World AIDS Day Observance 2009

The Community Knowledge Fair and Concert took place on Sunday, December 6, 2009 at Maculay Park, Dow Village, California

Activities were as follows:

  • Treasure Hunt through villages in County Caroni
  • Health Information Booths
  • Give Aways (2 return tickets to Tobago, Flash Drive, Food Hamper)
  • Raffle drawn (1st prize – food voucher value $1,000; 2nd prize – microwave; 3rd prize – DVD Player)
  • Live Entertainment

A collaborative effort of the National AIDS Co-ordinating Committee, the Ministries of Social Development, Health, Labour, Security and Sport and The Voice Of One – Overcomers Club

Report of the 9-14 Camp workshop

13th July to 31st July 2009.

Venue: The Transformation Centre

The objective of the workshop: To facilitate the development of characters of integrity in individuals.

The method used: Interactive dialogue:

Today as we are faced with numerous challenges for our daily existence we are obviously faced with the decision to make relevant choices to ensure our comfortable living. The double standards and blatant hypocrisy displayed by so many of us is cause for great concern, especially as it relates to the social fact, that our children live what they learn. We are their mentors, what are we teaching them? Amidst other growing concerns for the development of our children, the future citizens of our country and by extension citizens of this global village brought about this pro-active initiative known as Choice, Not Chance, Determines Destiny. A programme having various components all geared towards developing “characters of integrity” in citizens. This programme has taken into account, which our choices can be influenced by environmental, situational, and biological factors of the system while we try to survive, humanely. This programme however is built on the understanding that despite the challenge we encounter in our journey through life, once we have nurtured characters of “integrity” we would not only achieve what we want to achieve, but we will be very comfortable with our achievements.

In our interaction with the youths recently we spoke about the biological development of their bodies, and the “feelings” that accompanies that process, and we know it is all natural for development.

Can you remember your experiences as a result of such anatomical changes? Perhaps, like your child it was a time of obvious emotional, psychological and physical distress due to the natural developmental changes taking place in their life at this stage of development.

The highlight of their struggles is learning to succumb or not succumb to “peer-pressure” and we know that we are always going to have to deal with “peer-pressure”, irrespective of our age, or our position in life. Some-one or group is always going to try to influence us. The big question is what kind of influence would you adhere too, positive or negative? What would you do to achieve your goals, your desire, and your needs in life? Faced with this question, is where you have to have “integrity”, to be the person the world would not only admire, but respect. And you know that respect is earned, not brought.

They were told that “influence” is a seed that would be planted, and once it takes root, you are totally responsible for the consequences. They were told that they have the capacity to make the right choice and that they can make the right choice. Remember, our choices can be influence, the question was asked, who would you allow to plant those seed in you?

To showcase their level of understanding of “peer-pressure” or the power and consequences of influence their visit to the Versatile Video Concepts recording studio in Chase Village Chaguanas where they were exposed to the mechanics of video recording they created a 2 minute documentary skit on “drug use” and its perceive state of euphoria and the consequence of the use and possession of drug.

Peer-Pressure was one of seven topics we dealt with at the camp…. They were almost born naturals in front the camera and their vision for the skit as well as their willingness to work together with the director and cameraman had produced a much deserved end product. The other topics discussed were, bulling, causes of depression, respect for self and persons in authority, teen-sexuality, the awareness of drugs, and facts about sexually transmitted diseases.

They were taken to other field trips for the purpose of education and observation. Their behaviour is a work in progress. They visited the Military Museum in Chaguaramas, and also the community radio station” Radio Toco” situated in Toco. They were given the opportunity to sing and speak about the programme at the station. We applaud the parents who took the time to be a part of this adventurous activity, and educational experience.

These are our findings… we noticed a difference in behavioural patterns. They were a bit more at ease and at peace with themselves after being given the opportunity to speak freely and to be listened too. The key words, active words they are, guiding this process of development are, self-control, communication and trust. This gives the guarantee that they will open themselves up to you. Remember, “Communication, Trust, and Self-Control”.

The children, our children, want and need our love, respect and trust, our lines of communication must always be available. We have got to teach them, because if we don’t teach them, who is going to teach them for us; we have got to love them, cause if we don’t love them, who is going to love them; we have got to raise them, if we don’t , who is going to raise them for us; and yes, we have got to guide them, because if we don’t who is going to guide them for us.

They need an environment where they can speak and ask questions about things that are a bit confusing to them, through the developmental stages.

Have you discuss the biological development of your Child’s body, with your child? The issues of teen and pre-teen sexuality…you do realize that they are now at an age where they would be experiencing mixed emotions. They would be curious and would be aroused to experiment and explore. Let this be with the right influence. Experimenting at this stage of development have very severe consequences, let us at least reduce the negative experiences, we can, remember…Choice, Not Chance, Determines Destiny…this concept, once clearly understood, would help.

This overview was presented by the Administrative Secretary Antoinette Glasgow-Figaro at the graduation held on Saturday August 29th 2009, at the “Transformation Centre”.

International AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2009

Opening Remarks by Antoinette Glasgow, Administrative Secretary

A pleasant good evening to all gathered here and to the listening audience tuned into Power 102FM

The international AIDS candlelight memorial, a program of the global health council, is one of the oldest and largest grassroots mobilization campaigns for HIV and AIDS awareness in the world. Started in 1983, the candlelight memorial takes place every third sunday in May and is led by a coalition of community organizations hosting local memorials that remember the lost and raise social consciousness about the disease.

The candlelight memorial is also much more than just a memorial. It is an opportunity for us at The Voice Of One – Overcomers Club to advocate.

With 33 million people living with HIV today, The Voice Of One – Overcomers Club, as a candlelight co-ordinator, continues to serve in this important intervention for global solidarity, breaking down barriers, and giving hope to new generations.

In addition to commemorating the lives of those lost and affected by HIV and AIDS, VON-OC’s candlelight memorial program serves as a community mobilization campaign.

For yet another year, today, May 17, 2009, The Voice Of One – Overcomers Club hosts this event, but this time at the transformation centre, home of the organization, situated at 56 Railway Road, Dow Village, California and we have also brought it to your homes via Power 102FM, under the theme “more thanks for life … together we are the solution”.

HIV is one of the world’s greatest challenges. Over the last quarter century, the disease has impacted our communities, families, economies and millions of lives. The theme for the 26th international aids candlelight memorial is “more thanks for life … together, we are the solution”. This theme represents the challenges critical to ending HIV and AIDS, but we cannot work alone and hope is not enough. We need action and communities and governments must work together.

Today, together with over one thousand communities in over a hundred countries, we declare our solidarity in the response to HIV and AIDS and recommit ourselves to the cause. We call on global leaders to hear our voices, honour pledges to give resources for HIV and AIDS, and increase access to prevention, treatment and care. We call on the national and community leaders to serve as examples.

We call on businesses to invest in their communities and we ask institutions of faith to be more inclusive. We call on the media to report the truth about HIV and AIDS and help us share stories about what works.

The issue of HIV and AIDS must be addressed as part of a broader problem of poverty and development, gender inequity and sexuality and health system reform. We must move beyond fear and ignorance and replace stigma and discrimination with understanding and support. All of us can be part of the solution. Learn about HIV and AIDS. Get tested. Become an advocate. Join a club like The Voice Of One – Overcomers Club or volunteer.

As we gather around the world today to remember those we have lost, we stand committed to finding a solution by working together to end HIV and AIDS.

Our programme promises to be both entertaining and empowering. Stay tuned in, for together, we are the solution.

Collaborative Partnerships

Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs

The Voice of One Overcomers Club collaborated with the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, in the School Transition Project. The programme was aimed at preparing children at primary schools for a successful transition into secondary schools. The Voice of One-Overcomers Club served as “Life Skills Facilitator” at the programme.
Topics covered included peer-pressure, conflict resolution, HIV and AIDS awareness, drug use, teen sexuality, respect for self and authority, suicide, depression – ensuring a future generation.

Ministry of Social Development Division of Ageing

VON-OC partnered with the Ministry of Social Development, specifically with the Division of Ageing to assist in the implementation of a Senior Activity Centre, where they initiated the concept “Ageing Gracefully”.