Child Focus ended its two-week summer activities programme on Friday with its annual barbeque at Cove Bay for all participants, volunteers and youth leaders, writes The Daily Herald.
A total of 103 participants ages six to 18 took part in various activities.
Children between the ages of 6 and 7 made cookies for the elderly in Honourable Henry Every Home for the Aged. They also visited the home where they interacted with residents, distributed cards and performed songs and dances.
The most popular activity for this age group was the hike on Crispeen trail, which started in St. John’s and ended in Windwardside, after which they gathered at Harry L. Johnson Museum grounds for a picnic, water games and a water-balloon activity.
Children ages eight to 9 took part in indoor and outdoor reading games, weaving, dodge ball, sewing and learning how to make their own pizza from scratch.
Those between ten and 11 learned plant recognition and artefact identification while hiking. They visited Eco Lodge, where they received a tour of the cabins, the farm and an explanation on how to use renewable energy.
Participants also experienced a yoga session in a field above the lodge, followed by a healthy cooking lesson from Chef Keith at Rainforest Café. This group also experienced a local cooking lesson from Ernest Hassell, who taught them how to make a traditional goat stew with Johnny cakes.
Young adolescents participated in a Dance4Life workshop during the first week of the programme. Dance4Life educates and empowers young people to take action in pushing back HIV and AIDS. Through the use of dance, sports, music, and peer education, Dance4Life involves, unites and seeks to empower young people all over the world.
Each participant received a certificate as an ‘Agent for Change,’ enabling them to work toward building a world without HIV, sexually transmitted infections, unplanned pregnancies and dating violence.
Child Focus collaborated with Body, Mind and Spirit Foundation to bring the Dance4Life Barbados branch to Saba, sponsored by Juliana’s hotel and Saba Lions Club.
During the second week, the 12-plus age group made paintings with mural artist Joan Bourque. Child Focus worked along with Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF) to organize a mobile mural which will be assembled in August for SCF’s shark-conservation campaign. Participants of this activity learned about the important role of sharks in maintaining a healthy ecosystem, followed by a lesson in colour-mixing and painting techniques.
Through this project they hope to make a lasting impact not only on visitors, but also on Saba youths, enabling them to make responsible decisions about the conservation of our planet for generations to come.
Adolescent boys in this age group took part in a “Rock and Water” workshop with instructors Dimetri Whitfield and Heidi Defever. This workshop covered topics such as self-control, anger management, self-confidence and basic self-defence through Tai chi techniques, meditation, archery and self-reflection.
On Wednesday, July 15, a group of 36 children and several adults chaperones visited French St. Martin for a day trip on Dawn II. The activities included swimming and lunch at Le Galion beach, an educational tour of the Butterfly Farm and a stop at Baie Lucas, a marine sanctuary in Oyster Pond.
A team of 16 volunteers from Lipscomb University in Tennessee assisted with the activities and child supervision. Each volunteer raised funds individually for their trip to Saba. The university has been coming to the island for over 10 years and has collaborated with Child Focus during the last few years.
Project leader Stacey Simmons and assistant project leader Suzanne Guido expressed their gratitude to all volunteers, local youth leaders and bus drivers for their cooperation.
“It was an honour to work with such a fantastic team of people. Through our activities, participants also learned about respect, compassion, communication and responsible citizenship” said Simmons.