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Eleuthera's Anti-Violence Campaign
By Felicity Darville
Dec 30, 2021 - 1:43:53 PM

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Eleuthera wrapped up its anti-violence campaign efforts with a series of activities held this December. These efforts, led by Zonta Eleuthera head Jewel Smith, served to inspire the youth and involve the entire community in awareness and advocacy.

The North Eleuthera Mainland Community, under the leadership of Deacon Michelle Bain-Johnson, hosted a Stop the Violence Townhall and Awareness session via a Zoom meeting on December 2.   Over fifty participants joined the conversation from Nassau, Eleuthera, and other Family Islands. Marisa Mason Smith, President of the Zonta Club of New Providence was present, as well as Jewel Edwards, who spearheads Eleuthera's Zonta Club and is a community activist.   Deacon Johnson hosted the meeting.

 
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Three dynamic speakers presented on gender-based violence:   Attorney DM Anderson who presented on the legal side of GBV; Police Reserve Inspector Nickal Young-Symonette presented on abuse and the role of the Social Worker; Nurse Bianca Edwards presented on a call to action to combat the same. Nurse Edwards lobbied for Eleuthera to create community health committees in each district to have a linkage between the medical team and the wider community. The community health committee can function year-round to speak against various issues, not only gender-based violence. She pointed to the need to strengthen our communities by being advocates for one another.   The listening audience well received the information, and everyone was challenged to continue speaking out against gender-based violence.

On Saturday, December 11, the Lower Bogue Clinic medical team in conjunction with the Zonta Clubs of Eleuthera and New Providence joined forces and conducted a Stop the Violence Drive-in Youth Explosion Concert.

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The initiative came about in commemoration of the Sixteen Days of Activism campaign against gender-based violence.   The campaign runs every year from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day.

During the Youth Explosion, youths participated willingly and were sensitized to abuse, signs to look out for, and what to do to combat abuse.   The children were also educated.  

The dynamic Prophetess Brenda Johnson was the mistress of the ceremony.   Prophetess Latiesha Williams did the opening prayer.   Remarks were given by Pastor David Armbrister (Vice President, Christian Council). During the concert, remarks were also made by Police Reserve Inspector Nickal Young-Symonette, who demonstrated with a young girl out of the audience what to do in the event of abuse. The hands-on demonstration spoke volumes.

 
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There were dynamic performances: the Deveaux girls; Rico Belle & Jatayo Charlton,who pantomimed; the Methodist Church dancers; a poem entitled "Hey Black Girl" read by Kezia Johnson (North Eleuthera Ranger Guide) under the leadership of Ms. Percentie; the head girl of North Eleuthera High School, Cilnus Meteze read an insert of the different types of abuse; a selection by Edney Higgs was rendered; the Lower Bogue Clinic staff sang "Heal the World” by Michael Jackson; and a drill was done by the North Eleuthera Royal Youth Corps headed by Constable 3873 Munroe, assisted by Sgt. 236 Taylor-Major.  

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Speakers for the service were Deacon Julieth Wallace and Minister Fredrick Wallace. They gave the clarion call on how the community needs to fight against abuse in society.   They invited all settlements to get on board this fight against gender-based violence.   Prayers were offered for the youths, intercession on behalf of the children was done by Minister Y. Kelly, and finally, an altar call was made.   Everyone left the event filled and happy to know this was the first-ever youth explosion concert and stated that they hoped it would not be the last.

Thanks to Nurse Agnes Deveaux who spearheaded the event; Island Enterprises that aired the concert live; Prophetess Brenda Johnson; Mrs. Nordelus; the Praise and Worship team; and all the churches that participated.

On the December 15, the staff of Lower Bogue Clinic hosted a Funday Christmas Drive for the children that attend the immunization clinic.   Over thirty children participated.   The children got a chance to sit on Mrs. Claus's lap while they got their photos taken.   They were given lunch, baggies of treats, and gifts.   They were also taught about Good Touch/Bad Touch and what to do if someone tries to abuse them.   The children danced and played and had a fabulous time with Lower Bogue's Clinic staff.   Special thanks to everyone that donated to the cause.   Special thanks to the children's parents, the children, and Mrs. Crystal Hudson from Little Scholars, who brought her students down to be a part of our Christmas Funday.  

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Finally, the staff of Lower Bogue Clinic offered a pop-up clinic to the residents of North Eleuthera Mainland in commemoration of World AIDS Day.   The pop-up clinic was conducted at the Three Island Dock. People were able to have a rapid HIV test done.   All clients were counseled pre-and post-testing.   All information was kept confidential.   During the pop-up clinic, clients were offered blood pressure and sugar testing.   They were also educated and given pamphlets on various non-communicable diseases, such as pamphlets on safe sex.   The residents were appreciative of the efforts and encouraged the staff to do it again soon.

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