The “Affair” under the Parish Project theme Preserving Our Health …Our Greatest Wealth was hosted by the St. Lucy Parish Independence Committee in association with Fustic Wesleyan Holiness Church.
Some of the stated objectives of the event were to demonstrate God’s love through practical acts of service, sharing with and challenging residents to improve their knowledge and adjust their attitude and change their behaviour with respect to the non-communicable diseases. In addition, the event served to build and deepen relations within the community.
Among the many booths set up were Ozone Therapy, the Barbados Diabetes Association, NCPADD, beauty care, Sagicor Inc. and the Wesleyan Holiness Credit Union dealt with the importance of financial health and wealth management while representatives from the Knights Advantage Health Club carried out a number of health screenings such as blood pressure, HBA1C testing, fractionated cholesterol, Body Mass Index among others. Nutritionist and resident Andrea Griffith advised and educated those persons who visited that booth on the importance of good nutrition, exercise and portion sizes to overall good health while the importance of mental wellness to good health was addressed and highlighted by Nurse Jacqueline Cumberbatch of the Psychiatric Hospital.
Additionally, in an effort to increase the awareness of breast, prostate and cervical cancer Shirley London-Forte a resident and retired nurse educated those persons who visited that booth on these cancers.
On display at the Independence Committee booth were cassava, breadfruit, sweet potato flours as well as cookies made from the sweet potato flour which were very popular among the children and adults. These flours were produced by the Barbados Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation and Project Coordinator, Janice Springer who was responsible for the booth, reported excellent sale of the flours.
Recipes developed by the Food Promotion Unit of BADMC were given to all those persons who purchased the flours. The several pieces of educational health related literature developed for the project were on display as well and were shared with those patrons.
Persons who visited the Fustic Wesleyan Holiness Church booth interacted with Pastor Gloria Forde who counselled as to the importance of Spiritual Wellness and Environmental Health Officer at the Maurice Byer Polyclinic Errol Bostic shared information relating to food handling, gastroenteritis and leptospirosis.
In an effort to capture the attention of the children who came out to the Affair, a Children’s Zone was set up and coordinated by the Fustic Wesleyan Holiness Sunday School Department. This tent was certainly a hit with the children and adults. In an interview with one of the team leaders Amanda Brome she stated “that they made the Zone which featured activities such as storytelling, play dough activities, block building, face painting for example in addition to a religious teaching segment, colourful, attractive and active for all the children”.
Throughout the day, there were various exercise activities designed for both the children and adults inclusive of line dancing, tug-a war, football, hopscotch.
The food tent was very well patronized by the many patrons. The Independence Committee who held responsibility for this tent and offered on sale a good balance of healthy foods and a wide-ranging selection of health juices for example carambola and passion fruit, mango and ginger to name a few.
The Fustic Wesleyan Church Band the New Connections brought a fitting end to the day’s activities. This gospel band sent the patrons into a dancing mood even after sunset, with their various uplifting and moving gospel songs and choruses. The event was also used to feature their newest gospel song What About You penned by Vasco Greaves.
At the end of the event both Event Coordinators Janice Springer (Parish Project Coordinator) and the Fustic Wesleyan Holiness Church Evangelism Chairman Olvin Collymore agreed that the event served its purpose and was an overwhelming success. They both felt that the objectives were accomplished since the resource persons reported that the many patrons engaged them in many intriguing health related conversations.
Springer further stated that initiatives such as the Wellness Affair not only served to sensitise and educate persons, families and communities of the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyles but ultimately, ensuring that Barbados remains a productive, healthy and thriving country.
The members of the St. Lucy Parish Independence Committee and the Fustic Wesleyan Holiness Church would like to express sincere thanks to all the resource personnel who represented the various entities as well as the residents of the parish and those persons outside of the parish who made the “Wellness Affair” a success. The Committee along with the Parish Ambassadors Charniah Griffith and Davon Brome will continue to forge ahead with the 2013 Parish Project Preserving Our Health … Our Greatest Wealth.