Brenesha is an active member of FOTBOT who comes from the Turk and Caicos Islands. Today Brenesha talks to us about life in the UK, her aspirations for young people and what she thinks the future holds for her Caribbean home.
What brings you to the UK?
Certainly not the weather.On the bright side the UK is home to a number of honorable tertiary institutions. I am currently at university reading for a degree in Law with Politics at Queen Mary University of London after which I wish to pursue a Masters Degree before training as a barrister. It has been a wonderful opportunity.
How have you found adapting to life in Britain?
What value does FOTBOT add for you as an Overseas Territories student?
My journey began when I first moved to the UK nearly 5 years ago to attend boarding school, which meant that I had no family here. With the help of kind friends and teachers after about a year or so I slowly became accustomed to the different cultures and general way of British life.
In hindsight it would have been much easier for someone like me coming from an Overseas Territory to the UK to adapt quickly had there been an organisation like FOTBOT in place when I arrived.
FOTBOT is a much welcomed group which provides an opportunity to learn about other British Overseas Territories and network with other Britons who have a genuine interest in raising awareness. In previous years students from Overseas Territories who came to Britain were somewhat forgotten in the sense that there was no where for us to go where our special connection to the UK was understood.
From my perspective as a student from a unique British diaspora, I find FOTBOT to be a home away from home.
How would you like to see FOTBOT expand?
I envision it as a Charity which aids in the integration of students and persons like myself into the system by amongst other things, assisting in securing internships. In short I see FOTBOT as potentially becoming the first port of call for Overseas Territory Residents who relocate to the UK.
What are your thoughts on the future of the Turks and Caicos? Should they stick with Britain or look towards Canada for a political union?
Recent speculation about a potential annexation between the Turks and Caicos Islands and Canada were put to rest when the Premier of TCI confirmed that such an agreement was not currently on the table.
In my opinion, it is in the best interest of Turks and Caicos Islanders to maintain the current position with Britain as I can personally attest to the fact that it is much more beneficial to the citizens of the country, as well as the fact that a number of our governing systems are derived from the existing ones of the UK. If there is to be any significant political change independence would be the next step, a step which we might take within the next 20-30 years provided that sufficient planning is in place.
It would be unfair to dismiss the integral part Canada has played in the growth of the islands over the years in terms of tourism, general business and investment, with many of our biggest investors and realtors hailing from Canadian soil.
As a British Overseas Territory we enjoy many benefits for which students like myself are very grateful, at best any union with Canada should be restricted to that of trade.