The Kiwanis Club of Barbados North has responded to the Covid-19 Pandemic by providing for children, primarily, in addition to the elderly and needy in communities across the north of the island.
The Kiwanis Club of Barbados North officers for 2019 – 2020. President Angela Goodridge is on the right.
KIWANIS CLUB OF BARBADOS NORTH – “Keeping it Going”
Despite the drastic changes the coronavirus pandemic has caused to our livelihoods, it has also shown the resilience and innovation of members of the Kiwanis Club of Barbados North. Members of this club, which was established 33 years ago, are still reaching out and caring for people in their communities in St James, St Peter, St Lucy, St Andrew, St Joseph and St Thomas.
At the same time, while ensuring they maintain social distancing, members have embraced the new technology to ensure the club’s business continues uninterrupted and that projects are still undertaken.
Barbados as a small island nation and heavily dependent on tourism has been severely impacted by the devastation caused to its main industry, both the loss of jobs and foreign exchange, with many households hard hit.
The Kiwanis Club North has responded to this situation in meaningful ways by assisting some of those affected living within its catchment area.
In April a ‘Hamper Project’ was launched with support from the WestGAM, the past students’ association of the Grantley Adams Memorial School, and the Lions Club Scotland District which both made generous contributions of money and food items to this initiative.
The club provided 14 food hampers consisting of a variety of food items to families in need. Some of these hampers were given to beneficiaries of the club’s Sunday Feeding Programme, which was halted due to the COVID-19 curfew. We were also able to make a contribution of foodstuff and toilet tissues to the HIV Foodbank.
In response, during this period of change, the Club has been conducting its regular meeting by the ‘virtual’ system. The use of ‘Go to Meeting’ and ‘Zoom’ have become the ‘norm’ by which most service clubs, including our own, continue to keep our communication lines open. The use of this technology has also been effectively used for our annual election of officers as it provided to be both user-friendly and efficient.
The Kiwanis Club of Barbados North will continue to play its part in assisting children and all other persons in need wherever and whenever we can. It is our intention to ‘keep it going’.
The club’s which year runs from October to September with the annual general meeting in May has children as its primary focus in keeping with the general motto of Kiwanis. The club also serves the elderly and needy in communities across the north of the island.
A number of children centric programmes have been undertaken since the club’s formation.
Common entrance support programme:
This provides free preparatory lessons in English and Mathematics for students between the ages of 10 and 11 who will write the Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination (the Common Entrance Exam) which allocates students to secondary schools based on their results.
Library reading programme:
Reading and various fun activities are provided at the Speightstown Public Library to assist in literacy development.
Bringing Up Grades (BUG):
This programme assists primary schools’ students to raise their educational levels – especially in Maths and English
Establishing KEY (Kiwanis Educating Youth) clubs:
This programme assists the development of secondary pupils in a variety of areas – including agricultural projects.
The onset of the Covid-19 virus halted all of these projects and programmes, but they will be revisited – most likely in different formats – when the pandemic is under control and/or measures are taken to allow a return to normalcy while following the required health protocols.
The Kiwanis Club of Barbados North is also proud of its contributions to the elderly and needy in communities across the north of the island.
Community Feeding Programme:
This was started in tandem with a major hotel in July 2003 with the objective to ensure some vulnerable people in the northern districts could enjoy a hot meal on Sundays and Christmas day. Some 49 people are beneficiaries of this programme.
House Repair and Clean-Up Programme.
The club has repaired houses of a number of elderly people and also been involved in yard and beach cleanups. Key clubbers have been included in these activities.
The first bus shelter was erected to the East of the St Lucy Church at Nestfield while another was erected in the community of Mount Gay also in St. Lucy.
A booklet outlining safety tips people should take while at the beach was printed and distributed.
The club also erected warning signs – ‘Danger! Animals crossing ahead’ at Cleland Road, St Andrew where cows often cross the road and can be a danger to motorists.
In addition to participating in various projects, the club’s members organise in-house educational, social and religious activities. Kiwanis education sessions, impromptu speeches, discussions, games evenings, sing-along sessions, movie nights, quizzes, musical appreciation, attendance in the group at church services all provide fun and fellowship for members.
Members also attend inter-club activities, council meetings, district and international conventions. Attending conventions is useful to discuss Kiwanis business matters and get information for improvement. Members also get the opportunity for sightseeing, relaxation and shopping.
Submitted by Michael Archer – Chairman, Public Relations Committee
The Kiwanis Club of Barbados North officers for 2019 – 2020 are:
President Distinguished Member Angela Goodridge
Vice President Distinguished President Wendy Alleyne
President-Elect Kiwanian Marlene Jordan
Secretary Distinguished President Annette Harper
Treasurer Kiwanian Anderson Marshall
Asst Sec./Treas. Distinguished President Yvette Belgrave
IPP Immediate Past President Sandra Barrow
Directors Distinguished President Adrian Boyce
Distinguished President Emmerson Beckles
Past President Rudy Brome
Kiwanian Mark Harper
Distinguished Secretary Elma Walters