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Wesley Methodist High Are AIDS Debate Winners


Wesley Methodist High School are champions of the National High School HIV/AIDS Debate, held on February 27, 2024, at the Yellowman and Sons Auditorium, Grand Turk.

 

The Wesley Methodist High team which comprised of Elijah Simmons, Michael Robinson, and Jewel Robinson emerged as the champions, impressing the judges with their compelling arguments and eloquence.

 

The Helena Jones Robinson High School team, comprising Esmarlin Capron, Anavia Mantok, and Daissa Israel secured the second position, while Maranatha High School with Rojaun Guthrie, Kemisha Lowhar, and Jessica Dormeus ended in third position.

 

The title of Best Female Speaker was awarded to Esmarlin Capron from HJ Robinson High School, while the accolade for Best Male Speaker went to Elijah Simmons from Wesley Methodist High School. Their exemplary communication skills and persuasive delivery left a lasting impression on the audience and judges alike.

 

The event brought together eight high schools from across the nation to engage in a spirited discussion on the moot: "Be it resolved community involvement is the most important element in the fight against HIV/AIDS." Under the theme of "Let Communities Lead," students showcased their knowledge, passion, and advocacy skills in addressing this critical public health issue.



The event, organized by the Ministry of Health and Human Services’ Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit, in collaboration with local educational institutions, with participation from Helena Jones Robinson High School;  Clement Howell High School; Raymond Gardiner High School; Louise Thomas Garland  High School; ELITE High School; Marjorie Basden High School; Maranatha High School; and Wesley Methodist  High School, aimed to empower youth to take an active role in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic and promoting community involvement as a crucial element in the fight against the disease.


The event was graced by esteemed dignitaries, including the Minister of Health and Human Services, Honourable Shaun D Malcolm, and the Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Human Services, Ms. Renessa Williams, who offered their insights and encouragement to the participating students.


The Minister of Health emphasized the importance of community involvement in the fight against HIV/AIDS, highlighting the need for collaborative efforts to address this global health challenge. He stated, "Communities serve as the frontline in our battle against HIV/AIDS. They are the spaces where knowledge is disseminated, stigma is challenged, and support is provided."



The competition was adjudicated by respected judges representing various sectors, including advocacy- Ms. Anansa Jervis (Head Judge), Executive Director, Turks and Caicos AIDS Awareness Foundation (TCAAF); education - Mr. Edgar Howell, Director of Education; legislation- Ms. Desiree Downes, Principal Legislative Drafter, Attorney General’s Chambers; and the medical profession- Dr. Kevin Mais, Medical Officer, Primary Health Care Department.  Their expertise and impartial evaluation ensured a fair and rigorous competition. The timekeeper was Mr. Leonard Glasgow.


"We are immensely proud of all the students who participated in the National High School HIV/AIDS Debate," said Dr. Camelia Clarke, Director of the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit. "Their passion, dedication, and commitment to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS are truly commendable. By empowering young people to become advocates for change, we are fostering a future where communities play a leading role in ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic."



The National High School HIV/AIDS Debate serves as a platform for young leaders to voice their opinions, engage in constructive dialogue, and inspire action towards a world free from the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS. As we celebrate the achievements of the winning teams and speakers, we also reaffirm our collective commitment to supporting communities in their efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and promote health and well-being for all.


For more information on HIV/AIDS, please visit the Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Health and Human Services Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tciministryofhealth/.

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