Over 70 guests enjoyed an evening with His Excellency the Governor on Wednesday evening to celebrate eight years of the Cayman Connection UK network, and to launch the US and Canada networks. Guests included current and prospective students preparing to travel overseas to study, Cayman Islands Government officials, private sector and not for profit partners, and parents of students studying overeas. Premier Wane Panton and Minister André Ebanks attended to lend their support.
The event takes place in Cayman every year to bring together Caymanian Connection members including students who are studying overseas.
Cayman Connection also welcomes private sector guests who sponsor scholarships for Cayman students abroad and provides a platform for students to network with potential employers.
The Governor addressed the students and guests, welcoming them to Government House and commenting on the advantages of being involved in Cayman Connection.
Mr Roper said: “It was a pleasure to meet Cayman Connection members at Government House yesterday evening (Wednesday) before they head off to the UK and the US. They were able to meet others who are already living overseas to hear direct about their experiences. Cayman Connection does an excellent job supporting Caymanias whilst living and studying in the UK and is now branching out to support Caymanians further afield”
Minister André Ebanks attended the event and spoke of his experience with Cayman Connection in the UK, including how valuable Cayman Connection had been to him as Cayman Islands Representative and how the network was able to support students and other Caymanians overseas during the COVID pandemic. Minister Ebanks thanked the network’s CEO and Founder Kate Kandiah for her drive to run the programmes and the invaluable work of the network overseas.
Minister Ebanks closed by giving words of encouragement to the students, advised on updates from the Government and reiterated the important partnership between the Cayman Islands Government and Cayman Connection.
Jennifer Dilbert, Director of Cayman Connection, spoke to guests about the network and recent events in the UK and USA. Updates included reports on support for Caymanians overseas during COVID, virtual events held over the last year and updates on upcoming events, including an upcoming workshop taking place in Cayman and a Cayman Day UK event in London on 18 September. Ms Dilbert also announced the upcoming partnership with Resilience Cayman and Local Market to combine forces in selling Cayman products overseas and a young professionals management training programme.
Ms Dilbert went on to talk about a newly launched podcast called “Caymanians Overseas…out of sight not out of mind” as well as a new mentoring programme and buddy system for students attending universities overseas.
Ms Dilbert talked through other areas of support offered by Cayman Connection and thanked His Excellency the Governor, The Cayman Islands Government particularly the Cayman Islands Government Office in the UK and Minister Ebanks. Mrs Dilbert closed by encouraging students and friends to sign up to Cayman Connection using the registration form on the website.
Co-Founder and the network’s UK Director, Ms Kate Kandiah organised the event from overseas as she was unable to come home due to COVID restrictions. Ms Kandiah commented about the event: “I am so thankful to His Excellency for hosting our event once again and to all of the team for their volunteer work with us. We couldn’t do what we do without the ongoing support from the Cayman Islands Government and private sector partners, so we send our thanks to them. We were very happy to welcome the Premier, and send special thanks to Minister Ebanks for his ongoing support. I am so excited about the opening of our Cayman NPO, with thanks to Co-Directors Jennifer Dilbert and Ben Gillooly and our launch into the US and Canada. I am also delighted to be working closely with the new Cayman Islands Representative in the UK Dr Tasha Ebanks Garcia. With so many new initiatives and programmes on the horizon we are welcoming and developing new sponsorship and partnerships with the private sector, and look forward to developing these in the coming months.”