Antigua and Barbuda: The Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross held its “Give a Hand” initiative on December 22, 2022. This activity is done every year to give holiday cheer to the members of the homeless community. A number of beneficiaries received hot meals and drinks, clothing, shoes, hygiene items, and were had access to onsite shower facilities.
Distributions continued into the evening for those beneficiaries who could not visit the National Society because of disabilities and illness. The ABRCS’s Fleet department usually provides transportation for the beneficiaries to and from the National Soceity’s headquarters.
The ABRC is a need-driven organization that tends to the immediate needs of vulnerable individuals. The ABRC provides members of the homeless community with food and hygiene packages throughout the year, but during the holiday season, we host an entire activity just for them. During these activities, we also use the time to sit and speak with them so that we understand their needs and the difficulties they face from day to day. This will guide our response to combat homelessness.
The ABRC thanks the general public; it is through their generous donations that we are able to provide humanitarian relief to vulnerable individuals and for making this initiative the great success it was. Distribution of hygiene kits and other essentials to the homeless community continues today.
The Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society plays a vital role in community activities and continues to serve others with pride. Contact us at (268) 462-0800 or send us an email @[email protected] and join our community outreach activities.
The Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society has taken a proactive approach in tackling climate change and health and wellness. This move towards environmental conservation and wellness started off on Saturday November 19, 2022, with the ABRCS President’s Wellness Day.
In a major collaborative effort between the Forestry Unit within the Ministry of Agriculture and the Medical Benefits Scheme, a number of participants aged 2 to almost 70 years, walked, then hiked to the hilly areas in Body Pond between Swetes Village and Bendals and engaged in a tree planting exercise. A variety of fruit bearing and hardwood trees were planted including mango, pear, raspberry, and mahogany.
To assist with the prevention of soil erosion, dozens of vetiver grass were strategically placed in areas susceptible to soil erosion. Vetiver grass is grown for many purposes. The plant helps to stabilize soil and protects it against erosion. However, it can also protect fields against pests and weeds. Before planting, the group was told by Algernon Grant, senior Forestry officer within the Forestry Unit, that the planting of this grass has a significantly positive environmental impact. Grant added that underneath each hedgerow an interlocking and dense root matrix creates vast, dense underground walls that not only reinforces soil structure but stabilizes any associated infrastructure.
After the planting activity, the volunteers walked several miles to the screening site where the ABRC Mobile clinic was utilized to provide health screening. A significant number of villagers were screened for hypertension, cholesterol and blood sugar while having access to professional nutritional counseling from veteran nutritionist with the Medical Benefits Scheme, Dorothy Graham-Charles. Many thanks to the owners of the Time Rite Bakery in Bendals, Celia and Patrick Colbourne, for providing the yard space to house this activity. The nursing professionals also placed a significant role in this undertaking.
Through this initiative, the ABRC was able to capture public health data and contribute to preventative health care in alignment with its role as an auxiliary to Government. The ABRCS President, Dr Jose Humphreys, in highlighting the significance of the activity, underscored the importance of prevention in health and wellness and fostering meaningful partnerships in the fight against climate change. Said he, “Climate change is one of the most urgent issues affecting our global . It is critical therefore that quick and decisive actions are taken to mitigate this challenge facing our planet and avoid some of the worst consequences of uncurbed global warming through deforestation. We want to link environmental stability and preventative health care as vital and mutually inclusive elements of our survival as a people.”
The ABRC hopes to roll out many more activities like these and hopefully bring more awareness to these very crucial issues.