Tobago stands to benefit from Can$155,000 to be used by Kiwanis International as part of its 3-year HIV Programme in the Caribbean, said Kiwanis Governor for East Canada and the Caribbean Paul Toussaint, during a courtesy visit to THA Chief Secretary Orville London on Friday. (28 January 2011). The funds will be used in Trinidad and Tobago for HIV prevention and awareness initiatives.
The Governor said to date, the group through the assistance of the United Nations Children and Education Fund (UNICEF), had raised three quarters of the $1 million required to fund HIV/AIDS projects in three Caribbean nations – Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. He added that Kiwanians in Tobago, as well as the world-over were committed to doing their part to help “in fighting this terrible disease which is HIV”.
Lieutenant Governor for Kiwanis in Trinidad and Tobago – Kenwyne James who was part of the 16-member delegation said UNICEF in doing the research realised that in Trinidad as well as Tobago there were resources which were already in place, in terms of treatment and so on, so they were concentrating on awareness and prevention. He added that the focus will be on getting the message out especially to young people, about the need to change their lifestyles.
Concurring with the intent of the Kiwanis, Chief Secretary London said the Tobago House of Assembly was committed to supporting the group in meeting its objectives. He agreed that emphasis should be placed on HIV awareness and prevention and added that while Tobago has been making strides in the treatment and care of HIV/AIDS, he was not totally comfortable with how well the island has done in relationship to HIV prevention and sensitisation.
“I want to suggest that organisations like the Kiwanis, whether they have the financial resources or not, have the kind of relationship with the community that maybe affords them greater opportunities to change people’s attitudes and to cause people to adjust their lifestyles. There is work that can be done that doesn’t cost much money”, Mr London concluded.
Toussaint was quick to add though that Kiwanis was also about serving the children of the world. He noted that the aim of the movement was to bring love, joy, peace, food, clothes, finance for schooling and other necessities to improve children’s lot in a very troubled world.
Immediately following their courtesy call on Mr London the delegation visited the Scarborough Regional Hospital where they presented a hamper to a young needy mother. According to the Club President for Tobago West Patricia Hercules, as part of the Young Children Priority One Programme which caters for children from 0-5 years, Kiwanis will follow the progress of the infant and lend other assistance where necessary.