Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Seniors in three communities across St. Kitts will be busy on select days each week following the launch of a pilot initiative by the government on Monday (March 20, 2023).
The Seniors’ Day Programme officially began today following a ceremony at the Newtown Community Centre. The programme will be piloted in East Basseterre, St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays respectively. During the 9 am to 2 pm scheduled hours, the participants will engage in various fun and educational activities. Discussions on topics such as proper foot care for diabetics, healthy eating, financial management and disaster preparedness will be held. However, this month’s core activity is kite making. This is in preparation for a Kite Flying Festival that the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Ageing and Disabilities intends to introduce during the Easter holidays.
At the opening ceremony, the Minister of State responsible for Social Development and Ageing, the Honourable Isalean Phillip, welcomed the older persons.
“I want you to just embrace the opportunity,” she said. “Of course, feel free to also give feedback as to what you would like to see and things that you would like to do, but I really hope that this is a programme that you can feel proud of, … that you are excited to come to every Monday here in your community and to also bring a friend as we grow.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Social Development and Ageing, the Honourable Dr Geoffrey Hanley, noted that as a teen, his mother encouraged him to assist older persons in the community by running errands, delivering lunches and helping to clean around the house. He indicated that even as a minister of government, he continues to assist today.
“I want to turn our community centres into active centres, specifically to bring our seniors out of their homes, in an environment where they can mingle (and) have fun among their very own age group,” the Deputy Prime Minister stated.
He added that there will be future engagements between the seniors and school students and encouraged the seniors to share interesting stories and sayings from yesteryear that can positively shape the development of the youth.
Dr Hanley noted that every effort will be made to ensure that the seniors are comfortable and remain engaged with activities that stimulate their minds as well as their physical and spiritual wellness.
The opening was also attended by Prime Minister the Honourable Dr Terrance Drew.