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Youth Speaker calls on young people to get involved in productive things

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Lakeyia Joseph delivers her address at the National Independence Rally

Youth Speaker, Lakeyia Joseph has called on young people to get involved in productive things to help develop Dominica.

She made that statement while delivering an address at the National Independence Rally held recently.

This year Dominica celebrates its 40th year of Independence, [Reunion 2018].

“My fellow young people, there is work to be done to continue to develop our beautiful land,” she said. “This is no time to sit around idly singing the same old song that this country has no jobs, there is something for you to do, get involved in something productive, because the future of our beloved land belongs to us, the vibrant, brilliant energetic youth.”

According to Joseph, the youth can play an important role in efforts to combat climate change in youth development, “in rebuilding our country, in charity work and in certainly volunteering.”

She encouraged them to have constructive conversations and to ensure that they get an education.

“Let us ensure that we play even a small part in the development of our blessed country as we celebrate 40 years of Independence,” she stated. “Let’s consider the sufferings and sacrifices of our four-fathers…”

Lakeyia receiving the Queen’s Young Leaders Award (Photo credit: BCA)

She added, “We owe it to those who came before to be just as strong and just as determined.”

Joseph went on to say that in spite of where someone comes from, what their background may have looked like or the challenges they may face in life, that means nothing, “make it happen for yourselves, for your family and for your country.”

She told the young people, do not be afraid to dream and think big.

“Set goals, work to achieve them and make something great of yourselves,” she advised. “Be true to who you are and the goals you have set for yourselves.”

Joseph stressed the need for young people to be respectful.

“Respect all people, respect each other, don’t allow anyone to force you to fit in a box, spread your wings so high and wide that not even the universe can contain you,” she advised. “Never ever give up on yourself, your country, nor those around you.”

She encouraged them to to put God first in everything and to love and support each other.

“Tell your loved ones that you love them, and let them know you care,” she urged her peers.

This article was originally published on Dominica News Online.

 

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New Jungle Bay Resort will be bigger says Sam Raphael

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Developer of the new Jungle Bay Resort now being constructed in the Soufriere area, Sam Raphael, says when the facility reopens in 2019, it will bigger and better.

“We are opening for business in 2019, far more resilient, a little over twice the size that we were before; going to  employ way more than we did before. The feed back on it, it’s just been phenomenal,” Raphael stated at a government-organized Diaspora Forum recently.

He said there were some “tremendous, high-powered people” involved.

“We have the second highest ranking Buddhist official in the world. He has a congregation of over 100 million people. The Karmapa Lama is also bringing in a number of people to do retreats at Jungle Bay and those are just two examples of some of the CBI citizens,” Raphael said. “So, it’s not just the money we’re going after. Again..they are Dominicans by CBI. You are Dominicans by the womb, by birth or by marriage. All Dominicans, we are the assets of this country and it’s about bringing us together and doing something about your country.”

Raphael decided to build the new resort at Morne Acouma in the southern part of Soufriere after the original Jungle Bay Resort which was located in Delices on the eastern coast of the island, was severely damaged by Tropical Storm Erika in August 2015.

The new Jungle Bay Resort will include about 120 villa suites and in terms of buildings, there will be 60 of them where guests will stay. There will also be an inside and outdoor restaurant that hosts about 150 people.

The project is being funded under the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme.

This article was originally published on Dominica News Online.

 

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NBD awards 40th anniversary School Essay Competition winners

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NBD essay winners
Jernella Lewis of Portsmouth Secondary School (left)Ajani Rossi of Wesley High School (center), ZebadiJah Maxwell of Convent High School (right)

PRESS RELEASE (Tuesday, November 6th, 2018) – Three students were awarded at the National Youth Rally on Friday, November 02, 2018 for topping NBD’s 40th Anniversary School Essay Competition. Ajani Rossi of the Wesley High school placed first, Jernella Lewis of Portsmouth Secondary School placed second and ZebadiJah Maxwell of the Convent High School third. The students received cash prizes of EC $1000, $500 and $300 respectively from NBD.  The Wesley High School, was also awarded $1000 as the first place winner.

NBD hosted the essay competition as part of its 40th anniversary celebration activities. Students from third to fifth form were invited to write on the topic, “Dominica’s 40th Anniversary of Independence is a call for reflection. The invaluable lessons learnt over this forty-year period should be used as a guiding map for plotting the future of this country.”

“On this important occasion of Dominica’s 40th Anniversary, we wanted our senior students to ponder on Dominica’s history and future.  It is a way to get the students thinking about the role that they can play in our country’s future, particularly, as within the next ten years, they will be entering the workforce.” said Suzanne Piper, Executive Manager Marketing at NBD.  “We may make this an annual contest to give our youth the opportunity to contemplate on societal challenges and solutions.  We believe that our youth have a lot to offer to the development of our country.”  Mrs. Piper continued.

NBD thanked the Ministry of Education & Human Resource Development, judges, school principals, teachers, parents and most of all the students for making the competition a success. Click here to view the NBD winning essays.

 

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Dominicans encouraged to participate in #GivingTuesday

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On November 27, 2018 #GivingTuesday will be celebrated in the Eastern Caribbean for the very first time and Dominica is being invited to be part of the celebration.

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving which harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year’s #GivingTuesday will take place on November 27th and will kick off the giving season by inspiring people to collaborate and give back.

Founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y – a community and cultural center in New York City − #GivingTuesday has inspired millions of people to give back and support the causes they believe in. In 2017, over $300 million was raised online to benefit a tremendously broad range of organizations, and much more was given in volunteer hours, donations of food and clothing, and acts of kindness.

Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday refers to the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season.

As the official collaborator on the wider global movement in the Eastern Caribbean, Writing Legends has committed to tailoring all activities for #GivingTuesday Eastern Caribbean’s inaugural year to benefit children in need. Our campaign includes four main strategies to take place during the months of November and December in at least three Caribbean islands, aimed at raising funds for and bringing visibility to this cause.

“We are incredibly inspired by the way the #GivingTuesday community has embraced this concept for a worldwide movement,” said Henry Timms, founder of #GivingTuesday and Executive Director of 92Y. “As we prepare for November 27, we’re energized and encouraged by the community’s generosity. The levels of creativity, effort and the quality of the new ideas people have contributed and shared are phenomenal.”

We invite all organizations, local businesses, non-profits, schools, religious organizations, groups, and individuals to join the global movement of giving by organizing their very own activity to celebrate #GivingTuesday Eastern Caribbean.

For more details on participating, email givingtuesday@writinglegendsinc.org and follow on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @givingtuesdayEC. 

This article was originally published on Dominica News Online.

About #GivingTuesday Eastern Caribbean

Launched in 2018, #GivingTuesdayEC joins over 150 countries in growing a global movement of compassion and generosity. In our inaugural year, #GivingTuesdayEC has committed to supporting children in need through collaborations with corporate partners, public figures, groups and individuals. #GivingTuesdayEC encourages everyone (individuals, families, nonprofits, schools, religious organizations, small businesses and corporations) to join the movement and give – whether it is some of your time, a donation, gift or the power of your voice in your local community.

We believe that every act of generosity counts, and that it means even more when we give together. Through our collaborative efforts #GivingTuesdayEC inspires people to take collective action to improve their communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they believe in, and help create a better world.

#GivingTuesday Eastern Caribbean is a project by Writing Legends – a St. Lucia based youth development social enterprise aimed at bridging the gap between global development initiatives and youth in the Eastern Caribbean through creation of fun and impactful opportunities whereby they might be engaged.

 

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Tranquility Beach Dominica – Ground Breaking Ceremony

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Here is a teaser of the ground breaking for Tranquility Beach Resort – Curio – A Collection by Hilton. Enjoy!

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Plans in place for ban of styrofoam and single-use plastics

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Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said that plans are in place to ban the use of Styrofoam and plastic items in the New Year.

In July, 2018 the Prime Minister announced that effective January 1st 2019, Styrofoam and certain plastic items will be banned in Dominica.

He said the move is part of the government’s vision of making Dominica the first climate resilient country in the world.

“We are starting the banning of Styrofoam and plastic food utensils and in the next few months we will also articulate a second phase of the banning of certain non-biodegradable items in our country,” he said.

Skerrit continued, “But before we do that, we are seeking to provide to ensure that the biodegradable items are accessible to every citizen and therefore the taxes, the import duties on those items will be reduced drastically or taken down  to zero.”

Meantime, he urged citizens to respect the litter laws in Dominica.

“I want to say to citizens, the same practice we adopt when we go to the metropolitan countries where our garbage remain in our vehicles and in the privacy of our homes, that’s what we want in Dominica,” he stated. “We will be very stringent on those who fail to respect the litter laws in our country, because we all complain about the country’s this and the country’s that, but the question is who are  the ones who dump the litter, the garbage on the side of the roads or in the streets?”

According to Skerrit, “We are the ones who do it, so if we do not want it, the simple thing to do is to stop it and if we cannot stop it, then the law will cause us to stop it.”

He made it clear that the laws will even be strengthened to ensure that, “we respect nature and that we can preserve and conserve our environment.”

This article was originally published on Dominica News Online.

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New initiative to develop toloma industry in Delices

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Toloma from the field

If successful, a new initiative to develop the toloma industry in Delices could yield significant benefits for toloma farmers in the area.

Chairman of the Delices Village Council, Michael Etienne said in an interview on state-owned DBS Radio recently that a new group called Delices Organic Tolomah Sustainable Initiative (DOTSI) has been formed and two years of research conducted, it is believed that based on upon the results the research, they are on the right track.

“What that means is, we are embarking upon an initiative that will have toloma grown organically, so that it can yield a lot more profits,” he stated.

He continued, “We are looking at paying farmers between $50 and $100 a pound of toloma, because the starch from toloma is very healthy and that is what the US [United States] market is looking for right now.”

Etienne said that the group has contacted the various markets and has gotten positive feedbacks.

When processed, toloma has a similar texture to flour.

He said the group has also gotten monies to help the farmers clear their lands.

“We have formed the groups that will look after their land to ensure that it is organically grown,” he added.

Etienne said at present in the village, there are toloma farmers who have 2-3 acre plots that has not been used for 2-3 years, “so it is ideal for that kind of growing toloma.”

He mentioned also that the group is embarking, with the same initiative, to create organic fertilizer using the bi-product, the waste from the toloma to create that fertilizer for future use for the toloma farmers.

“The research has been done and the markets are coming on stream, the farmers are excited, we have formed a group, we have opened up whatever is necessary to have seed money come through,” Etienne asserted. “We are very transparent, we are very accountable for what is going to happen and we are going to make sure it happens.”

This article was originally published on Dominica News Online.

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Fort Young Hotel reintroduces the new and improved Palisades Restaurant

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Fort Young Hotel Palisades Restaurant
This gentleman at The Palisades Restaurant is ready to serve you. Photo credit: Derek Galon/Fort Young Hotel

Closed since the passage of Hurricane Maria in September 2017, the Palisades Restaurant was officially reopened last Saturday on October 27. It offers seaside dining with locally procured produce and a new chef.

The following is from the hotel’s website.

All of us at Fort Young Hotel are incredibly excited to announce the launch of the new Palisades Restaurant, Roseau’s only seaside dining destination where guests can indulge in the fresh and flavorful cuisine of the Nature Island in a matchless al fresco ambiance. The restaurant opened this past Saturday, October 27, while our official unveiling and launch event will take place later in November. Get a sneak peek below of exactly what to expect from Dominica’s must-try coastal restaurant.

Locally-Sourced Fare

At The Palisades Restaurant, panoramic ocean views are paired with inventive dishes that showcase the natural bounty of the island, including locally-sourced ingredients straight from nearby farms and, of course, the Caribbean Sea. Guests can, once again, revel in a delectable array of Caribbean dishes such as locally-caught Lion Fish Bon Femme; our signature Fort Nut soup blended with carrot, ginger and callaloo coconut from our preferred island farm; the Char Grilled Lobster with lemon butter and seasonal greens; and so much more.

Fort Young Hotel fresh produce, Dominica
Vegetables on display at the local farmers’ market

The Palisades Restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch, featuring new Executive Chef Kevin Broderick’s contemporary culinary flair. Breakfast will include highlights like the signature “Farmers Benedict,” featuring local farmers’ poached eggs atop grilled cocoa bread and smothered with pink velvety peppercorn hollandaise sauce, while the lunch buffet will change regularly based on the day’s bounty. Additionally, the new Sunday Brunch offering will include omelette and waffle-making stations, assorted breads and spreads, and so much more.

Our New & Renowned Executive Chef

Executive Chef Kevin Broderick has officially taken the reigns at The Palisades Restaurant, where he has created a refreshed menu rooted in fresh, local ingredients that speak to both traditional Dominican cuisine and contemporary Caribbean flavors. Chef Kevin Broderick hails from Jamaica, where he is best known for his numerous culinary awards and catering to celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg and designer Ralph Lauren.

Over the years, he has represented Jamaica in numerous culinary competitions and has amassed 70 medals and 25 trophies, including winning the prestigious title of “Chef of the Year” for Jamaica in 2009 and 2010. Chef Broderick has been featured in Conde Nast Traveler, Enroute Magazine, The Jamaica Observer and Travel + Leisure, among others, and we are beyond excited to see what he has in store for all of us at The Palisades.

Fort Young Hotel Palisades Restaurant sitting
Brand new facade and sitting arrangements at The Palisades Restaurant. Photo credit: Derek Galon/Fort Young Hotel

Updated Design

With a prime waterfront location, the expanded second-floor, indoor-outdoor eatery features an updated, state-of-the-art, open design. Guests will enjoy al fresco dining on the wrap-around balcony while taking in far-reaching ocean vistas and the soothing, island breeze under a canopied roof. The balcony is comprised of Epay and Guyanese Greenheart wood, much of it reclaimed from the hotel’s rooms that were damaged from Hurricane Maria. Separated by retractable accordion doors, the indoor-outdoor dining space allows guests to indulge in the utmost fine dining experience and the only air-conditioned restaurant interior in Roseau.

Breathtaking Location

The Palisades Restaurant is directly accessible from our private jetty at Fort Young Hotel, enabling yachts and other boats to moor up for an onshore lunch or dinner. With stunning vistas of the Caribbean Sea from every table upon the terrace and Roseau’s only air-conditioned restaurant interior, The Palisades Restaurant redefines fine dining on Dominica.

 

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2018/2019 cruise season opens on Tuesday

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MV Celebrity Summit
An aerial photo of the MV Celebrity Summit

PRESS RELEASE (October 28th, 2018) – October 30, 2018 marks the official opening of the 2018/2019 cruise season.

The MV Celebrity Summit of Celebrity Cruises will arrive at the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth on Tuesday October 30, 2018, bringing approximately 2500 passengers to Dominica’s shores. The ship is scheduled to be docked at the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth from 8:00am to 5:00pm.  The MV Celebrity Summit is scheduled to make ten (9) calls to the island for the 2018/2019 cruise season.

The anticipated nine (9) calls by the MV Celebrity Summit to the island, will allow our many cruise stakeholders to earn a livelihood especially those who sustained tremendous loss post Hurricane Maria. Service providers are consequently all geared up for an active 2018/2019 cruise season.

Activities to commemorate the opening of the 2018/2019 cruise season will include a series of cultural entertainment to be held on the Dame Mary Eugenia Charles Boulevard from 8:00am to 5:00pm. A ceremony will also form part of the day’s activities during which the Minister of Tourism & Culture will declare the season officially open.  Preschoolers of the SPICES Centre and Bright Beginnings preschools, will form part of the welcome ceremony to greet cruise visitors’ upon arrival, by waving the national flag.

A total of 189 cruise calls are projected for the 2018/2019 cruise season which equates to approximately 3, 0364 cruise passengers. Dominica expects to welcome nine (9) new cruise ships to its shores. Inaugural ceremonies to include plaque exchanges will be held aboard the respective ships. DDA solicits the cooperation of all tourism stakeholders in ensuring a welcoming and enjoyable experience for the cruise visitors. The Government of Dominica will continue its effort in promoting Dominica as a desirable cruise destination so as to increase cruise calls to Dominica. 

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, see Dominica’s updates on the tourism sector post Hurricane Maria: www.dominicaupdate.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

 

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Dominican, Alison Kentish, named Journalist of the month

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Each month, IJNet features an international journalist who exemplifies the profession and has used the site to further his or her career. This month Dominican born journalist, Alison Kentish is featured for her hard work, particularly in the area of climate change.

Alison Kentish, a journalist in St. Lucia, spent last weekend covering the funeral service for Botham Jean, a St. Lucian man who was killed in his home in Dallas, Texas by a police officer.

“That put St. Lucia on the international map, but not for the best reasons,” said Kentish. “You’re human before you’re a journalist, and sometimes the story crushes you.”

Born and raised in Dominica, Kentish moved to St. Lucia for college, where she studied criminal justice as an undergraduate. However, her true interest was in storytelling. When she was younger, she would sit in front of the television after school to watch CNN news anchor Bobbie Battista, relishing the way Battista made her viewers feel like she was speaking directly to them.

She is pursuing an MA in international journalism, and has also taken advantage of training opportunities, some of which she found through IJNet, to advance her career and reporting abilities. Eventually, she had the opportunity to work with Helen Television Systems (HTS), where she now works as the senior news producer and anchor of the nightly newscast.

Kentish has also carved out a niche in climate reporting, something that has progressively grown in popularity since she first started covering it eight years ago. Since then, she has traveled to Paris to cover the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 and started her own media organization, Kentish Media, dedicated to increasing the popularity and prestige of climate reporting.

“We’ve had to fight for a long long time to get climate issues on the front page at the top of the newscast,” she said. “But I think we’ve come a long way, especially living in the Caribbean [because of] what we’ve been through with hurricanes. People are starting to realize that this is serious business, and that climate change is also a human story because it impacts our lives.”

IJNet spoke to Kentish about her work, the Caribbean media environment and the ways that IJNet has impacted her career.

IJNet: How did you become interested in reporting on climate change and the environment?

Kentish: Firstly, it came from just being Dominican. Dominica’s known as the nature island of the Caribbean. There’s this saying that if Christopher Columbus came back, Dominica is one of the countries he would still recognize. That’s good and bad. It also means in terms of development we haven’t moved that far, but I always tell people that if you’re looking for somewhere green and clean that you can just go and relax and unplug, Dominica is the place to go. We take the environment seriously.

Moving I realized that littering and human-induced climate change wasn’t affecting many countries. So I think I started on the environment beat just trying to get people to realize the importance of not throwing your garbage out the window of a moving vehicle and it led me into doing more about climate change

I’m very passionate about climate issues and the environment and explaining them people  because for a long time people just didn’t get it. The language behind it was often confusing and a bit difficult for people to understand, so I’ve tried to tell it from a human angle.

Tell me about your media organization.

It’s called Kentish media. I wanted to use my surname in memory of my brother who was killed a few years ago, and I thought it would just be a good way to just honor him. We focus on nonprofit organizations and trying to get the climate beat going.

[Last year] when Dominica was still rebuilding from tropical storm Erika, then came Hurricane Maria — a Category 5 storm — just about this time last year. It was the most devastating storm we’ve ever had. Again it was a truly, truly heart-wrenching experience to visit Dominica after that storm. From interviewing people that time I realized that people are getting it, they know that the climate is changing and they want to know more.

What challenges have you encountered working in St. Lucia and other islands in the Caribbean?

In our region, the challenges are always small islands, small newsrooms and few resources for training. I think that’s what led me to finding IJNet, and I share IJNet with anyone who is new and comes into the newsroom because I know what it’s like to have a budget of zero dollars for training.

I think that’s one of the biggest problems, that you don’t have the money to be able to put into training young reporters coming in. I’m grateful that the people that started with us took our enthusiasm and we channeled it into looking for training for ourselves because not everyone can get up and go to journalism school, not everyone can afford it.

In terms of the tools and resources available in our newsrooms, sometimes that’s a challenge also. It means that as you grow, you also have to invest in some of your own.

How has IJNet impacted your career?

The very first opportunity I saw on IJNet was with Reuters AlertNet. They were putting on a course in financial journalism, which is my weakest area. I just avoid it. And I said, “Let me try. I’m going to embrace this.” It was really an eye-opener because of the type of course. It was five days, but it was really intense. I left that course feeling much more capable. When my editor called on me to do [a story on the] prime minister presenting a budget and addressing parliament, I didn’t complain. [I thought], “I’m going to try to put some of what I learned into practice,” and I did. I haven’t been avoiding those stories since.

Then I found a backpack journalism course [from the Thomson Reuters Foundation], and this one has truly helped my career. It was centered on producing a story using just what you have in your backpack. You pack your bag and go out there and you do your shooting, your writing, your editing, your filing from the field. This came in handy when I had to hop on a boat and head to Dominica after a storm. [It was] truly practical and I think it was one of the best courses I’ve ever done in my life.

What advice do you have for young journalists?

I would tell them that the challenges will be many. Let’s not even kid ourselves here. You’re going to meet many stumbling blocks. We mentioned some of them, like maybe you’ll want to get a lot of training and your department doesn’t have a budget for [it]. That’s where you have to be very resourceful and use the technology [and platforms] available to you for self-development. Many of the international news media houses have their own.

I’d say read, educate yourself, watch the international networks [and] try to find opportunities for training, because they are out there.

Our field is dynamic and it’s constantly evolving. You have to stay on top of your game and just be the best journalist that you can be. Always adhere to the basic tenants of our profession: Try to be fair at all times, try to give each side a listening ear and remember that there’s more than one side to a story.

This post was updated on October 14, 2018.

This interview was edited for length. Images courtesy of Alison Kentish. 

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Dominican performs on British TV show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

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Danny John-Jules is of Dominica descent and performs here with Amy Dowden on the popular British TV show, Strictly Come Dancing.

Born on September 16, 1960, John-Jules is an actor, singer and dancer. John-Jules was born in Paddington, London, brought up in Notting Hill and attended Rutherford Comprehensive School from 1972 to 1977 where he learnt gymnastics. Both his parents are from Dominica and his mother worked in the courts; he has a brother who is a barrister (source: Wikipedia)

 

 

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Janae Jackson is ‘Miss Global’ at UWI Mona

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Jackson graduated with honours from the junior to the senior calypso compeition, before going to UWI

Multiple time Junior Calypso Monarch of Dominica, Janae Jackson, has continued to achieve success in the field of entertainment by capturing the title of Miss Global UWI at the Mona Campus on Monday night.

Jackson is a second-year student of the University of the West Indies pursuing an LLB.

She is also Vice-President of the Dominica Students’ Association of UWI Mona Campus in Jamaica.

Jackson competed as part of activities to mark Culturama, now in its 53rd year.

She sang “Hero” by Michele Henderson in the talent segment to help seal the deal for her island-nation of Dominica.

While no segment prizes were awarded, Jackson also impressed the judges in the evening wear segment with a beautiful red ensemble.

In the question and answer segment, Jackson was asked about what can be done to improve women’s rights.

Her response included a call for women to be treated as equals in the workplace. She also urged women to engage in activities to match up to the men in male-dominated fields.

Following her crowning, Jackson said she was honoured to have represented Dominica.

“I’m just happy for the opportunity to get some more recognition for Dominica.”

Jamaica took the first runner-up position and Belize came third.

This article was originally published on Dominica News Online.

 

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Zadshire Dupuis is Madam Wob Dwiyet Diaspora

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PRESS RELEASE (October 18, 2018) – On Saturday, October 13th Dominicans in the Tri-State are in the US were treated to a cultural extravaganza with the staging of the Madam Wob Dwiyet Diaspora Show.

This packed event was a celebration of Dominica’s 40th anniversary of independence and also a celebration of the 15th anniversary of the staging of the Madam Wob Dwiyet USA pageant by the Dominica Emerald Organization of New Jersey (DEON-J).

Ambassador Lorraine Bannis Roberts delivered an address.

The pageant which started in 2003 is the longest running wob dwiyet pageant outside of Dominica.

Pageant coordinator, Angela Sylvester, explained at the event that the primary reason for the show was to maintain the culture of Dominica in the Diaspora so that those young Dominicans who were born or grew up there can also have the culture of their parents.

This event was also very important for those Dominicans who were not able to return home for the celebrations.

This year was a Madam of Madams show as past winners competed for the title of Madam Wob Dwiyet Diaspora.

Zadshire Dupuis, Madam Wob USA 2014, captured the title with best in wob and best in questions, Shenell Edmonds, Madam Wob USA 2013, was first runner-up with best in creative cultural formal wear and Clarissa Sampson, Madam Wob USA 2016, captured the best talent and 2nd runner-up spot with her original song Dominica Will Rise again.

There were great performances from Christine Benno Roberts, Madam Wob Canada 2017 and Colette Ambo, Madam Wob USA 2015.

Zadshire Dupuis and some of the other contestants will be traveling to Dominica to attend the Independence celebrations.

Felix Augustine provided videography services and the show will be available on local programming in Dominica for the independence celebrations.

The audience could not get enough of the melodious songs of Michele Henderson and she delivered in a big way.

Nayee returned a spirited performance to the delight of the audience and the cohosts of Alex Bruno and Marsha Monelle were a duo match made in heaven. Together they rocked.

The Roots Jing Ping Band thrilled the audience with some authentic Jing Ping music and Know your culture dance performers danced to great applause.

DJ Cosmos tied the entire event together with his great DJ skills. Elliann’s Kitchen was busy all night selling all the local foods such as Bakes and Saltfish, crab and callaloo and Sancoche. The entire evening was just superb with standing room only and many who attended remarked how much like home the entire evening felt.

The stage decorator, Ninia Lockhart John Baptiste, created the stage backdrop using the reunion theme.

The reunion theme was echoed over and over all night long by the contestants and performers that Dominica is our love and our home.

No matter if we live overseas Dominica is our home and will always be a part of us and we will help to build a resilient nation.

Photography credit to King Josiah who is available for the promotion of all events in the Tri-State area.

The executive members of DEONJ would like to wish all Dominicans a happy 40th anniversary.

See photos from the event below.

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Honouring Alwin Bully, designer of Dominica’s unique Flag

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Alwin Bully giving his kind remarks at the launch of photo-book "Majestic and Magical: Come Explore the Nature Isle"

This is a release from the Ministry of Education, honoring the designer of Dominica’s National Flag, Cultural Icon, Alwin Bully.

ALWIN BULLY is an artist, playwright, short story writer and Cultural Administrator from the Commonwealth of Dominica where he established and developed the Department of Culture and was its first Director. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill) and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters Degree from his alma mater. 

He was resident in Jamaica for over 20 years, where he worked as UNESCO’s Caribbean Culture Advisor in which capacity he managed the production of a six volume History of Caribbean and inter-acted with Cultural Departments in all of CARICOM countries, assisting them in developing programs and policies. He was also Chairman of The CARIFESTA Interim Festival Directorate – a regional Advisory Body to CARIFESTA.

This Committee reviewed CARIFESTA with a view to enhancing the festival and increasing its visibility internationally. On his return to Dominica in 2008, he was appointed Cultural Advisor to the Minister of Culture, a post he held for two years. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the National Cultural Council, which oversees the implementation of projects and programs of the Cultural Division in Dominica; and a member of the Board of Directors of the Dominica Festivals Committee.

Alwin Bully with PSS Group at Climate Change Day of Action in Dominica in 2015 (photo source: www.visitdominica.wordpress.com)

Alwin has written ten full-length plays, four radio serials, numerous short stories and four screenplays. One of his screenplays Oseyi and the Masqueraders was selected to be produced by The Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA) of New York and was shot in Dominica in 2017. The film premiered at the 2018 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF) and was up for the People’s Choice Award. It is to be premiered in Dominica towards the end of the year. His radio play “A Dance in the Dark” was selected for broadcast by the BBC in 1980. His early comedy, “Good Morning Miss Millie” (1968), was published by Penguin Books and Macmillan Caribbean and one of its speeches appeared in Actors’ Audition Speeches edited by Jean Marlow for A&C Black/Heineman. The Ruler his stage adaptation of the novel “Ruler in Hiroona” by GCH Thomas, was selected for publication in five languages by L’Autre Souffle Company, France. His short stories have appeared in THE CARIBBEAN WRITER (University of the U.S. Virgin Islands), BIM Literary Magazine, and “IRON BALLOONS” an anthology by Akashic books edited by Collin Channer.

Alwin has won several awards for his theatre work from the International Theatre Institute (Jamaica Centre) as well as a Golden Drum Award from the National Cultural Council 1997; The University of Technology’s 2006 Arts Award; A Life-time Achievement Cacique Award from The National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago 2007. He also received The Sisserou Award of Honor from the Government of Dominica for his design of the Dominica Flag in 1985; and The UWI Alumni Award for Excellence in 2008.

 

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Ban on Hunting & Fishing Continues says Forestry Division

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Photo Credit: Dominica’s Forestry, Wildlife & Parks Division:Environmental Education Unit Facebook Page

PRESS RELEASE (October 12, 2018) – The Forestry Wildlife and Parks Division wishes to inform the general public that in light of the impact of Hurricane Maria on Dominica’s ecosystems, food source and wildlife, a decision has been taken to maintain a ban on the Hunting and Fishing of wildlife for the 2018 Hunting Season.

Please be advised that under the Forestry and Wildlife Act chapter (60:02) section (38) states that No person may hunt for or fish for any wildlife during that period for which the season is closed for that particular species of wildlife. The General Public is further advised that the exportation of or attempt to export any form of wildlife from the state is a violation of the Forestry and Wildlife Act (chapter 60:02) of the revised laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

The Division seeks your support in its effort to promote Sustainable Management of our Natural Resources.

For further information please contact the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division at Tel: 266-5852.

Wildlife Offense

The following wildlife contraband was intercepted and seized, by customs and forestry personnel, on Saturday August 25, 2018, at the Roseau Ferry as an individual attempted to leave Dominica with the dissected land crabs (Cobo).

Help Protect Dominica’s Wildlife

Wildlife offences are ARRESTABLE offenses under the Forestry and Wildlife Act of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

Hunting, freshwater fishing, or live capture of wildlife outside the hunting season, or NOT included in the “games list” during the hunting season–including possession of or the illegal exportation of wildlife–carries legal penalties.

We encourage the public to report any such offenses to the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division: (767) 266-5852/5856 or the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force: 1 (767) 448-2222.

 

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Major Caribbean tourism agencies partner on regional marketing campaign

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Inspired by the Caribbean’s sounds and sights, the region’s leading tourism entities have joined forces to launch “The Rhythm Never Stops” – a vibrant marketing campaign enticing travelers to revel in the Caribbean’s incredible natural beauty, diverse cultures and hidden treasures.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) unveiled the fruit of months of collaborative efforts to showcase the Caribbean in a new, dynamic digital campaign, which started on Wednesday, October 10.

Supported by a select group of destinations and private sector partners, the video presentation targets social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Google Display. It features the electronic dance music of “Lean On” by Major Lazer x DJ Snake (feat. MØ), one of the most-streamed songs of all time on Spotify.

Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, said the Caribbean aims to be the world’s most desirable tourism destination. “With the resilience of our people and the year-round nature of our product, we are determined to ensure that in the Caribbean ‘The Rhythm Never Stops’.”

“In undertaking this collaborative marketing thrust, we hope to reinforce the power of ‘Brand Caribbean’, definitively showcasing and celebrating our diverse cultural appeal through a campaign that will encourage visitors to find their own rhythm in the Caribbean,” he said.

Frank Comito, Director General and CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, pointed out that, from Bermuda in the north to Barbados in the south, the region comprises more than 30 countries, territories and overseas departments, offering constantly evolving rhythmic segues for travelers.

“Visitors, past and present, have not been introduced to the offerings of our vast and diverse region. We will change that by highlighting the charms contained in the million square miles of Caribbean Sea, home to French, English, Spanish, Dutch, Creole, African, Asian, American and many other cultures,” he said, encouraging residents and visitors to experience more of the region’s rhythms.

The initial phase of the online campaign runs for 12 weeks. It highlights destinations such as The Bahamas in the north; Cayman Islands and Jamaica in the western Caribbean; the French department of Martinique and its eastern Caribbean neighbor Saint Lucia, as well as Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago in the south.

Both CHTA and CTO will track results of the digital advertising and social media-sharing campaign and continue to encourage other tourism-related entities to get on board with their longer-term collaborations.

Phase two of the campaign will be announced soon

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Dominica takes the crown at Mr. and Ms. Caribfest pageant

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Steven Williams and Lydie Joseph are crowned the new king and queen of Caribfest 2018. Photo by Demian Ponce

Lydie Joseph is a Dominican student at the Midwestern State University, pursuing studies in Radiological Sciences. She was dubbed “Ms. Caribfest” at the recent Caribfest event in Wichita Falls. This article was originally published in The Wichitan.

Gold, and glitz and glamour coated the night in Akin Auditorium that would make Jay Gatsby envious as the annual Mr. and Ms. Caribfest pageant leaned into “The Great Gatsby” theme.

The festivity, part of the Caribfest, allowed students in the Caribbean Student Organization to showcase the vibrant culture and unite the students from the various islands in the Caribbean in just a few days on campus and get dressed up for the elegant evening.

“It gives the campus a different feel, we share the event to give MSU a taste of our culture, we want to bring Wichita Falls the same,” Jiselle, accounting, said. “We just want everyone to come out, eat our food and enjoy our culture.”

The excitement of Caribfest extends further than just the students on campus, and Wade Courtney, MSU Texas and CSO alumni, said the event is one of the most exciting times for him, and “it is phenomenal.”

“I’ve been here since 2009, and every year it is different in some way and every year it gets better,” Courtney said.

Much like the laid-back culture is represented on campus, so is the “island time” as the event was pushed to 7:55 p.m. instead of the 7 p.m. sharp start time initially indicated for the event. Sponsors of the event are from the MSU Texas alumni association and CSO alumni to the various community leaders who help fund it as well, this gives CSO the opportunity to showcase their culture through multiple events that typically span the early evening to late hours of the night. 200 people were estimated to be there.

The night began with a Gatsby themed introduction dance, followed by the contestants walking out in their evening wear. Then, the contestants introduced themselves with their platforms. There were four Ms. Caribfest contestants and three Mr. Caribfest contestants, all eager to win the crown for themselves as much as for their country. The emcees, Karla Henry and Darien Roach, then introduced the 11 judges and special guest Keith Lamb, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management.

By 8:25 p.m., the pageant had officially started.

Talent Portion

The first Ms. Caribfest contestant Breanna Leary, exercise physiology from the Bahamas, did a contemporary dance routine to Beyonce’s’ “Pretty Hurts” to speak about the struggles of feeling beautiful and accepting yourself in today’s social media crazed society. In the music video for “Pretty Hurts,” Beyonce’s character competes in a beauty pageant.

Eyes wide and a sense of chills were in the air, the audience listened to first Mr. Caribfest contestant Taris Major, architecture and mechanical engineering senior also from the Bahamas, performed a dramatic speech, infused with music about the alleged links between mental health and school shootings. Major acted as if he was walking to class and was killed in a school shooting and then rose up in dark lighting to give his speech.

Grantley Samuels, another Mr. Caribfest contestant number three mechanical engineering senior, originating from Antigua and Barbuda, played steelpan and the audience pumped him up by cheering.

Swimsuit Portion

The swimsuit portion followed the talent portion and Roach joked that “This is my favorite section of the pageant!”

Before each contestant walked and strutted out to their music, the MCs read off a pre-written description of each contestants suit, written by the contestants themselves. Each description excluding two, described how the colors and styles related to their native islands. Along with each description the contestants described their favorite alcoholic drinks and where they’re most likely to be when they are home on the beaches.

All of the Ms. Caribfest contestants walked out to a remix of Coldplay’s “Paradise” and a caribbean type song. The Mr. contestants walked out to songs they selected whichever song they liked.

As Major strutted out in a Bermuda themed towel, then quickly removing it to reveal his very fitted yellow shorts, the audience went absolutely wild. People were cheering and yelling as Major strutted around, posed and even flexed his butt.

After the judges rated each contestant on criteria like “muscle tone and fitness”, “colors” and other things there was a long intermission were some musical performances filled the space.

Evening Wear/Interview Portion

Finally, after some time, the evening wear portion began. The two portions were combined I’m assuming in order to cut down the length of the pageant.

Each contestant slowly walked out to music and did their routine before stopping in the middle and talking with the MCs. The MCs had two hats in their hands, each hat with questions in them. Each contestant had to draw, or “dig” as the MCs kept referring to it, for their questions – assumed to add variety and fairness.

Each contestant answered a question referring back to their platform and one question about their biography.

Leary said “I want people to know that when you overcome such issues [low self-confidence and body image] it open a lot of doors and opportunities that makes life easier…I just want everyone to know they’re truly beautiful.” when asked about her platform and how it helped her achieve her goal of people building better confidence.

Unfortunately, one candidate caught stage fright mid-sentence.

However, the majority of the audience was extremely supportive, yelling things like ”It’s okay! That’s okay! It’s okay honey! You got this!” to help and encourage the contestant to go on and keep trying.

After all the contestants answered their questions classic pageant style, the show moved onto the results of the pageant, the most anticipated part of the show, the winners.

But, the results were not announced before the SOCA show winners from the previous night performed, Mr. and Ms. Caribfest 2017 individually walked out in evening wear while a three to four minute audio played wishing the contestants the best of luck, then once it was time for the results to be announced, the MCs had to stall while “technical difficulties” occurred. Henry sang “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. After much wait, at least 45 minutes to an hour, the results were announced.

But not before each contestant got awarded a multitude of awards, such as, “Best Personality”, “Best Swimsuit” and of course, participation awards.

At 11:52 p.m., Mr. and Ms. Caribfest 2018 were announced –

Ms. Caribfest – Lydie Joseph, radiological sciences senior

Mr. Caribfest – Grantley Samuels, mechanical engineering senior

Runner ups – Ms. Angel Williams, math senior

Mr. Taris Major, mechanical engineering senior

Despite lighting issues where the lights were dimmed, off or on at the wrong times, a late start and many “technical difficulties”, the Mr. and Ms. Caribfest 2018 was a celebration of the islands culture and once again CSO was able to showcase their roots in an elegant pageant, complete with a king and queen.

 

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Hundreds expected to receive free medical care aboard Chinese Navy hospital ship

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The ship will arrive in Dominica on October 12

Hundreds of Dominicans are expected to receive free medical care when Chinese Navy Hospital Ship, Ark Peace visits Dominica beginning on Friday, 12th October.

The ship will remain in Dominica till October 19 and up to 600 people are expected to be accommodated beginning on October 13.

A range of services will be offered to the public including; gastroentology general surgery, Gastroenterology, gynecology which deals with the female reproductive system, males and their prostate, respiratory, dental, dermatology, traditional Chinese medicine to name a few.

“Due to the diplomatic relations between the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, we in Dominica we are very happy to host the visit of the Chinese Navy Hospital Ship,” Director of the Primary Healthcare in Dominica, Dr. Laura Esprit said on state-owned DBS Radio. “Approximately 600 persons will be seen per day throughout the days…”

She continued, “There are various partners on this mission, but the ship is primary here with us as a Health Mission, hence the Ministry of Health and Social Services have a very significant role to play, and of course the public is being asked to take advantage.”

According to Dr. Esprit the ship will be able to provide medical services to the public from October 13th to October 17th.

“So even if it is here from the 12th to the 19th there are various activities that will take place,” she stated. “Persons will be able to access those services from Saturday, October 13th through Wednesday, October 17th”

She said visits start from about 8:00 am to 5:00 pm with a break in between for lunch.

Dr. Esprit mentioned that on October 16th the vessel will move from the Cruise Ship Berth in Roseau to the Woodbridge Bay Port in Fond Cole where only public officers will be given the opportunity to access the medical services.

She explained that people will be pre-screened before getting access to the hospital ship.

People will be screened on October 9 and 10.

Dr. Esprit said that more than 60 medical practitioners will be on board the ship and they vary according to their specialty.

Meantime, she stated that simultaneously with the activities that is happening aboard the ship there will be a dispatch of expert medical teams at four (4) pre-selected Health Centres.

“So while this is happening at the Cruise Ship Berth on Sunday, October 14th there will be a team sent to Grandbay, on the 15th a team sent to the Salybia Health Centre, on October 16th to the Laplaine Health Centre and the 17th at the Portsmouth Health Centre,” she explained. “According to the condition if the person cannot come down to Roseau the services will be provided to them at their health facility.”

Ark Peace set sail from Zhoushan, China on June 28 to carry out Mission Harmony – 2018.

Dominica is the 7th stop of the current mission.

This mission is the concrete practice of carrying forward international humanitarianism and disseminating the idea of peace, development, cooperation and win-win as well, which will be conducive to enhance the friendly relationship between China and Dominica and the two peoples as well.

The Chinese navy hospital ship Ark Peace is a large maritime medical platform designed and built in China. She was commissioned in December 2008 with pennant number 866. The ship boasts a length of 178 meters, a beam of 24 meters and an air draught of 35.5 meters.

She is in possession of 8 levels and a full displacement of 14,300 tons. The 4,000㎡ hospital ship is separated into five main areas respectively for casualty transfer, triage, outpatient, inpatient and evacuation.

Over the past 10 years since she was commissioned, Ark Peace has sailed altogether 215,000 nautical miles, visited 38 countries and provided medical services for more than 200,000 people, therefore, she has opened a window for the world to learn about China and is commended as a vivid name card of China in the new era.

This article was originally published on Dominica News Online.

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UWI Open Campus Valedictorian is Dominican, Kirk Edwards

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Valedictorian, Kirk Edwards
Kirk Edwards is from the Kalinago Territory

PRESS RELEASE (October 10th, 2018) – Dominican, Kirk Edwards is the Valedictorian of the graduating class of 2018 of the UWI Open Campus. Edwards will deliver remarks at the Presentation of Graduates Ceremony which will be held on Saturday, 13 October, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the Royalton St. Lucia Resort and Spa, Cap Estate, St. Lucia.

Edwards, who is a Mathematics teacher, church leader and sports enthusiast, completed his Bachelor of Education (BEd) in Mathematics Education degree with First Class Honours.

Edwards is a proud member of the indigenous Kalinago community of Dominica and has been a teacher at the North East Comprehensive School for 10 years (2008 to present).

In 2012, he was a finalist in the Novice Teacher of the Year category of the Dominica Teachers Bi-Annual Awards. For the past four years, he has been tasked with the responsibility of heading the Mathematics department at the North East Comprehensive School.

Under his supervision, the school has experienced a steady increase in its pass rate at CXC examinations (CSEC & CCSLC), obtaining its best Mathematics past rate ever in 2018.

A proud member of the Church of the Nazarene in Dominica, his faith has been a major driving force in all that he does. His involvement in Youth Ministry, as well as his love of sports has given him many opportunities to serve his community.

After the official Presentation Ceremony, the new graduates and their guests will celebrate their academic achievements at an Official Reception hosted by the Government and people of St Lucia.

This 10th Presentation of Graduates Ceremony of The UWI Open Campus is being held during a significant milestone year of The UWI – its 70th Anniversary, celebrated under the theme “70 Years of Service and Leadership” to the region, and the Open Campus’ 10th year of success as an established campus of The UWI.

Over these ten (10) years, the Open Campus has developed a remarkable organisation based on technology, with the primary mission of “Opening Doors to Life-changing Learning”.

This year, the campus will officially be graduating seven hundred and three (703) graduands with Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate degrees, as well as Certificates and Diplomas in a wide range of subject areas.

 

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Miss Wob Dwiyet Creole Pageant 2018 – The Contestants

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Tickets for Miss Wob Dwiyet Pageants will go on sale today at The Old Mill Cultural Centre, Valantine’s Store and Bull’s Eye Pharmacy!

 

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