Mrs Blondel Cluff CBE, Representative of the Government of Anguilla to the UK and EU and Special Adviser to the Chief Minister, attended Brussels on the 29th August, together with a delegation from her office in London of the Government. During the three-day visit, she met with Milan Jezic von Gesserneck, head of OCTA Innovations and thanked him for his dedication and support Anguilla’s youth. In so doing, Mrs Cluff noted the extraordinary efforts of Bren Romney, Director of Anguilla’s Department of Youth and Culture and his colleagues in Anguilla who have served the next generation of Anguillians without interruption, despite the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Anguilla’s Youth

news Anguilla Bren Romney
An Anguillan educational innovator in Finland – Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

An Anguillan educational innovator in Finland – Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

Njeri Richardson-Carty who started up Branches of Learning Inc., an innovative educational company in her native Anguilla, has just begun her Erasmus for Entrepreneurs (EYE) mentorship at the Council for Creative Education (CCE) in Tampere, Finland.

Njeri is one of several of applicants from the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) to be recently accepted by the European Union funded Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme which provides the opportunity to develop innovative business skills in another country.

Open to those with three or less years in business, it places nationals from OCTs with an experienced business mentor for between 1-6 months. The host must be either in an EU state other than the applicant’s mother country, or in other various participating countries. A bursary of €1,100 per month includes a return flight and accommodation although OCT applicants are advised that may have to find additional funding to meet living expenses during their EYE mentorship.

In addition to a list of 27 Member States, applicants can select a host company in the following list of countries: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Israel, Montenegro, Moldova, Serbia, Singapore, Turkey, and Ukraine, the United States.

Njeri is settling in at the CCE: ‘Thus far all has been great. I’ve been researching and preparing in the capacity of training coordinator support for my first Finnish/Creative Education Tour with a group of Nigerian Educators, allowing me to visit and observe in Finnish Schools as well as present my expertise in the area of special education.”

CCE’s motto is, “redefining education through creativity”. The organisation  provides tailormade teacher training and school development programs from pre-primary to higher education.

“My ambitions for Branches Of Learning Inc. is be the premier model education institution in the region providing creative and innovative education solutions for K-12 students, teachers and parents. We will provide innovative education programming that will create learning environments that develop children, teachers and parents to be effective communicators, competent problem solvers, self-directed learners, responsible citizens and quality producers as they prepare to meet the dynamic needs of an exponentially changing landscape of education,” says Njeri.

Njeri says that she found it challenging to find mentorship locally and regionally to allow her to get hands on experience in the field of creative education: “This opportunity provides an international opportunity for mentorship with not just one person; but an organisation with creative and innovative minds in education research and in Finland, a country that is known for its phenomenal education system.”

“Finland is known to be one of the best places in the world in regards to education, education transformation/reform over the past 40 years, showing record progress towards creative and innovative learning opportunities for children, which is a pillar of the Branches Of Learning mission and vision towards adding value to education through innovative education solutions in our student programming, teacher leader training and parent/community advocacy,” she adds.

“The EYE programme provides a win-win collaboration where both the host entrepreneur and myself are able to develop personal learning goals and objectives to meet needs and learning potential for our businesses and help us to do business in different innovative ways by opening ourselves to the expertise and perspectives of each other. In the long-term, the wide networking opportunities could lead to long-term business partnerships, joint ventures and so much more, creating impact world-wide in regards to creative education,” she says.

“Naturally, networking will be a benefit from the experience. The fact that the Council for Creative Education (CCE) is an international company with global connections that will allow me to network with persons with similar interest in creative education across the world as the research field grows.”

“I hope that this experience will allow to develop all sectors of Branches Of Learning Inc. and the development of our multi-purpose center which will develop an early years academy in the future built on many principles of the Finnish system but with cultural relevance to Anguilla and the Caribbean region becoming model institution and offering after school programme options. In the long-term, I hope to collaborate and consult locally and regionally with the Council for Creative Education in supporting their reach into this targeted area of the world to expose more education professionals to the research and practice of creative education,” says Njeri

For more information about how to apply to the EYE programme, contact and/or see:



EU programme educational innovation news Anguilla
Anguilla: Women in construction

Anguilla: Women in construction

The Department of Youth and Culture of Anguilla launched a public sensitisation campaign on the ‘Women in Construction Apprenticeship Programme”.

The programme is funded through OCTA Innovation pilot projects and intends to establish an apprenticeship system for women ages 16 and over, which will facilitate the involvment of women in the construction industry. It will cater to women who wish to pursue a career in the construction industry, to have further opportunity for employment during Anguilla’s slow season, or simply to empower themselves in an area which involves unique or unconventional skill sets for the majority of women.

It will include a component of structured training and theory in addition to the pratical hands-on training.

Read the article.

Construction news Anguilla Bren Romney OCTA Innovation Pilot Projects
3 Anguilla candidates selected for Erasmus Young Entrepreneurs

3 Anguilla candidates selected for Erasmus Young Entrepreneurs

Bren Romney, Innovation Manager for Anguilla, Director of the Department of Youth and Culture within the Government of Anguilla has extensively promoted the EU-funded programme Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs.

 As a result, 3 Anguilla candidates have successfully been qualified for this programme:

  • Njeri Richardson, in the Education and training services
  • Nakieta Adams, in the Advertising, promotion, printing, media and related products and services
  • Melisse Jennings, in the Music, theater, events and related cultural and entertainment services


EU programme news Anguilla Bren Romney
Preservation of Heritage/Built Culture in Anguilla and encouraging women involvement in the construction sector

Preservation of Heritage/Built Culture in Anguilla and encouraging women involvement in the construction sector

In Anguilla, a Small Innovation Project has been implemented to preserve the built culture and encourage women participation and inclusion in the construction sector. Both elements of this initiative fall within the construction sector. Both are encouraging OCTs to rethink how best is possible to preserve or rebuild buildings of historical or cultural significance and how to break free of conventional stereotypes that exclude women from employment in the construction sector.

The passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused a significant amount of damage to the built infrastructure of all OCTs affected. In Anguilla alone, more than 95% of the culturally significant buildings were completely destroyed or received varying degrees of damage rendering these structures unusable or unsafe. The built heritage is a defining factor of the region so is important to identify innovative ways to preserve it from climate change and its resulting effects.

Construction news Anguilla Bren Romney OCTA Innovation Pilot Projects Pilot project
Creative industry in Anguilla

Creative industry in Anguilla

Various topics and sectors have been discussed during different meetings in Anguilla. Namely community, music, theatre, art and festival sectors, fashion, cultural and dance sector, culinary sector and event planning. During the workshops came out that Anguilla, despite of the problems caused by the hurricane Irma, is rising, but, to be more developed, needs a more openness and help from the government and to highlight the importance of sectors.

creative industry news Anguilla
Caribbean – shift of relations with EU

Caribbean – shift of relations with EU

A special meeting of CARIFORUM Council of Ministers, March 26-27, 2018 in St. Kitts and Nevis affirmed that members of the 15-country Caribbean grouping is  preparing on four fronts to adapt to a shift of relations with the European Union.

Opening the meeting, Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation of Saint Kitts and Nevis said:

“We can all agree that we serve at a time when the tectonic plates on which our engagement with the European Union rest, continue to shift. It is a time which requires us simultaneously to:

  • Grapple with implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA),
  • Assess the impact of the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union (BREXIT), in an effort to mitigate against it,
  • Ensure the roll-over of the EPA into a CARIFORUM-UK Free Trade Agreement, preserve the level of market access into the UK market as obtains under the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement and
  • Consider our options for future engagement with the EU, Africa and the Pacific in the Post-Cotonou era.“

“… each of these components demands that we remain focused and strategic in our approach to engagement with key partners both in our region and in Europe,” he added.

CARIFORUM member states are: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs): Anguilla, Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands Montserrat Turks and Caicos Islands and the Netherland Antilles, all have observer status in CARIFORUM.

Minister Brantley added that CARIFORUM Member States were preparing texts for submission to the United Kingdom with the aim of preserving the current level of market access into the United Kingdom after 2019 under the Economic Partnership Agreement signed with all Member States of the EU.  

He said: “We are of the view that development cooperation in the form of technical assistance, capacity building, and financial mechanisms to enable our region to capitalise on the market access opportunities resulting from free trade agreements are meritorious.”

trade Caribbean news Anguilla europeanunion-en
The Caribbean after Irma

The Caribbean after Irma

It is the cost of the region’s unimaginable natural beauty that, by the caprice of fate, there is the periodic risk of ruin. There is nothing to be said of this past week’s tragedies that has not yet been said, and our hearts go out to the people who died.What needs to be said is this: the Caribbean will rebuild. Caribbean people: they cannot be defeated. They rebuild, they restore and they live again.

It will not be easy, it may not be quick, but it will happen.

Read more

Sint Eustatius British Virgin Islands Caribbean news feature news Turks and Caicos Islands St Barts Saba Anguilla Sint Maarten