Education in Emergencies Training in Antigua

The UNICEF Eastern Caribbean staged the Education in Emergencies training from October 1st – October 4th 2018 in Antigua. The objective of the training was to build technical knowledge around Education in Emergencies Preparedness and Response.

During the 4-day training that consisted of six sessions in each day from the hours 8:30 am to 6:00 pm the attendees were able to attend presentations and discussions on Caribbean Safe Initiative, Regional Content, advances and challenges. The Comprehensive School Safety Framework, Essential Humanitarian Standards and commitment for children and adolescents were some of the areas of discussion.

The training discussed an increase understanding of the Minimum Standards in Child Protection and Key Interventions. Each countries’ participants shared information on the protocol for Child Protection as it is managed in their respective territories.

The training viewed the Caribbean Safe program, Education in Emergencies plans, action plans for future collaboration among participating actors to ensure preparedness, response and monitoring and evaluation.  It further discussed increased knowledge to access funds in events of emergencies, increase knowledge of Antigua and Barbuda Declaration and understanding of Ministerial Forum of 2019 action of St. Vincent and Grenadines.

Turks and Caicos Islands Government Social Worker, Vanessa Williams was in attendance. The importance of sending a representative to such a timely and important training allow the TCI to be up to par with its neighbors and modernizing the country’s social development structure which is already experiencing a rebirth in child protection and safeguarding through the assistance of UNICEF.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Social Development register its continued gratitude to UNICEF for including the TCI in its ongoing regional workshops which helps to enhance our service delivery and strengthens of staff capacity.



World Obesity Day 2018


World Obesity Day was for the first time observed in 2015 to bring more awareness and to stimulate action which would support practical solutions to help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight and to reverse the obesity crisis. The day is observed on 11th October every year. This day also aims to encourage advocacy, improve policies and share experiences. The theme this year is End Weight Stigma”. This type of stigma is one of the last types of socially accepted discrimination.

The risk for serious health conditions and disease increases in persons who have obesity compared to persons who have a healthy or normal weight. Mrs. Robinson, Director of the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit within the Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services stated; “We have to be more sensitive and supportive to persons who struggle with their weight.”

The obesity epidemic is a complex problem with no simple or single solution. To help prevent obesity persons should exercise regularly, have a healthy diet and decide to make a lifestyle change and not think of being on a diet. The Health Promotion and Advocacy have implemented a number of programmes within churches, communities and schools to educate and bring awareness and assist persons to make healthier choices.

To assist and motivate persons who may be struggling with their weight, a testimonial was provided by Ms. Jacqueline Henry.

“At the end of July 2016, I noticed that I was extremely exhausted and began to experience chest and breast pains. On July 28th, I visited the doctor where a series of examinations, such as blood work and a breast ultrasound was administered. During follow-up on Tuesday, 2nd August, the doctor concluded that I was extremely obese and I needed to lose some weight in order for my body to function normally.  August 3rd, I had a consultation with the therapist. I discovered that I was weighing in at 450 lbs., which was very shocking and emotional for me as I realised that I was only 50 lbs. away from 500 lbs. The following week I visited the nutritionist and this is where my journey began. At first, only my family knew of my healthy lifestyle changes. I was ashamed of how heavy I had become. On the 8th of September I had my first weigh in and discovered I had lost 17 lbs. This motivated me.”

“I began consuming healthy portions of controlled breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. I drank eight glasses of water daily and occasionally I replaced a meal with natural juices consisting of fruits and vegetables.  I wanted to give up at the beginning stage. I felt restricted in the sense of food choices because I was a "sodaholic" and there were many foods that I had to eliminate but, when I began to look at this journey as a lifestyle change instead of a diet, the journey seemed easier as I wanted to live a longer life and to be comfortable in my own skin. I must thank the Lord for blessing me with the spirit of determination and dedication. The Lord has made all of this possible.”

The Minister of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services added; “Ms. Henry’s journey is a remarkable one and should be commended. Her commitment and determination have brought about success and positive results towards a healthier lifestyle. I hope that Ms. Henry’s testimony is an encouragement to all who struggle with their weight and is proof that you too can do it.”

For more information on obesity and how to adopt a healthy lifestyle, contact the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit on 338 2772.


International Day of the Girl Child





International Day of the Girl Child


Message from the Minister of Education, Youth, Culture and Library Services


I am delighted to join the global community as we observe the International Day of the Girl Child using the theme With Her: A Skilled Girl Force.  The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting the empowerment of girls and the unique fulfilment of their human rights. 


On 19 December 2011, the United Nations adopted a resolution to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child.  Since 2012, the day has been celebrated around the world.  As Minister with responsibility for youth affairs, I support all efforts being made to promote, educate and agitate for the girl child.  While we celebrate the fact that 71.4% of our Permanent Secretaries are females and females hold several key positions in the country, namely the Chief Justice, Premier, Deputy Governor and Attorney General, I acknowledge that there is still much work to be done so that girls are able to maximize their full potential.


We have taken the necessary steps to integrate skills education in the revised curriculum for Infant I to Grade 2 and will include these skills as the curriculum is being developed for Grade 3 to Grade 6.  I agree with Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, that ‘we need to equip girls with transferable and lifelong skills such as critical thinking, creativity and digital awareness.’  This is what we hope to achieve through the Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) and the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) programmes.  Our children will have a range of pathways and choices through which they will develop the necessary skills and competencies to transition smoothly in a world of work driven by technology and innovation.  Through child safeguarding, the child-friendly school framework and the Caribbean safe school initiative we will create an environment in which our children can thrive.


Through the Youth Listening Tours we gave our young people an opportunity to express themselves and share their concerns.    During the sessions girls across the Turks and Caicos Islands were not afraid to share their views and contribute to a national dialogue about the issues affecting them and the changes they would like to see.  The wellbeing of young people, especially the girl child, is important to me.  Let this International Day of the Girl Child be a reminder to all of us to make sure that our girls develop the skills they need to fully participate in the workforce.