Barbados Vocational Training Board donates to HIV Food Bank

HIV /AIDS Commission Chairman, Dr. George Callender delivered the feature address at the opening of the Barbados Vocational Training Board’s HIV Fair at the C. Lomer Alleyne Training Centre at Sayes Court.

The Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB) will make a timely pre-Christmas donation to the HIV Food Bank on December 23rd. This comes on the heels of a pledge of support made recently by the BVTB’s Director, Mr. Henderson Thompson as he opened the Board’s HIV Fair which was held at the C. Lomer Alleyne Training Centre at Sayers Court, Christ Church.

The Board has five centres, The St. Luke Centre in St. George, The All Saints Centre in St. Peter, The Mapp Hill Centre, St. Michael, The Hothersal and The C. Lomer Alleyne centres in St. John and Christ Church respectively. The BVTB made its first presentation of food items to the HIV Food Bank at the opening as a part of the HIV Fair’s activities.

In delivering the feature address at the opening, The HIV/AIDS Commission’s Chairman, Dr. George Callender, called on everyone to be responsible as it relates to stemming the spread of HIV and incorporating information gained into every day to day action.

Reverend, Dr. Callender also indicated that the mission of the HIV/AIDS Commission is to build partnerships in addition to mobilizing community involvement. He added that one of the major activities scheduled for the upcoming month would be the annual HIV Food bank drive across the island, this, he said, will be coupled with taking messages to the community.

Also addressing the opening ceremony was the BVTB’s Chairman, Dr. George Callender who revealed that the Board will be doing its part to deal with the challenges of behavioral change needed to deal with the HIV pandemic. Dr. Callender noted, “We are going to recommend that a training module be added to teachers’ training. All demonstrators will have a module in HIV AIDS education – both those who are being trained and those who have already been trained; the latter will go back into the classroom to gain this critical information.”

Dr. Callendar added, “The idea is that the passing on of information about HIV AIDS should be built into the educational content in the classrooms, so that when they teach the subjects of English and Mathematics there will be an aspect of HIV education passed on.”

HIV Food Bank Manager, Ms Stacia Whittaker, takes a closer look at the donated food items just received from the Barbados Vocational Training Board, looking on from left are Mr. Henderson Thompson, Director of the Barbados Vocational Training Board; Dr. George Callender, Chairman of the Barbados Vocational Training Board and Dr. Nigel Taylor, Chairman of the HIV AIDS Commission.

The HIV Fair took a holistic approach to health and also involved participation from the Diabetes Foundation, The Heart and Stroke Foundation, The Mental Health Team, The Barbados Family Planning Association and the Breast Screening Unit of the Barbados cancer Society. Students, staff, faculty and residents of the surrounding area toured booths and participated in Areal Johnson’s aerobics session, road tennis matches and some even benefitted from foot massages from Sylvia Dowridge.

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