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Dominicans Kavem Hodge and Alick Athanaze Selected for West Indies B-Squad

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Hodge-Athanaze-West-Indies-B-Squad
Alice Athanaze (l); Kavem Hodge (r)

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Cricket West Indies now has a WINDIES B squad. That is the squad that has been assembled to travel to Canada for the inaugural Global T20 Canada League which will run from June 28 to July 15.

The international tournament is set to attract other elite T20 players from across, but Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams thinks “this is a great opportunity for players and feeds into the organization’s wider high-performance program which looks to develop all-round skills sets of the players and officials.”

Chairman of Selectors, Courtney Browne has said “with our Test and A Teams currently on tour, the Global T20 presents an opportunity for the panel to see some of our developing players in the region. The exposure and added development will assist us with identifying players with the potential to develop into international T20 cricketers.”

This WINDIES B squad is:

Anthony Bramble (Captain)
Fabian Allen
Alick Athanaze
Roland Cato
Justin Greaves
Derval Green
Kavem Hodge
Brandon King
Jeremiah Louis
Obed Mcoy
Khary Pierre
Nicholas Pooran
Sherfane Rutherford
Shamar Springer

The Team Management Unit includes:

Stuart Williams – Coach
Roderick Estwick – Coach
Denis Byam – Physiotherapist
Cyril Cox – Strength and Conditioning Trainer
Trent Sargeant – Analyst

The Global T20 Canada league will see 22 matches played in a round-robin format followed by playoffs and the championship match to be held on July 15. All contests will take place at Maple Leaf Cricket Club in Toronto.The contingent is set to leave the region on June 14.

This information was sourced from the Facebook page of the Dominica Cricket Association.

 

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PERSONAL PROFILE: Karina LeBlanc [VIDEO]

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Former Canadian international goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc has been named to the new position of head, women’s football for CONCACAF. The announcement was made at the 33rd CONCACAF Ordinary Congress which was held in Moscow ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup which begins on Thursday.

LeBlanc made 110 appearances for Canada during her career that began in 1998.

The 38-year-old participated in three Pan-Am Games, two Olympics and five FIFA World Cups for Canada and was a member of the 2012 bronze medal winning team at the London Games.

LeBlanc will begin her new role for CONCACAF on August 1.

The above article was originally published on TSN.ca. Check out this interview with Karina and TSN’s Rick Westhead about her new role.

About Karina LeBlanc

(From her website)

Karina LeBlanc
Karina LeBlanc (source: www.karinaleblanc.com)

Karina LeBlanc moved to Maple Ridge British Columbia at age 8. Her early life was spent on a small island in the Caribbean and then she was thrust into a new country with different customs and culture. Karina was a smart, shy, misunderstood child with a vibrant personality buried within.

It wasn’t until she met some local coaches who invited her the track and field club and basketball team that her confidence rose and allowed her personality to shine. Soon after others would also notice a change in her confidence. This confidence enabled Karina to pursue a college education, play soccer for her country for almost 18 years and further win a Bronze Medal at the Olympics in 2012.

After the World Cup in 2015 she finally decided it was time to hang up her cleats and explore her greater purpose. Being the longest standing soccer player of all time for Canada, (5 World Cups and 2 Olympic games), she would no longer be Karina LeBlanc the soccer player, but now Karina LeBlanc the person seeking to understand her new meaning in life. As Karina journeys through this new transition in life, she is rediscovering herself through others.

Karina LeBlanc
Karina LeBlanc of Canada celebrates her teams win over Switzerland after the FIFA Women’s World Cup [source: FIFA.com]

For her, soccer was more than just a sport she played. It allowed her to gain confidence and realize that her voice is for a reason, which helped her become a UNICEF ambassador. Using her international career as a platform, she uses her experiences from her life and career to empower others and help them on their journey to being the best version of themselves.

Her energy is contagious and she loves to ensure that everyone around her truly enjoys what they’re doing. A motivational speaker, a broadcaster, a host (on air and in person) she can entertain and motivate any crowd, while including humour. She thrives on bringing the best out of people, getting them excited, and getting them involved in every aspect of what’s going on both on or off the field.

 

 

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Dominican earns PhD in Chemistry

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Juliette Commodore
Commodore-Botoklo is the 4th black female to graduate with a PhD in chemistry from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa

Dominican, Juliette Joan Commodore-Botoklo, has earned a doctorate in Chemistry at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and in the process, has become only the fourth black female in her department to do so. A Caribbean student was the first to attain that accomplishment in 2013.

Commodore-Botoklo, following a teaching stint at the Wesley High School from 1997 – 2002, obtained two Bachelor of Science degrees: one in chemistry and the other in biology from Midwestern State University. She then taught chemistry for four years (2007-2011) in the Fort Worth Independent School District before entering the Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry program at the University of Alabama.

Commodore-Botoklo’s doctoral journey started in 2011 and ended in 2018. She revealed that she was supposed to defend in 2017 but Hurricane Maria stalled that plan.

With a PhD in analytical chemistry with a focus on mass spectronomy, Dr. Commodore-Botoklo plans to seek employment in industry for method development involving new and more modern mass spectrometers. Her long term goal is to set up a forensics department in Dominica “to serve not only our island, but other islands also lacking these facilities.”

Dr. Commodore-Botoklo is the daughter of Jones and Ursula Commodore of Pottersville. She is married to Senyo Botoklo from Togo, Africa and the couple has a son.

The article was originally published on DominicaNewsOnline.

 

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Beneficiary House in Salybia – UNDP

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Salybia, Dominica

Salybia is a hamlet on the east coast of Dominica in Saint David Parish. About 51% of all roofs were destroyed or gone in this village. The home of many like Mary Francis had roof restoration work done by our partner, IsraAid.

IsraAid received roofing materials consisting of lumber; corrugated galvanized metal roofing sheets (CGI); hurricane straps and ties; galvanized roofing screws and fasteners to cover a roofing area of approximately 1025 square feet.

About UNDP Project Office

The UNDP Dominica Project Office is a part of the Regional Sub-Office of Barbados and the OECS. The Team’s presence is part of the UNDPs response to the significant damage sustained from Hurricane Maria.

UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

 

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Q&A with Stephie Pascal – Chemical Engineering Grad

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Stephie Pascal, Dominica
Stephie Pascal, former valedictorian of the Convent High School (2007) and Dominica State College (2009) has graduated at the top of her class with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom.

Stephie Pascal is now a Process Engineer at Spirit Energy and was recently lauded as a rising female professional in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in the United Kingdom.

The interview below was originally published on www.womeninSTEM.co.uk.

Your STEM skills can take you far

Stephie spent a summer in an internship role at Centrica. She is now a Process Engineer for Spirit Energy (part of the Centrica group) on their four-year graduate scheme. She talked to us about her career choice.

“The work I do is important to almost all aspects of daily life – keeping us warm during the winter, keeping the lights on, and cooking food!”

Stephie Pascal, Dominica
Stephie with proud parents

What degree did you do and why?

I did both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be an engineer. I enjoy problem solving, as well as maths and physics. I chose chemical engineering simply because I also really enjoyed chemistry.

What attracted you to the energy and utilities sector?

While in university I applied for summer internships. I found out about Centrica from a diversity recruitment company, got an offer for a summer role there and really enjoyed it!

What is an average day?

No two days are the same, each brings its own unique challenges – one of the things I love most about my job. I really enjoy solving difficult, real-world problems and learning something new almost every day. It’s a career that’s exciting and rewarding.

What about the career prospects?

There are so many opportunities in the energy industry – there is a skills shortage for almost all types of engineers. Meeting the changing needs of consumers requires both engineering, technical and commercial expertise.

Since joining Centrica, I’ve had technical and core development training and am now working towards becoming a chartered engineer.

Would you recommend your job to a friend?

Definitely – it is a challenging and exciting job in an evolving sector. You get paid a good salary to do something that has a real, positive impact on people’s daily lives, so why not?

 

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Princess Margaret Hospital – UNDP

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Princess Margaret Hospital, Dominica

Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) is the major trauma facility of Dominica, located in the northern Goodwill part of the capital, Roseau. There are approximately 15 house/resident doctors and 12 specialists.

The two health units under roof restoration are the Dialysis Unit and the Acute Psychiatric Unit. Presently, the Dialysis Unit serves 44 patients, and the Acute Psychiatric Unit serves 33 patients of which 23 are male and 10 are female.

The roofing was considered as mostly destroyed following Hurricane Maria. 

They received roofing materials consisting of lumber; corrugated galvanized metal roofing sheets (CGI); hurricane straps and ties; galvanized roofing screws and fasteners to cover a roofing area of approximately 40,000 square feet.

Photo: Zaimis Olmos/UNDP

About UNDP Project Office

The UNDP Dominica Project Office is a part of the Regional Sub-Office of Barbados and the OECS. The Team’s presence is part of the UNDPs response to the significant damage sustained from Hurricane Maria.

UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

 

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Review: New novel fleshes out Jean Rhys’ troubled life

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Jean Rhys, Dominica
Jean Rhys was born in Dominica, in the Windward Islands, in 1894, of a Welsh doctor and a native-born Creole woman.

Novelist Jean Rhys is best known for her lyrical masterpiece “Wide Sargasso Sea,” in which she gives in an incandescent voice to the woman Charlotte Bronte locked away in an attic in “Jane Eyre.” Now Rhys gets a similar revival from Caryl Phillips, whose new novel, “A View of the Empire at Sunset,” restores Rhys’ voice to the long years she spent adrift with men who preferred her when she did not speak.

Rhys was born on the Caribbean island of Dominica when it was still a British colony. She left for England at age 16 for school, then worked as a chorus girl and muddled through a string of unhappy relationships across Europe. In between the two world wars, she published a handful of autobiographical novels about rootless women, but she always depended on the men who were her patrons until the publication of “Wide Sargasso Sea” near the end of her life rescued her from obscurity.

Jean Rhys, Dominica
Jean Rhys

Phillips’ novel focuses on her childhood in Dominica, her difficult transition to life in England and her years of drifting from one affair to another in damp and shabby digs. The book is framed by the one unhappy visit she made to her Caribbean home as an adult.

Through Phillips’ eyes, Rhys personifies the fading of the British empire. She is claimed like a resource then discarded when she becomes unpalatable. She lives like an exile in the place she was taught to think of, despite its distance, as home. She becomes something of an embarrassment to the wealthy men whose whims dictate her existence.

It’s curious that Phillips skims over Rhys’ writing career, especially his omission of her affair with the English writer Ford Madox Ford, who encouraged her to adopt the name “Jean Rhys” and might have been the closest thing she had to a champion. But perhaps enough already has been written about that disaster; Rhys, Ford and their spouses all rehashed the affair and its fallout in separate books.

What Phillips does instead is recreate the atmosphere in which Rhys found her voice as a writer: the lush tropical paradise seething with racial tension. The cheap hotel rooms and boarding houses where Rhys always seemed to have enough liquor but not enough to eat. The carriages and restaurant tables where she was filled with longing for indifferent companions. Her Paris of the 1920s was not the “moveable feast” fondly remembered by other writers of her era.

Phillips also was born in the Caribbean, on the island of St. Kitts, and grew up and began his literary career in England. He regularly explores the legacy of colonization in his novels and non-fiction writing, and he also shares a Bronte link with Rhys — his 2015 novel “The Lost Child” imagines a harrowing backstory for Emily Bronte’s antihero Heathcliff in “Wuthering Heights.”

Rhys’ stage career was thwarted by her inability to shed her island accent, and she became accustomed to whispering in conversation. Phillips’ novel likewise has a hushed tone, but “A View of the Empire at Sunset” is a sympathetic and powerful portrait of an outcast seeking sustainability, as well as a searing indictment of the empire that abandoned responsibility for the people it uprooted and set adrift.

This article was first publised on the LoopTT website.

 

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Rotary Club of Portsmouth Provides Seed Money For Plastics Recycling Project

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In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria, local residents Richard Rognlie and Kayla James-Rognlie of Salty Dominica approached the Rotary Club of Portsmouth with the idea to build a plastics shredder and an extrusion machine to help rid the environment of excessive plastic waste,  including thousands of relief water bottles shipped to Dominica. 

Salty Dominica and the Rognlies with the encouragement of the Rotary Club donated components for the shredder. Several months into the effort Rory Dickens joined the effort. He had originally come to Dominica as part of the staff of the charity All Hands and Hearts, here to rebuild the Primary School in Paix Bouche.  Rory Dickens had been working with the organization since 2015 in the Philippines, Ecuador, Peru, Nepal and the British Virgin Islands.

These various charitable endeavors led Rory to see the importance in seeking entrepreneurial solutions to social problems.  Dickens, who received a Masters in Architecture from Robert Gordon University in Scotland, brought his design ingenuity to manufacturing an injection device largely out of scrap components found locally. 

In April of this year he founded his own charitable foundation, Recycle Rebuild, which is an accredited SCIO in Scotland. It is through this organization that he formed a working partnership with the Rotary Club of Portsmouth to develop and build a plastics recycling facility utilizing the source design developed by David Hakkens Precious Plastics Global Initiative in Holland. This is an open source design resource available to communities. 

The goal is to take Dominica’s discarded plastic and turn it into usable and saleable items for the benefit of Dominicans. The Rotary Club of Portsmouth and Rory Dickens’ Recycle Rebuild plan to have a pilot, which includes a shredder and injection molding machine functioning by the end of May. 

The organizations will be seeking additional funding to establish a central recycling center in the Portsmouth area within the next six months at which point the product becomes for Dominicans and run by Dominicans.

This article was originally published on Rotary Club of Portsmouth’s website.

 

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Dublanc Health Centre – UNDP

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Dublanc is a village in Saint Peter parish on the west coast of Dominica. It sits on a low hillside at an elevation of 27 ft. As of 2011 it had a population of 413. The Dublanc Health Centre serves the Dublanc, Bioche and Syndicate communities.

On average, it serves about 10 – 15 adults and children and on a doctor’s visit day can serve up to 40 people. On immunization days, it serves an average of 20 children. The entire roof was lost during the passage of Hurricane Maria. Roof restoration work was done by our partner, Americares.

They received roofing materials consisting of lumber; corrugated galvanized metal roofing sheets (CGI); hurricane straps and ties; galvanized roofing screws and fasteners to cover a roofing area of approximately 1476 square feet. About 30% of all roofs were destroyed or gone in this village.

Photo: Zaimis Olmos/UNDP

About UNDP Project Office

The UNDP Dominica Project Office is a part of the Regional Sub-Office of Barbados and the OECS. The Team’s presence is part of the UNDPs response to the significant damage sustained from Hurricane Maria.

UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

 

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“To you, who love him” by Tamara Lowe

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Tamara Lowe - To You Who Love Him
Tamara Lowe

Listen to Tamara’s recitation of “To you, who love him” by clicking the play button. Or read the poem in its entirety below.

 

I see you everywhere!
On the streets
Nervous eyes fixed on the sky,
Looking for his familiar face, like in Hunger Games.
I see you, backs bent, steps slow
As you carry the weight of his actions.
Tears have formed paths on your face,
Awaiting another storm; like a river, they remember.
Your lips move quickly, as pleading words rush from deep cracks in a broken heart, Reaching for God.
Your elbows and knees are bruised from sleepless nights of crawling through your darkest memories,
Searching for that moment when you first failed him.
I see you everywhere…
His umbilical cord, like a chain, connects you
As you drag behind you the memory of the loving young son he used to be
And the burden of the angry stranger that he has become.
I see you everywhere,
In the mirror, with vacant eyes, as your mind reasons with ‘Worry’ who has taken your happiness hostage…
I see you everywhere…

To you who love him,
You must fight for him… your son, your brother…
Cover his retinas with contact lenses, free of self-hate and self-degradation,
For Self-Hatred is devouring the souls of our children…
Give him pebbles, like Hansel and Gretel,
To go back to find the version of him who knew nothing of anger or self-pity or violence. They will help him find his way back.
He will need headphones, vibrating with Farrell’s ‘Happy’ because the streets are screaming his name,
They will not stop!
Call on the pillars of men in our society to offer their backs, strong and resilient,
To lift him into a new wisdom of what a man should be…what he should represent!
Like David faced Goliath you must face his demon, stand up, conviction in chest,
For your love for him can lift dormant dreams from settled graves!
This fight has come to you, bold and unforgiving,
So you must fight!
To you who love him,
You must fight for him…
To you who love him,
You MUST fight for him…
Because the streets are fighting too!

**

About Tamara Lowe

Tamara Lowe is a proud Portsmouth native and General Manager of Tropical Shipping. She has performed at several Literary events held in Dominica and intends on one day publishing a book of her many poems.

Here’s a video of Tamara performing another poem of hers, entitled “My Intricate Affair”:

 

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“An Intricate Affair” by Tamara Lowe

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'My Intricate Affair'..a poem about my never ending relationship with 'Fear'. Video credits: Elias Berlusconi

Posted by Tamara Lowe on Sunday, April 12, 2015

‘My Intricate Affair’..a poem about my never ending relationship with ‘Fear’. Video credits: Elias Berlusconi

About Tamara Lowe

Tamara Lowe is a proud Portsmouth native and General Manager of Tropical Shipping. She has performed at several Literary events held in Dominica and intends on one day publishing a book of her many poems.

 

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Guide to Dominica Housing Standards 2018

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The Ministry of Planning and Economic Development is pleased to present the Guide to Dominica’s Housing Standards. The Guide was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, Engineers Without Borders, the World Bank, the Physical Planning Division and Ministry of Housing. Our gratitude is extended to these partners.

The Post Disaster Needs Assessment conducted with the assistance of Development Partner in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria which struck Dominica on September 18, 2017 indicated that damage in the housing sector was extensive with damage to approximately 90 percent of the housing stock.

  • Of the 31,348 homes comprising the Dominican housing stock, a total of approximately 4,700 houses (15%) were identified as destroyed,
  • Approximately 23,500 of homes, (75%) were estimated to have incurred different levels of partial damage,
  • And 3,135 (10%) were considered as not affected by the event.

Total damage to the housing sector is estimated at EC$956 million (US$354 million). This included the replacement cost of destroyed houses, repair cost of partially damaged houses, and the replacement cost of household goods destroyed. Losses were estimated at EC$77 million (US$28.5 million) and include expected loss of rental income, the cost of demolition, rubble removal, and shelter expenses.

It became necessary to revisit the building regulations (Building Code and Building Guidelines) and the Physical Planning Act of 2002 with the aim to update/amend so as to adequately and effectively respond to the need for recovery in the Housing Sector.

The result of the exercise was the updating of the Building Code to be submitted for approval, followed by proposed amendments to the Act. The development of the Guide to Dominica’s Housing Standards, therefore, is presented as a first response mechanism to address the need for climate resilient residential housing construction.

This information was originally posted on the Physical Planning Division website on May 17, 2018.

Guide to Dominica’s Housing Standards

 

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Calibishie Health Centre – UNDP

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Calibishie is a village in northeastern Dominica in the St. Andrew Parish with a population of 1,017. The Calibishie Health Centre serves the Calibishie, Bense and Hampstead villages. It serves an average of 12 people a day and 1 or 2 infants a day and about 4 children between the ages of 5 and 11.

There is one nurse there. The entire roof was lost during the passage of Hurricane Maria. Roof restoration work was done by our partner, Americares. They received roofing materials consisting of lumber; corrugated galvanized metal roofing sheets (CGI); hurricane straps and ties; galvanized roofing screws and fasteners to cover a roofing area of approximately 1586 square feet.

Photo: Zaimis Olmos/UNDP

About UNDP Project Office

The UNDP Dominica Project Office is a part of the Regional Sub-Office of Barbados and the OECS. The Team’s presence is part of the UNDPs response to the significant damage sustained from Hurricane Maria.

UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

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PERSONAL PROFILE – Jodeen Shereen Shillingford

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Jodeen Shereen Shillingford
Shillingford scores top honor as Gambling State University Valedictorian

Jodeen Shereen Shillingford, from Wesley, was named the 2018 Valedictorian and top-ranking graduate at the Gambling State University graduation which took place earlier this month. She graduated with a 3.92 GPA earning Bachelors in Accounting and Computer Information Systems.

Shillingford began her education at the Wesley Primary School where she was named Valedictorian. She went on to the North East Comprehensive School where she had also named Valedictorian in 2009 and was honored with outstanding performance awards for all seven of the subjects she undertook.

She continued on to the Dominica State College where she earned an Associate Degree in Business Administration and received an award for outstanding performance in 2012.

In 2015 she received a scholarship from the Government of Dominica to pursue her degree at the Gambling State University (GSU).

At GSU she was known across the campus as one of the university’s most involved students.

Jodeen Shereen Shillingford
Jodeen Shereen Shillingford

“Most people and professors know Jodeen for her work,” said Dr. Donald White, Dean of Grambling State’s College of Business. “Shillingford is one of those students who worked in the background but brought a lot of energy to the classroom and her involvement.”

During her time at Grambling State Shillingford volunteered with a number of organizations both on and off campus.

The university said her volunteerism included outreach through the National Association of Black Accountants; Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program; Louisiana CPA (LCPA) Student Chapter, Beta Gamma Sigma; Sigma Alpha Pi; and the International Students Organization.

Apart from her GSU honors, Shillingford has a long long list of accomplishments from organizations across the US including:

-Who’s Who Among Students in Colleges and Universities
-President’s List each semester since enrolling at GSU
-College of Business Academic Scholar (2016 -2017)
-LCPA Educational Foundation Scholar (2017-2018)
-National Association of Black Accountants Regional Scholar (2016-2017)
-National Association of Black Accountants National Scholar (2017)
-North-East LCPA Scholar (2016-2017)
-GSU Radiothon Scholar (2016)
-Tom Joyner Scholar (2016)
-Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy (WISE) Scholar (2017)
-College of Business Student for Professional Development, (2015)
-GSU’s High Ability Program (2016-2017)

Shillingford plans to earn a master’s degree in Accountancy and Finance.

 

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Rebuild Dominica Hurricane Relief aims to bring normalcy after Maria

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St Luke's Primary donation
St. Luke’s Primary School has received a donation from the fund

PRESS RELEASE: After the destructive strike of Hurricane Maria on Dominica, many felt helpless and wondered how they would begin to rebuild their lives.

When the outside world began to receive horrific accounts of the aftermath of Maria, many from the Diaspora felt compelled to respond to the needs of local Dominicans.

Consequently, the Rebuild Dominica Hurricane Relief Fund was founded in October 2017.

The organization spearheaded by Amina Emanuel, along with family and friends, ventured on its first fundraising event on October 22, 2017, in New York.

The event took place on a Sunday afternoon- a day filled with heartfelt performances by Dominican artists, traditional cuisine, and speeches that raised awareness.

In addition to the fundraiser event, the organization also created a Facebook Page to help raise awareness and a GoFundMe page to help raise more funds.

In total, the organization raised EC$10,000.

The ultimate goal of Rebuild Dominica Hurricane Relief Fund is to help Dominicans regain a sense of normalcy. Each year, our organization will commit to giving back to rebuild Dominica in some way.

This year, our members agreed to invest in education.

We have donated the existing funds to two schools on island, each receiving EC$5,000. With this money, we have chosen to pay the annual tuition of 20 students most in need: 10 students from St. Luke’s Primary School in Pointe Michel and 10 students from Charlotte’s Nursery School in New Town.

The remainder of the monies will be spent on school supplies for each school.

We endeavor to restore hope in Dominica and we wholeheartedly encourage many others to join our endeavor.

 

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“ReDiscover Dominica Campaign” Launched to Boost Tourism

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Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

A beautiful Caribbean island that was clobbered by Hurricane Maria last fall is climbing back into the ring.

This article was originally published on Travel Pulse.

Dominica, known as the “Nature Island of the Caribbean,”has launched its ReDiscover Dominica Campaign to encourage travelers to visit the island. Visitors, friends of Dominica, and Dominicans can enjoy discounts on a trip to the Nature Island and, in doing so, help the country on its path to recovery. Dominica was hit hard by Hurricane Maria in September, 2017.

On a personal note, I had a chance to visit the island some 14 months and fell in love with the scenery and the low-key feel of the place. Emerald Pool is a tranquil waterfall with a beautiful pool that’s definitely worth exploring, as are Trafalgar Falls.

Horseback riding, Dominica
Take a horse-ride in the Caribbean Sea with Rainforest Riding (credit: Sara Lee/Alison Teal)

I also had a terrific horseback ride that included a saddle-less ride through the calm waters of the ocean on the island’s west coast. My guide was Valerie Francis, a native of southern Ontario who runs a company called Rainforest Riding.

The Fort Young Hotel in the main city of Roseau has nice rooms and good food and is built around an old stone fort. The Champs is a nice spot with lovely views and a fun, casual pub in the hills above Portsmouth. The posh Secret Bay eco-resort is expected to re-open Nov. 1, 2018.

Tourism officials have been working closely with key industry players to reaffirm Dominica’s position as a desirable Caribbean destination. The destination is rebuilding and it is a great time for nature lovers, meaningful travelers, adventure seekers, leisure travellers, wellness enthusiasts, educational travelers and others to visit The Nature Island. The ReDiscover Dominica Campaign will offer deals on hotel accommodations and on-island activities to attract travellers.

The ReDiscover Dominica Campaign will run in all of Dominica’s major source markets including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Caribbean and French West Indies. The promotion features one free night on a minimum four-night stay at nine participating hotels. Guests can book four nights, yet pay only for three.

Fort Young Hotel, Dominica
Pool and terrace at Fort Young Hotel, Dominica © 2018 Yuri A Jones

To qualify for the free night, interested visitors must book between May 24 to July 31, 2018 using the promo code DOM2018 and travel between July 1 and Dec. 15, 2018.

Adult visitors age 18 and over will be entitled to $100 USD spending money in the form of coupon vouchers redeemable at fifteen participating vendors and participating hotels.

On island activities include dining, car rentals, horseback riding, island tours, underwater experiences, spa services and duty-free shopping. The campaign will be promoted digitally on all Discover Dominica Authority online channels and on regional and international trade partner’s platforms.

Visitors are encouraged to book through their respective tour operators within their geographic location or book directly with participating hotels on the campaign website.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at (767) 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com.

 

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Thank You Poem – IsraAID

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Thank You Poem - IsraAid
Thank You Poem to IsraAid from Rachel Ulysses

After IsraAID’s team restored her roof, in partnership with Digicel, Rachel Ullysses from Castle Bruce, Dominica, wrote this beautiful poem.

Rachel’s roof was severely damaged last year by Hurricane Maria.

Verse 1

You guys are angels in the flesh,
You went around and made people’s hearts feel blessed.
You took away their sadness and pain,
And within their mind, they felt glad again.

Verse 2

For all the kindness and compassion you bestowed to the citizens of this nation,
We will continue to express our devotion and love because you guys were God’s gift from above.

Verse 3

All the sacrifice you guys haev made towards us,
Our prayers and thanks is surely a must.
For all the help that came our way,
With a few kind words we need to say Thank You, IsraAID.

 

About IsraAID

IsraAID, founded in 2001, is a NON-PROFIT, NON-GOVERNMENTAL and APOLITICAL organization committed to providing life-saving disaster relief and long term support. For over a decade, our teams of professional medics, search & rescue squads, post-trauma experts and community mobilizers, have been first on the front lines of nearly every major humanitarian response in the 21st century.

In over a decade, IsraAID has:

  • Responded to crises in 39 countries
  • Reached over 1,000,000 people
  • Distributed over 1,000 tons of relief and medical supplies
  • Trained more than 5,000 local professionals
  • Mobilizes over 1000 staff, volunteers, and professionals (among them professional rosters from many different fields of expertise).
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“Jemma” by Delroy Nesta Williams

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As I pushed the backdoor to step into the kitchen, I found Leandra slaving over the 4-burner stove. It smelled of stewed chicken and black-eyed peas. There was a bowl of garden salad and a tray of baked potatoes on the kitchen counter. It was heavenly.

Bad timing.

She turned to find me, one foot in the door, and she smiled. Her pearly whites could lighten up any room but not this time. At least, not for me.

“Baby, come an’ gimme a hand quick!”

“I have something to tell you,” I replied, cutting to the point before I lost the courage that I had been building up on the back step over the past ten minutes.

“It cyah wait? I about to finish cooking for us to eat”

“I rather tell you now while I can”
“What’s wrong?”

“Jus listen a bit”

“You got fired?” she asked, worry creasing into her forehead as her eyebrows caved into her face. I didn’t answer.

“Sit down babes”

“But de chicken not done yet!”

“Lower de stove or put it off,” I demanded.

If I didn’t get this off my chest now, I figured I would never get the guts to do it again. I would always find a reason to drag it until I couldn’t anymore. She sat down across the small wooden table, one leg slightly shorter than the rest so that it leaned a bit. It was big enough for our small family – the three of us.

“Where’s Nato?”

“She by granny… she should drop her off jus now”

I was buying some time, gathering my thoughts and wondering how I would tell her. Leandra’s hands were clasped, a baby blue towel held between her fingers. Even in her ‘bowman’ clothes, she looked beautiful.

“I still remember the first day we met Lee. The very first day I saw you. Some fifteen
years ago. You remember? You was walking down de street, had a few books in your hand. I was hanging out on de block with my padnas. One of them called you but…”

“What is this all about Julius?” she interrupted.

“Lemmie finish… just lemmie finish”

“Better hurry up before de chicken burn… an’ I hungry”

“I go be quick Lee but turn it off.”

“Be quick den,” she quipped, folding her hands across her chest and leaning back into the chair. Her eyes were losing patience as she glanced over to the stove.

“What I was saying ner?”

“De first day we met… blah, blah,” she laughed, mockingly… firing back her response
without a thought, as though expecting the question. She knew me!

“Yes, yes… de first day we met… you was beautiful unno… you still beautiful too.”

“If you doh speed up…” she said, leaving her chair to finally put off the stove.

“I getting to it Lee… doh rush me ner man. You always make me happy. You know dat
right? From de first smile when I had help you pick up your books. I remember when I was too nervous to meet your father. You jus gimme a kiss to calm me… gimme some confidence an’ from that time, I always know we meant to be… you see Lee, not many people have what we have… and then Nato came… our first child, my first child… an’ I love her too… I love you for dat… Make me feel like a real man after all these years.”

“Talkin’ bout Nato… she an’ granny should be here by now”

“I tell granny to bring her a likle later”

“Why did you do that? An’ why you doh tell me earlier?”

“Wanted to have a kinda alone time… have some explaining to do”

“You explaining unno but you doh make no point yet”

“Soon, soon…”

“Soon go be tomorrow or next year the way you talking”

“Okay, okay… Since you want to rush me. Remember what Nato always want? what she always ask for?”

“The big doll in de window by Jolly’s?”

“No, no… not dat… remember on Mother’s Day… few weeks ago… she axe for
something while we was relaxing”

“She did ask for a baby!”

“Yes, yes… we getting there… she axe for a baby. She was even rubbing your belly…
when I axe her… she say she want a brother…”

“Julius, all dat was your doing unno… you was coaching de chile”

“No, no, no… I doh tell Nato to do that!”

“Julius, I am not ready for another baby… I tired tell you dat already!”

“I not axing you for another baby…”

“So what then?”

“I telling you… Nato goin’ an’ have a brother or sister”

“What you mean?” she demanded, jumping from her chair.

Her nostrils now engorged, with a mixture of rage and tears in her eyes as her arms flailed in the air. She grabbed a bowl from the table and tossed it at me, hitting me on my left shoulder. I didn’t flinch.

“Lemmie finish,” I said, glued to my chair. Leandra rushed to the kitchen sink grabbing a
knife from among the dirty plates.

“How could you? How could you?” she asked, with the knife raised over her right
shoulder. She didn’t swing it but just hovered over me.

“You goin’ an’ let me finish?”

“Finish, finish eh… because we finish”

“Now wait dere woman… doh go saying things an’ doing things… things you goin’ to
regret later… we can work dis out”

“You wazen saying work it out when you was fucking some other woman, was you?
Who she be?”

“Remember when you was in the hospital?”

“I doh remember shit… jus tell me! Who she be! God dammit!”

“Okay, okay… no need to bring God in it… you was in the hospital… you had just given
birth to Nato but it had complications… you had to spend two weeks extra… it was rough on me…”

“So you think it wasn’t rough on me too… I had jus given you a damn chile… our chile I
had stitches all in and out of my lang…!”

“Dats when I met her”

“Met who… who her? Talk!”

“She doh need to expose like dis Lee”

“Boy you better tell me all the story or doh tell me more… you killing me Julius, killing
me right now!”

“I go tell you… I go tell you… but first, first… put down de knife please… got it over
me, making me nervous Lee”

“I keeping de knife… is my knife”

“Jus doh use it Lee”

“You lucky I doh already use it!”

“Is all dem tings that have me going into her arms… I cyah deal with all de stress of dis house unno Lee…”

“Well go den… go meet de mother of your chile”

“Dis is still my house… I still pay de bills… I still put a roof over our heads”

“You betta pack your bags an’ leave here unno… I doh want no cheating man to lie down next to me at night… I cyah take dat!”

“Lee listen, this is my house… our house… an’ I sleep on my bed, our bed. You can
sleep with Nato or sleep in the living room, but I am sleeping on my bed… you hear me?”

She was beginning to anger me. This wasn’t how I imagined the conversation. I had lost ground and I needed to get back my footing before I found myself homeless. I slammed the table.

The make-shift vase, an old jug, jumped from its place spilling water on the table top. Leandra instinctively reached for the towel to wipe up the mess. I lunged for the knife, trying to pull it from her grasp. In a reflex reaction she pulled away from me but not before the knife grazed against my arm.

“Lee you cut me!” I screamed out at her, “see… see… you got my blood outside
woman!”

“It wudden a cut you if you diden try to surprise me,” she replied, motioning towards me
to look at the wound.

“I jus want you to put away de knife, so we can talk like two civilized people”

“No… dis knife staying right here! Is a small cut you get, you go survive!”

“Well I not saying no more… an’ I sure you want to know the full story”

“Story or not, you out dis house tonight… we done… you hear me… we done!” she
screamed, her voice growing with each word.

“So I can leave now?”

“Yes, do me a favour, leave me de hell alone.” I looked up at her.

Her words were laced with pepper. Her hair was all wild and there was even snot running from her nose. She was still crying too. She looked a mess… A far cry from when I had first walked in. What have I done?

“I doh mean too… it jus happen… she made herself available… first we was, was jus
talking Lee… told her about us… about Nato and you being in the hospital… she helped me.”

“How was she helping you? How?”

“It was nothing like a relationship… we wazen together or nuttin’… she was just helping
me. You know, how woman does help man!”

“No I doh know… I doh know nutting when it comes to you anymore”

“She made herself available to me Lee”

“I was available to you… I am your wife… I was your wife.”

“You still my wife Lee… we goin’ an’ work dis ting out… you gonna forgive me an’ we
gonna make it better, you hear me?” I was trying to convince myself that my marriage wasn’t over. There was still something to salvage. Lee didn’t answer.

She simply stood there, immobile, starring me down. She was piercing my soul. I couldn’t bear see my wife hurt like this. It was all my fault. The last time I saw her tears was in the delivery room. A different kind of tears. They brought smiles after.

To see her hold Nato that first time as she cried out for her mother. It was magic. And when I took Nato into my arms, she looked at me, and with one little giggle, time stood still. I was the happiest man alive in that moment.

“You not my husband…Julius, you not de man I marry!”

“How you can say somethin’ like dat? Up til this morning, even minutes ago, you love
me… you still love me… Lee, tell me you love me? Please, tell me you still love me” I pleaded.

“But you doh love me! You doh love me enough to respect me and honor me”

“Of course I love you Lee. It was a mistake! It shudda never happen like that”

“Issa mistake because she get pregnant… belly must show… so truth must come out… so
you run an’ tell me”

“I wanted to tell you so long… I wanted to stop so long”

“How long? How long? How long since you been fucking her Julius?”

“It doh matter… it eh go matter because we gone past that now!”

“No… no… I want to know… and if you say you want us to work it out, then you gonna
tell me everything… no half-truths, no half and half… tell me!”

“Tell you what Lee… what do you wanna know?”

“Doh play smart with me Julius… Now is not de time to play smart, if you know what
good for you…. what’s her name Julius? Where she from? Where she live? How long dis been going on? An’, an’ how many months she be? Tell me everything!”

“Jemma… her name is Jemma… she live Stockfarm area… what else?”

“How long Julius, how long? An’ how many months? I want to know!”

“Two years… just over two years… an’ she eight months… baby due in tree weeks”

“Eight months? Three weeks? You had eight months to tell me Julius? How you sleep
nex’ to me every night an’ cyah tell me? Every damn night wi”

“I tell you three times in your sleep… remember dat time I was up all night an’ you
thought I was sick”

“A bunch of things to remember… but you never remember you was marry an’ have
family”

“She knew… it diden start like dat unno… but tings jus happen. I not proud of it unno”

“I hope she ready for you to move in wit her”

“Move in where? This is still my house Lee… and I still live here! I doh want to live with
her. I want to live with my wife an’ chile”

“If you want to sleep in peace, doh sleep here! I warning you eh Julius…. Doh sleep
dere”

“What you mean by that Lee… woman… you betta”

I didn’t finish my sentence as the backdoor creaked open and in walked my mother with Nato cradled in her arms. Her face changed when she realized that she had walked in on a fight.

“What goin’ on here ner?” she asked.

“Ask Julius, ask him!” Leandra answered.

“Julius?”

“Nuttin’ mamma… jussa family meeting”

“Well I family too… so tell me… what dis family meeting bout?”

“Well Miss Azille… your son Julius bout to move in wit you from tonight”

“What he do?”

“Well Julius, you gone tell her or you want me to?”

“I go tell her when we reach home… not now… I doh want to wake up Nato!”

“Good… Mammy gimme Nato, let me put her in her bed… when I get back I doh want to see Julius in my kitchen. You hear me Julius, I doh want to see you in here”

“Boy… what you do dis time? I doh tired talk to you… Lee is a good woman.”

I didn’t answer. I couldn’t answer. I simply walked passed my mother and headed out the
backdoor like I had come in about an hour earlier but not before she knocked me over the head. I didn’t make a sound. I kept on walking like nothing had happened. I walked down the street, took a right and went three houses down Kennedy Avenue.

I pushed the door in and went straight to the armchair. I was back at my mother’s home. I broke up my family. I lost my wife. I cried… Like a baby, I cried!

 

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“Happiness” by Leandra Lander

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Happy-Leandra Lander

Happiness is the smell of rain on the hot concrete.
Happiness is the roll of the bottom of a black woman profiling down the street.
Happiness is the slow dance of the trees.
Happiness is the symphony of the ‘sikiyay’ and honey bees.

Happiness is the shuffle of the rain across my granny’s tin roof…
Happiness is her smile even missing a front tooth.
Happiness is the golden morning sun rays pouring through my windows.
Happiness is the feel of sea sand in between my toes.

Happiness is the village boys rolling a ‘sec’ down de road.
Happiness is the agility of women carrying their load…
Happiness is a scintillating and hypnotizing ‘Braff’.
Happiness is a ‘vemin’ and her boisterous laugh.

Happiness is the sight of disappearing roofs of tarpaulin
Happiness is the first taste of the banana so green
Happiness is our strong men hauling boats of ‘balaw’ and ‘dowad’.
Happiness is seeing many beautiful children make it even without a dad.

Happiness is the carnival of taste of fruits exploding in my mouth.
Happiness is the chills I get when I listen to Princess Michele from the city down south!
Happiness is the comfort on my mother’s breast even at age 30 and a day…
Happiness is the glow of her candle lit when she prays.

Happiness is the artistic dispense of my neighbors ‘maypwi’
Magwaysay, voleh escape with every one of her mango and cherry…
Happiness is sun dried clothes.
Happiness is the sight of little girls in pretty bows.

Happiness is silence of the night.
Happiness is my lipstick, glistening and bright.
Happiness is a cool, refreshing lime squash and hot bread with butter
Happiness is sweet words your love could utter.

Happiness is the sighting of your flag in a foreign land.
Happiness is the feeling when your lover unexpectedly holds your hand.
Happiness is a good home made coconut ice-cream.
Happiness is good sex…good enough to make you scream!

Happiness is living on the moon right here in DA
Craters everywhere , deep enough to bathe and to play
Happiness is our handsome men, their smile, their teeth…their loving arms
Happiness is how the beauty of our women is in our fury and our calm

Happiness the smell of a new born baby…
Happiness is the first day and every day being a mummy…
Happiness is the whip of a skipping rope.
Happiness is a river bath with ‘glory cider’ instead of artificial soap.

But suddenly….
Happiness is the sound of hammers repairing our pride
Happiness are the strangers who travelled from afar to stand at our side
Happiness is defying the wind and rain who came that night as merciless thieves
Happiness is hope in the new leaves

Happiness is spelt R E S E L I E N T
Happiness is having it all taken away, but STILL loving our pawadi!

 

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Restarting life by restoring homes – UNDP

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Augustine Sorhaindo was home during the passage of Maria and managed to leave to his mother in law’s house when the winds subsided. At the time of the visit, he was still living there patiently awaiting his roof to be restored.

He was very happy when he learned that he would be a beneficiary of the China Aid-UNDP partnership. He is currently unemployed and does subsistence farming in his yard.

Photo: Zaimis Olmos/UNDP

About UNDP Project Office

The UNDP Dominica Project Office is a part of the Regional Sub-Office of Barbados and the OECS. The Team’s presence is part of the UNDPs response to the significant damage sustained from Hurricane Maria.

UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

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