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Story Highlights

  • Residents of Papine in St Andrew and several surrounding communities are set to benefit from the Papine Wellness Fest 2020, which will be hosted by the University of Technology (UTech) Department of Community Service and Development, commencing Thursday, February 20.
  • Speaking with JIS News, Director of Community Service and Development at UTech, Paulton Gordon, said that more than 12 communities will be impacted by this Wellness Fest, which is scheduled to end on Thursday, April 16.
  • Mr. Gordon said that the University, on a consistent basis, has been reaching out to Papine and a few other communities using a holistic approach to contribute to their development; however, the decision was taken to expand this annual initiative to include more communities.

Residents of Papine in St Andrew and several surrounding communities are set to benefit from the Papine Wellness Fest 2020, which will be hosted by the University of Technology (UTech) Department of Community Service and Development, commencing Thursday, February 20.

Speaking with JIS News, Director of Community Service and Development at UTech, Paulton Gordon, said that more than 12 communities will be impacted by this Wellness Fest, which is scheduled to end on Thursday, April 16.

Mr. Gordon said that the University, on a consistent basis, has been reaching out to Papine and a few other communities using a holistic approach to contribute to their development; however, the decision was taken to expand this annual initiative to include more communities.

“We partner with the Social Development Commission (SDC) to look at the needs of these communities, and what comes up in a recurring way is the need for health support and social services,” Mr. Gordon said.

The Dental School of the University, along with entities such as the Diabetes Association of Jamaica, Jamaica AIDS Support, Jamaica Society for the Blind, Registrar General’s Department (RGD), and the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), will participate in this initiative.

“At the end of the eight weeks, thousands of residents would have had access to basic eye screening, blood pressure, diabetes, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol and dental checks. The aim is to create greater awareness around health, and any other issues which may affect the communities,” Mr. Gordon pointed out.

According to Mr. Gordon, the residents will also be involved in sporting activities, and the Human Employment and Resource Training (HEART) Trust/NTA will be on hand to identify where there are gaps or opportunities for residents to be trained, and to give its support.

“Essentially, the series will look at holistic community wellness and, as such, will also involve service fairs, themed seminars tailored to the needs of specific communities, and recreational activities, and will culminate with a concert in Papine Square on the final day, showcasing local talents from schools, churches and individuals,” he said.

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