The Ministry of Health has teamed up with the Ministries of Education, Agriculture, Education, Youth and Sports to tackle what it says is a serious problem at the island’s schools.
Health Minister Alvina Reynolds says a task force has been set up to devise a programme to promote healthy eating and devise a school policy on nutrition. According to Minister Reynolds, it will require a very, coordinated, hands on approach by all parties involved.
“We have a task force that we have set up in the Ministry and we have representatives from those various ministries working along with us, to look at the various issues that we are dealing with at the community level. However the change that we speak about must start at the community level. It’s not something where the Ministry or people at the Ministry stay in the Ministry of Education and just use the media or whatever it is that’s available and say this is the way to go. We have to collaborate, we have to be within the communities…we have to be within the schools, empowering the teachers…”she said
Community involvement the Minister says is critical to the success of such an effort, because when children receive the same messages about healthy eating at school and at home, they learn real importance of nutrition.
The Minister says the health and family life programme being taught at the island’s schools needs to be revisited with a view to equipping students with information to help them make healthier lifestyle choices.
The Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO) Inc. is moving to formulate a code of ethics for members. This is one of the decisions emerging from two meetings over the weekend; one a members meeting on Saturday, and a Board of Directors meeting on Sunday.
According to General Manager, Steve Etienne, among major outcomes of the meetings was the reappointment of McCarthy Marie as Chairman for the next two years. The new Vice Chairman is Crispin D’Auvergne who replaces deceased Jeff Elva.
Steve Etienne says there was a series of meetings with various Government Ministers including the new Creative Industries Minister Lorne Theophilus. He says there is need to follow up on some of the actions agreed to by the parties, that would be of benefit to creators and the creative industry on Saint Lucia.
ECCO he says has recommitted to working more closely with government and other agencies such as the World Intellectual property Organisation (WIPO) and other NGOs, especially in facilitating training and development in the creative sector.
The Director of a Camp for diabetic youth currently being held here says young adults with diabetes are a forgotten group, whose special needs seem to fall outside the primary focus of both pediatric and adult medicine.
Ms. Violet Griffith, a Dietitian who has devoted twenty (20) years to managing diabetic youth camps, says young people with the condition encounter many challenges, especially in making the transition to young adulthood, and assuming responsibility for their own self-care.
She says camps like Camp D Life, which currently being held at the Harmony Suites in Rodney Bay, can help with that transition
The camp is organized by the Saint Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association is collaborating with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), and the Rotary Club of Gros-Islet (RCGI).
‘Camp D’ Life’, started on Tuesday July 24th and ends on Friday July 27th.
The Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association, the SLBWA has wound up activities to mark Blindness Awareness Month. The activities were designed to foster understanding, acceptance, and respect for the blind and visually impaired.
Executive Director of the SLBWA, Anthony Avril, says it is imperative that all people understand the realities of living without sight. That he explains was the idea behind one of the closing activities last weekend –the annual blindness awareness walk, in which participants are expected to walk blind folded.
“The objective of this walk is to sensitize the public with regard to blindness…it’s an attempt to provide and opportunity for people to experience blindness…in other words we simulate blindness by blindfolding people with sight and having them to be led of course by people who are not blindfolded. This is in an effort to help people to understand the challenges that blind and vision impaired people have to deal with on a day to day basis.”
Also over the weekend a team from the Seventh Day Adventist Church’s Master Guide organization, volunteered their time to help spruce up the premises of the SLBWA at Barnard Hill.
“About fifteen or so men…young men came and they did general cleaning around the building did a bit of the landscaping, and also cleaned some of the interior of the building as well, painted a couple of the bathrooms and did a whole general cleaning and giving the building a fresh feel…”
Avril says the SLBWA welcomed the assistance from the SDA and the other organizations that have supported the Association
National Security Minister Phillip La Corbinere wants greater public involvement in prison reform efforts among the Organisation Of eastern Caribbean States members.
Speaking at Tuesday’s opening of an OECS workshop on Prison Reform and Alternative Imprisonment, the Minister said it is an area that has been neglected in the region to the detriment of penal systems and the society
While the Governments must be at the forefront of prison reform efforts, the larger community must be involved in order to make any real difference. However he says most member states lack even a basic tool like a communication strategy to deal with the public on the subject of prison reform.
The Kiwanis Club of Castries played host to a sister group from Pointe-à-Pitre Guadeloupe this week as part of efforts by the two groups to explore avenues for greater collaboration.
President of the Kiwanis Club of Castries Ermin Moise says most Kiwanis clubs are twinned with other cubs within their districts. This he says is inn an attempt to give clubs from various cultures an opportunity to learn about one another and is a practical means to form enduring friendships
The seven member team from Guadeloupe also presented the Castries club with a gift of one thousand Euro.
The group leaves the island for Barbados today Wednesday where they will meet with other clubs at the Kiwanis International Eastern Canada & Caribbean District Convention which runs from the 16th to the 19th May 2012
Local businesses are being encouraged to participate in this year’s inter-commercial house calypso competition, plans for which are already underway.
The Cultural Development Foundation or CDF says the annual event, now in its 11th year, has grown tremendously in popularity and holds several benefits for participating businesses and their representatives.
Tyrone Harris is the Cultural Field Officer for the Inter-Commercial House Competition
He says this year’s competition is scheduled for July 12th. Hailed the greatest carnival staff party, participants have the chance to win 6000, 4000 and 3000 dollars in prize money.
The Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology will this Wednesday launch its Effective Chemicals Management in Saint Lucia Project.
The project is jointly sponsored by the Quick Start Programme Trust Fund under the United Nations Environment Programme and the Government of Saint Lucia in furtherance of the objectives of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and Saint Lucia’s National Chemicals Agenda.
The project was initiated in recognition of the need to strengthen Saint Lucia’s response to the sound management of chemicals at various levels. This important undertaking is geared towards building capacity in respect of chemicals management in Saint Lucia by providing funding for technical support activities in specific priority areas.
The Head of the VAT Implementation Office, says plans for the operationalization of the Value Added Tax by the September 1st deadline are at an advanced stage.
Adria-Rose Sonson says the public education campaign which commenced last week is an important part of preparations but that a number of parallel activities are also being undertaken.
The expectation is that by the third week of May the VAT bill would be in force., clearing the way for the establishment of the new VAT office and induction of new staff by June 1st, and the registration of tax payers or businesses by July 1st. This will be preceded by tax payer training by May 28th
The Inland Revenue Department, Customs and Excise and the Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority are all at advanced stages of preparation for the introduction of VAT.
“The VAT office is a new section of the Inland Revenue Department and again the staff will be on board, but the Inland revenue department as it is now, has already put in place a number of changes to support its effort to the management of VAT. Customs and Excise Department, they too have done the necessary to get VAT underway as of September 1. Again if you understand the operation of the VAT, a lot of the collection will be at the Customs end. In some countries most of the collections is at the Customs end, so Customs inland revenue very critical and they have done what is absolutely necessary at this point in time to operationalize VAT come September 1.”
The Saint Lucia Labour Party Government remains tight lipped on its foreign affairs policy, despite efforts by the opposition United Workers Party to get the Government to make a pronouncement on it foreign policy direction especially on the troublesome issue of diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
External Affairs Minister Alva Batiste in last Friday’s budget debate announced that a final report was still pending from a committee set up to examine the subject, but said that economic considerations would undoubtedly influence the final decision. He did however say that in that regard China was undoubtedly a powerful ally.
“It is important for us to understand today that China is an integral part of the international economic system and as such China has a major influence on the motion of the global economy and on institutions like the World Bank and their rules and behavior, so at this juncture and for the time being Mr. Speaker it simply remains for me to say that it must be of importance to us in Saint Lucia that we should be on appropriate terms with a country of that stature in global affairs…”
Meanwhile the Focus Taiwan News Channel is reporting that The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman James Chang confirmed Friday that he had been appointed Taiwan’s new ambassador to St. Lucia, following a series of reports that the Government had requested Ambassador Tom Chou be replaced.
Asked when he was scheduled to assume the post, Chang told CNA that he needed “to discuss with Ambassador Chou about the handover