“Brownies, Scouts beam with pride at Vauxhall”

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It rained on their parade, but this did not stop the scouts and Brownies at Vauxhall Primary School from celebrating Barbados’ Independence in grand style last week.

Students marched from the nearby Sheraton Mall in Christ Church to the school before engaging in a flag-raising ceremony and parade.

They also made a donation to the AIDS Society in recognition of World AIDS Day which was observed last Saturday under the theme: Know Your Status.

Margaret Brandford, who coaches the scouts for their HIV/AIDS Awareness Badge, said coming out of that six-week programme, they decided on a food donation. “We put out a table and a basket and asked children; it was open to the entire school and whatever they brought we donated,” she said.

Dr Henrick Ellis, who founded the AIDS Society back in 1990 and is immediate past president, praised the students for their discipline during the parade, and thanked them for their kind gesture. 

He said the AIDS Society was the longest running non-governmental organisation in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Barbados.

Ellis said when observance of the day began 30 years ago, the theme then was Putting A Face On AIDS. He explained that images associated with the disease were of funerals, and people looking sick and emaciated. However, he said with education and training, people now knew that anyone could be HIV-positive. 

“So if you want to see the face of HIV, look in the mirror. People with HIV and AIDS, they look just like you, so we need to get people to understand that the stigma and discrimination is really the problem,” the doctor added.

Principal Patricia Springer praised the students for their perseverance and diligence.

“I am very impressed. It was raining but they stayed in place, they continued to march, and when I did the inspection, they stayed at attention. It is really heartening to see and I think it would hold them in good stead as they get older,” she said. 

The week’s activities included a concert, sampling of local treats including sugar cakes, fish cakes and fudge, and a fun day. (LK)