Monthly Archives: November 2012

World AIDS Day 2012

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WAD Flyer 2012The Caribbean HIV and AIDS Alliance (CHAA), St Lucia Office prepares to celebrate World AIDS Day with Key partners tomorrow, December 1st. The last three weeks of targeted HIV testing and sensitizations climaxes tomorrow. Activities will centre on the theme, “”Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths”

Activities commence in Vieux Fort at 9am with an Anti-stigma and discrimination march and opening ceremony followed by a health fair in Beanfield until 3pm.

In the north, the health fair will begin at 1pm and end at 5pm with a candle light ceremony. Song, dance and drama performances will highlight issues surrounding the theme. HIV testing will be available at both venues.

CHAA commits to sustaining the HIV prevention sensitizations and supporting changes to safer sexual practices through the team of peer educators attached to the project.

–ENDS—

Play Your Part This World Aids Days 2012

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Kenita Placide, Co-Executive Director of United and Strong

Kenita Placide, Co-Executive Director of United and Strong

(Castries, November 30, 2012) Every year, December 1 is commemorated as the World AIDS Day. Hundreds of advocates, leaders and communities around the world dedicate the day to activities and events to cherish the memories of those who battled with the disease, to celebrate progress achieved in the global response to HIV and re-commit to keep the promise to create an AIDS free generation.

Today, around the world, we commemorate Worlds AIDS Day under the theme “Getting to Zero”, by acknowledging the advances made in the care and treatment of those living with HIV and prevention of those affected. We remember with regret the lives of many who have passed, our family, friends and colleagues who are all infected or affected by this epidemic. This campaign brings together like-minded supporters to advocate for education and outreach, testing and treatment all over Saint Lucia in the communities that need it most.

This month, the human rights advocacy group United and Strong took the message to the public, in areas such as the Blue Coral Mall, Caribbean Cinemas, JQ Rodney Bay Mall, Baywalk Mall and the Headphunk performance in Samaans Park. Volunteers distributed free sexual and reproductive health aids and information. It continues at the testing day in Baywalk Mall in Rodney Bay and in Vieux Fort on December 1.

The sale of red ribbons, the global symbol for the fight against HIV/AIDS, was central to the effort. These red ribbons remind that we as a NATION need to SAY NO to stigma and discrimination, SAY NO to new cases of HIV/STI infections and SAY NO to any more AIDS-related deaths.

United and Strong Inc. stands in solidarity with the AIDS Action Foundation, Caribbean HIV/AIDS Alliance, the Red Cross, the Ministry of Health, National AIDS Programme Secretariat, Saint Lucia Planned Parent Hood and Tender Loving Care, commending their bravery and commitment to a world without HIV/AIDS and a Caribbean where social justice is a reality.  Advocates and activists here in St Lucia, the Caribbean and the globe take a bow for leading the struggle to eliminate stigma, discrimination and inequality. We are proud to have worked in conjunction with many of these individuals and the above organisations through the years, and look forward to continued collaborations.

Rights come with personal responsibility and the call for every individual to do their part continues to be a priority.       Victimisation and inequality are a reality many still face today. Stigma and discrimination is called natural; stereotyping and violence is called cultural; as is the mockery of gay men and lesbian women, whose private lives, especially their sexuality, are put on trial. These actions and speech affects everyone, preventing access of some individuals to certain services.

People are not finding out their HIV status due to stigma around testing; they fear of gaps in the system and the breaches of confidentially. This is simply unacceptable. Government needs to follow through on our commitment to provide access to prevention and treatment to everyone, everywhere. There is nothing moral about hate, discrimination, marginalisation, violence or pain.

UnS WAD

The sale of red ribbons, the global symbol for the fight against HIV/AIDS, was central to the effort.

We need to recognize the fundamental human rights of every single person. Civil society groups need to maintain the lead, along with government, to continue the fight and revitalize all mechanisms to provide information, education and skills to all sectors. In order to get to zero new infections, there must be mobilised efforts and collaboration to demand access to treatment and medication; create safe environments for HIV positive people to disclose their status; and funding to ensure equity in HIV prevention, treatment, and care services for all people living with HIV, particularly the under privileged, who represent a high percentage of new infections.

We continue to raise the consciousness of the masses as we know we will all feel the cry in the future; infected or affected, we all feel it. Let us put aside hate and hypocrisy, and work in the best interest of our country. There is nothing moral about hypocritically allowing or encouraging these violations to continue.  Information has taught us even if we are not infected we are all affected personally, economically, national development and health. Too many people are naive and laid-back today. This is a great opportunity for advocates and organizations to remind their representatives that we’re watching them on HIV/AIDS funding and care. Elected officials need to show that they understand the urgency of the need here, or voters will hold them accountable prevention and treatment aren’t optional.

However we must also call on the leaders of St Lucia and anyone else who has the power to make a change, to wake up! The question is no longer can we end the AIDS epidemic, but will we end the AIDS epidemic? The time is now. The time is here. Tomorrow starts now.

—- ENDS —

One Dead in Vehicle Accident

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police lineA fatal accident on the Bexon Highway about 2:37am today has resulted in one death. Motorcar reg # HA7574 driven by Lisa Felicien of Ravine Chabot ran off the road. The three occupants on the car are hospitalised in critical condition. –  22 year old Tiffany Felicien, 26 year old Lance Montoute aka Mac 11 both of Ravine Chabot and 23 year old  Kernetta Montoute  of Cas En Bas.
Lisa Felicien succumbed to her injuries at 4:20am while at hospital.

Diabetes Awareness Fair on Today

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The Saint Lucia Diabetes Association concludes with a Diabetes Awareness Fair’ for the Diabetes Awareness Month. It will be held on Friday 30th Nov 2012 in the William Peter Blvd.

Headphunk Metamorphosis

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Metamorphosis

Better,

more emphasis on the positive,

morphing from a dream

clawing free from of the cocoon of the mind

waiting on wishes,

the fragile wings spread out to dry

to give flight to the spawn of the mind

we’ve grown from thought to theory

fed on trials and bitter morsels of failure

made sweet with the nectar of success

strengthened for the limits and hurdles

we’ve known that dreams, like wishes

are born grown up

but yet, we change

we rise from the falls and scrapes

that shape us

into legends.

Thursday November 29th

Samaan’s Park

7:30 pm

Headphunk!!!!

Kaw Kaw! Kaw Kaw!

Over 300 to Graduate From Home Help Program

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Castries, Saint Lucia, November 29th, 2012 – Three hundred and twenty-five (325) trainees will graduate today from the Home Help Program organized by the National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations and the National Skills Development Centre (NSDC).
The group, made up of 324 women and 1 man, underwent over nine (9) weeks of training from July. The initial three weeks of training involved productivity enhancement, which was conducted by the NSDC and training in elderly and home help care was carried out by the Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations over a 6 week period.
An average of 20 people, have been deployed throughout the 17 constituencies since November. Some specialize in elder care while others are focused on domestic care.
Perry Thomas, NICE’s Project Coordinator says, “It is indeed a proud moment for us to see the hundreds of women, some of whom have not been working for over 2 years now, being engaged in legitimate work, helping those who are now unable to help themselves.”
To date, NICE has put close to 3000 Saint Lucians to work, both in the private and public sectors. In addition to job placements, the Project has also provided grant funding and technical support to a number of small businesses who are now able to employ additional staff due to the assistance received from the Project.
Today’s graduation ceremony takes place at the National Cultural Centre at 2 p.m. There will be addresses by the NICE Coordinator, Perry Thomas, as well as Health Minister Alvina Reynolds and the Honorable Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony.
We will be grateful for coverage of this event.
——-ends———–

Police Officer Arrested

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On Wednesday 28 November 2012 about, Officers attached to the Major Crime Unit arrested a Special Police Constable for the offence of Grievous Bodily Harm.

The said incident occurred on Friday 23 November 2012 about 3am at City Gate, Castries.

The Officers were in receipt of a report where 35 year old Amrand James of City Gate, Castries suffered facial paralysis after receiving a blow to the left ear area with a firearm by the police officer.

Consequently, the said officer was arrested. He is expected to be charged later.

Investigations into the matter are ongoing.