BVI News

Tourism competition to raise funds for special needs school

The Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre in Road Town is among the structures severely damaged after the September 2017 hurricanes.

Organisers of the annual Junior Minister of Tourism Speech Competition are trying to raise additional funds to rebuild the Eslyn Henley-Richez Learning Centre in John’s Hole.

Events Coordinator at the BVI Tourist Board Cindy Rosan Jones told BVI News yesterday (June 5) the event will take the form of a cocktail fundraiser.

It is scheduled for Saturday, June 9 at The Moorings at 5pm.

“We know that the school got damaged in the hurricane and it’s going through its rebuilding process. So we are looking to help with that seeing that this is event has an educational component,” Rosan Jones said.

According to Rosan Jones, this is the first time that the event will have an admission fee.

She said the event is usually held at H Lavity Stoutt Community College. However, that venue is no longer viable because of the 2017 hurricanes.

“We had a struggle in getting the students out to support the event, so we moved to a type of cocktail event as opposed to it being more high school students focused.”

The weather events of last year wreaked havoc on the Eslyn Henley-Richez Learning Centre and it is now to be reconstructed.

Back in February, the Miss World International Organisation visited the territory and helped to raise close to $60,000 through a fundraising gala for the educational facility.

In December, City Manager Janice Braithwaite-Edwards said proceeds from a donation basket during the Christmas on DeCastro Street event would also go towards the school.

When BVI News contacted Education Minister Myron Walwyn, said he was not presently able to provide an update on the school.

“There is just a lot of projects that we are dealing with all at once,” the Minister said.

The Competition

Meanwhile, Alyanna Nickie and Lenique Simeon from the Bregado Flax Educational Centre Secondary Division; K’Deeya Dawson, Telsaha Jones, and Jessi Wheatley from the Elmore Stoutt High School; and Seventh-day Adventist Secondary student Reina Winter will vie for the coveted title.

The winner will represent the territory in the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s annual Tourism Youth Congress being held in the Bahamas in October. The winning student will also receive a summer internship at the BVI Tourist Board, among other prizes.

The students are required to prepare and present their ideas on one of the three given topics namely: Virtual Reality Tourism, Tourism’s contribution to building more resilient and sustainable countries, and Wellness and Rejuvenation Tourism.

Each student will be allocated three minutes to address the topic, followed by a mystery question.

Young people’s views on issues critical

Commenting on the competition, Tourism Director Sharon Flax-Brutus said: “This competition has provided an avenue for that [young] voice over the years, along with developing our budding tourism professionals.”

“It is extremely important for the youth to be cognizant and conversant on tourism issues because of the increased importance of tourism in rejuvenating our economy. Kudos to the students who have accepted this year’s challenge, and we look forward to a great event,” she said.

She also urged the public to support the event.

Tickets for the event cost $50 and are available from participating students and from the office of the Tourist Board located on the third floor of Geneva Place, in Road Town.

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