CIBC FirstCaribbean helps The AIDS FOUNDATION Get a ' Facelift'

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December 21, 2017

Long-awaited renovations are finally underway at the AIDS Foundation this month, in a bid to give the premises a much-needed facelift leading into the New Year.

The renovations start with the instalment of a new kitchen, with help from a recent donation from CIBC FirstCaribbean.

The kitchen is set to be installed between December 22nd and January 8th.

“It won’t be in time for Christmas, because as long as the kids are here we need to use the kitchen. But we’re hoping it will be finished by the start of the new school term, a bit like a late Christmas present,” said Lady Camille Barnett, President of the AIDS Foundation.

“We still do what we can to give the place a little ‘holiday spirit.’ The kids will have a Christmas party and exchange of gifts. They put up a Christmas tree last week and they’re very proud of it.

“At our afterschool program, we have a part-time cook who prepares a meal for the kids – the idea being that once they have a meal at the end of the day they’ll be able to take their medication,” said Lady Barnett.

“Our kitchen was in dire need of renovation. The buildings we’re in now were donated to us in the late 1990s, and not much work has ever been done to them because we’ve had to use our resources for other things. CIBC FirstCaribbean’s donation will go towards renovating the kitchen area, which is vital to the work that we do with young people.”

Established in 1992, the AIDS Foundation engages in HIV/AIDS education, awareness, advocacy, support, treatment, and prevention. Their afterschool program caters to people of all ages, and has three components: academic, psycho-social, and medical.

“On the academic side, we have trained educators who work with the kids from 4:00pm until 5:30pm on school assignments Monday through Thursday.

The psycho-social component happens on Friday and it’s all the interaction we do to support them in terms of their health, especially those who are HIV positive.

We teach them anything from self-esteem building, to making good choices and life skills.

With the medical component we work very closely with the Ministry of Health, because they’re the healthcare providers for these young individuals.

We are actively involved with making sure they get to clinic appointments and that they take their medication.

“We also found that as some of these kids have grown up, they need help with job preparation and we’re doing that with them as well.

So I like to call this the ‘holistic program,’ because we try to support them and meet all of the needs they have. Sometimes it involves housing – at one point our social worker actually housed three of the kids in her home because there was no place for them to go and no one for them to be with.

We try to provide complete support for them and at the end of the day we want them to be healthy, productive, and independent young people – that’s the goal,” said Lady Barnett.

Part of that process involves creating a “safe space” that is comfortable for program participants.

“There’s still a stigma surrounding HIV, and you don’t want the children coming to a place that’s broken down because that’s not good for their self-esteem. You want the place to look nice.

We’re receiving help to renovate our stairs soon, because they’re in pretty bad condition.

So along with the donation from CIBC FirstCaribbean to renovate our kitchen – all of that is just giving it a little facelift. I think coming to a place that looks decent and not broken down enhances everybody’s self-esteem.”

CIBC FirstCaribbean’s donation to the AIDS Foundation will help give the non-profit organisation a much-needed ‘facelift’ in time for the New Year. L-R: Lady Camille Barnett, President of the AIDS Foundation, and CIBC FirstCaribbean Marketing Director, Maya Nottage.

About CIBC FirstCaribbean
CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank is a relationship-bank offering a full range of market-leading financial services through our Corporate and Investment Banking, Retail, Business & International Banking and Wealth Management segments. We are located in 17 countries around the Caribbean, providing the banking services through approximately 3,000 employees, in 80 branches and offices. CIBC FirstCaribbean is a member of the CIBC Group of Companies. For more information about CIBC FirstCaribbean, visit www.cibcfcib.com

News date : 12/21/2017    Category : Business, Community/Charity, Press Releases

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