Minister of Education promotes healthy lifestyle for children
Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said the pandemic underscored the need for people to be healthy and urged parents to start with their children.
She was speaking at an event organized by the ministry and Unicef in commemoration of Universal Children’s Day, at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday.
Hundreds of children, their parents and loved ones attended the health and wellness fair in the parking lot where several health-conscious booths were set up.
Gadsby-Dolly, in a brief address, said: “What covid has brought before is the fact that we have to focus on our health. What we have seen and what we have been through has shown us that ‘As we move forward, our learnings must be centered around the health of all of us and it must start with our children.’
Celine Julia-Felix, Unicef’s Social Policy Officer in the Eastern Caribbean, focused on the inclusion of children. “In the same way that you want to have spaces to play within your community, there are other children who may look different from you, move in a different way because they need to be helped, come from a different country or speak a different language. They want to play too, so try to include them.”
One booth had a vaccination site and dental health advice and gave customers the chance to get a flu shot and learn how to take care of their teeth.
Arusha Davis said she was grateful for the vaccination booth as it meant she had one less thing to worry about.
She added, “Besides that, I liked the whole vibe of coming out after covid19. Just having a place to relax after a hard week at work. So far it’s been really good despite time.”
Her daughter Dania Song said she enjoyed the fair because she was able to socialize more after the isolation during the covid19 pandemic. Although her mother’s favorite stand was the vaccination stand, hers was the Creamery stand where she had sugar-free vanilla ice cream.
Another kid at the fair, six-year-old Bryant Hypolite, said he loved the crowds at the Savannah and was happy to get the flu shot because ‘it didn’t hurt at all’ .
Guests were also allowed to try their hand at archery with Marc Ainsley John, National Scout Commissioner of the TT Scout Association. John said archery is just one of many programs offered by the association and he wants to educate young people to embrace the outdoors and learn and develop new skills. Some of these skills are camping, cooking, and hiking.
“We also teach environmental awareness because the outdoors is our home, we want to make sure young people learn to care for the environment.”
The TT Girl Guides Association was also there to try to get girls and young women to use their services and teachings. One of their young leaders, Abia Smith, said that since the age of five she has been part of the association and has learned to be more confident and to master management skills.
Association commissioner Helena Stoute-Joseph said: “People tend to think, ‘Oh, they like to cook and sew,’ but we do all that plus everything modern.”