Barbadians are becoming more aware of the dangers associated with chronic non-communicable diseases, and as that awareness grows, this year a summer camp is being held for children with weight issues such as obesity.
Organiser of the camp, Miss Barbados World 2019 Ashley Lashley, said the theme of the Get up and Move Weight Loss Summer Camp is Creating a healthy child with a healthy mind. At the launch event held at the Main Guard and Clock Tower at the Garrison Savannah this morning, Lashley told Barbados TODAY, “I started my charity dealing with non-communicable diseases four years ago, and I would say people are taking this matter more seriously now. This camp is part of my campaign to combat childhood obesity in keeping with the goal of eliminating it by 2030.”
The camp will run for three weeks and presently has 12 children between the ages of seven and 16. Lashley said, “During that time, the children will be going to the Ministry of Agriculture and learning to plant food crops; the Barbados Defence Force will assist them in going on hikes to historical sites around the island as well as with their physical training, and they will also have classes where they will learn to make healthy food and drinks. Beyond that, the children will also have character and self-esteem building sessions along with arts, crafts and drama classes.”
Nutritionist Nicole Farnum is also on board and she will be carrying out weekly assessments of the children to ensure they are meeting their weight loss goals. Coordinator of Social Services with the Barbados Defence Force Major Pedro Drakes called the camp a “worthwhile initiative” and told the parents present that it was an investment in their children’s future. He also encouraged the children to make new friends and enjoy the camp in the midst of all the activities that would enhance their physical, mental and psychological development.