It will be a day of fitness, fun and fundraising when one of Barbados’ biggest National fitness events takes to the streets on Sunday, November 23 under the theme Show Your Love, Stop The Violence. The Nation’s Fun Events have been a staple in the calendar of many locals and visitors for more than two decades and the company has donated proceeds from the events to various local charities.
This year, the beneficiaries of the Nation Funathlon are two local anti-violence charities: The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP), spearheaded by the Supreme Counselling for Personal Development (SCPD) and the Safe House and Crisis Centre programmes of the Business of Professional Women’s Club of Barbados (BPW Barbados).
The SCPD launched the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) in March 2014. The program is part of an international anti-bullying initiative and was introduced to Barbados by SCPD Director, Shawn Clarke. Although the program is still in its pilot stage, it has been successfully launched in a few schools across the island, namely, Frederick Smith Secondary School, Grantley Adams Memorial Secondary School, The Lester Vaughan School and Wesley Hall Infants School.
Since the launch of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, SCPD has effectively brought anti-bullying messages to the public, through its implementation of billboards in four popular bus terminals as well as in the participating schools. The organization also hosted its first anti-bullying video competition earlier this year.
The BPW Barbados organization has also been actively engaging the public and business community to raise much needed funds for their Safe House and Crisis Centre. Established in 1966, the organization is a chapter of an international federation represented in over 90 countries and focused on elevating women through training, education, business, entrepreneurship, improvements in health and freedom from violence.
One of the main programmes for the local arm, is the BPW Barbados Safe House, that provides a private and secure emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children. The Crisis Centre programme serves as a gateway to shelter. Initially a rape hotline on its inception in 1986, the expanded 24-hour crisis hotline provides an outlet for women and men in need of counsel for incidences of violence. The Crisis Centre not only aims to help persons through cases of verbal, physical and emotional abuse, it also seeks to increase awareness about survival and prevention.
The Nation Publishing invites the public to wholeheartedly support the Nation Funathlon and by extension aid the two organizations. The Show Your Love, Stop the Violence Funathlon theme calls for an end to all forms of violence and participants are encouraged to create and showcase their own anti-violence messages with banners, flags and custom messages on their Funathlon T-shirts. Participants can also look forward to photographic Love Stops en route and can join the inaugural Flower Drop to honour victims of violence and symbolize a letting go of violent acts.
The public may volunteer with and lend assistance to the OBPP and school anti-bullying initiatives and the BPW Shelter and Crisis Centre by contacting the organizations directly. Additional information can be found on the Nation Publishing’s Facebook page.