteed to finish ahead of Montserrat.

Day 3: Sunday 25th. Canada v French Guiana.

This match kicks off at the same time as the game in the Dominican Republic. Montserrat will need French Guiana to lose or draw. It has a good team but was beaten 4-2 by Canada when they met in the 2017 Gold Cup.

Day 3: Sunday 25th. Barbados v Nicaragua. A win for Nicaragua will see them finish ahead of Montserrat. Unless French Guiana, St Kitts and Nevis, and El Salvador have failed to win, it will probably all be down to this game. Montserrat will need Nicaragua to fail to win.

Of course, if Montserrat doesn’t beat Cayman Islands then none of this will matter. Not in terms of the Gold Cup anyway. But there is still next season’s Nations League.

Posted in Featured, International, International Sports, Local, Local Sports, News, Regional, Regional Sports, Youth0 Comments

2-11-19-Edella-Allen-designer

Montserrat Youth Accepted to OECS Fashion Design Programme

“Local Business woman with regional impact”

Edella Allen

Miss. Edella Allen has been accepted to the first cohort of the OECS Fashion Design Programme which shall be delivered online from February 11th to September 18th 2019. Miss. Allen, a member of the Young Entrepreneur Association of Montserrat, is the owner of Classics Boutique, which already has a regional and international market for the sale of custom made outfits and fashion designs.

Participants in the programme will be provided with a broad range of support to include target market profile, collection conceptualization, trend forecasting, collection title/inspirational words, mood-board/inspiration board sketches/ technical flats, fabrication/sourcing, manufacturing/production and timelines/ completion, buyer and brand matching/ B2B and sales facilitation.

This CBU intervention is the latest in a series of events targeting the sub-sector since 2015 under the 10th EDF Regional Integration for Trade of the OECS.

The opportunity was promoted by MATHLE and the Youth and Sports Development Programme. Lyston Skerritt, Coordinator of the Youth and Sports Development Programme stated, “We are proud of Miss Allen and our continued success in recent regional opportunities. It shows Montserrat has the skills and talent to participate at the highest level.”

Edella shows off her fashion

When asked about the opportunity, Miss Allen stated, “From this programme I would like to tap into a regional and international market and expand the success of the company”

In this programme, the CBU is targeting emerging as well as export-ready companies involved in the design and production of apparel and accessories in OECS Member States.

At the end of the intervention, the CBU hopes to help further strengthen the fashion and design value chain in the OECS and provide designers with an avenue for increased exposure of their various products and services.

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Posted in CARICOM, Entertainment, Fashion, Local, News, OECS, TOURISM, Youth0 Comments

National Security Minister condemns murders of school students

National Security Minister condemns murders of school students

by staff writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 9, CMC – National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang has condemned the murders of two students of the Donald Quarrie High School, who were killed by gunmen as they slept at their home in Portmore, St. Catherine on  the south east of the island on Thursday night.

Police said that 14 year-old Brittany Allen and 15 year-old David Cameron, were lying in a bed when gunmen entered and shot the teenagers in their heads.

“When young, high school students are killed, the loss to the nation cannot be quantified,” Chang said in a statement, adding that the “the community has taken on a culture of violent crime.

“The police continue to improve their response capabilities through the strengthening the Anti-Gang Task Force, to better manage areas of high crime and gang violence, to support the efforts of the police, we will increase expenditure to programmes that teach our youth life skills, discipline and patience,” he said, appealing to all Jamaicans to refrain from using violence as a method of resolving conflict.

“We must return to a nation where we are our brothers’ keepers and where life is considered sacred. Violence is never the solution,” he said.

Earlier this week, Chang also condemned the murder of six-year-old Jordanion Hodges, describing it as “a brutal and heartless act”.

Police said that Kuwayne Hemmings, 27, who was transporting Hodges along the Windsor main road in the St. James parish on the north west end of the island, was also killed.

“The killing of this child saddens me,” Chang said, adding “this kind of brazen assault on our people and this disregard for the life of a child will not be tolerated”.

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Posted in CARICOM, Crime, International, Kids, Local, News, Youth0 Comments

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