Donna Barker, Acting Health Promotion Officer with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, as she delivered the feature address during the opening ceremony.

Camp Wellness, which caters to children between the ages of six to sixteen, got underway yesterday, at the Springer Memorial School.

Camp Wellness a step in the right direction

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has publicly commended the Diabetes Association of Barbados for taking the initiative to host “Camp Wellness”, a one week summer camp which aims to educate children on healthy living and help them manage new found healthy lifestyles.

Donna Barker, Acting Health Promotion Officer described the initiative as “important and timely”, as she delivered the feature address at the opening ceremony for Camp Wellness yesterday, on location at the Springer Memorial School, where the camp will be held for one week.

“The Diabetes Association of Barbados has facilitated opportunities of education and support for children living with Type 1 Diabetes and their siblings since 2002 through their annual summer camp, Camp Pride. This year, the Diabetes Association has taken their efforts a notch higher. In addition to hosting Camp Pride, the Diabetes Association has taken the initiative to host a second summer camp, to educate children about non-communicable diseases and their inter-relationship with physical, financial, environmental and social factors,” Barker remarked.

“It is my understanding that the long-term goal of Camp Wellness is to see each camper maintain a healthy lifestyle, along with economic and social stability. The activities proposed for Camp Wellness are most appropriate and well in keeping with a wellness programme, as they focus on health assessment, nutrition and fitness, leadership and etiquette, consumerism, agriculture and environmental health” she added.

Barker meanwhile noted that there is a need for health screening, education and empowerment of Barbadian youth, in an effort to encourage healthy living and overall wellness, as the levels of overweight and obesity in Barbadian youth has become a growing concern.

“A number of health-related non-governmental organisations such as the Diabetes Association have taken a stand and launched programmes and campaigns in an effort to curb this growing trend and save the future of our nation,” she said. Turning her attention to the campers between the ages of six to sixteen, Barker encouraged them to make the most of the opportunity presented to them, by the Diabetes Association.

“Campers, I urge you to take advantage of this life changing and historical opportunity of being a part of this inaugural wellness camp… the sessions that you participate in during this week are designed to shape you into healthier persons, build your self-confidence, improve how you interact with others, and provide you with other tools that are essential to your survival and your well-being. At the end of the week, you should come away with something that you heard, saw, did that you can use to improve your health or the health of those around you,” Barker stated, as she commended the Diabetes Association, on behalf of the Ministry, on the excellent initiative.

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